Bag It

If there’s one commonality I have found among all the people I have had the good fortune to work with, it has to be hands down, the number of bags they have accumulated. Handbags, canvas bags, duffle bags, grocery bags, backpacks, retail bags, beach bags, gift bags, lunch bags...

We’ve gone way beyond paper or plastic.

Plastic bags, mainly used for toting groceries, have long since been deemed environmentally unfriendly. Although some studies have shown, believe it or not, that a single-use plastic bag has a lower carbon footprint than a paper bag and is more ‘green’ than a cotton bag, when considering the impact the creation of such bags has on the environment. Reusable bags have become the go-to giveaway at conferences, trade shows and charity events. They’re used by retailers as packaging and are readily available for purchase as a souvenir from your favorite destination. There’s no shortage, and production of these bags is indeed keeping up with the public’s voracious appetite for this product.

Of course the intention behind keeping so many bags of so many varieties is to use them over and over again. More often than not I hear explanations that go something like:

Oh, I got that bag from…

If I ever go to xxx, that would be a good bag to have.

That’s a good, sturdy bag.

That’s a nice-sized bag.

The pattern here, is that these statements offer descriptions of the bags or their wished-upon uses. Rarely, do I hear that the bags are actually being used. When I inquire further about their use, I’m often met with a sheepish grin and a sigh. Sometimes it leads to a more determined effort to declutter – sometimes it reinforces the desire to keep the collection intact.

Picture your own supply of reusable bags. How many bags full of bags are lurking in your closets?