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Shopper calls out common grocery store practice for its harmful consequences: 'A lot of people don't know this'

There are several reasons why it's better to avoid using them in the first place.

There are several reasons why it's better to avoid using them in the first place.

Photo Credit: TikTok

Think twice before you grab that grocery store produce bag — you probably don't even need it. 

The scoop

On TikTok, Shelbizleee (@shelbizleee) encouraged viewers to forgo the plastic produce bags.

"Apparently, a lot of people don't know this, but you don't need these plastic produce bags," she says. "Most things come with their own packaging already, but if you really want, you can bring your own."

@shelbizleee to be fair, I think a lot of people know this but grab the plastic bags out of habit. Just skip em next time 👍 #zerowaste #reusable #sustainableliving #ecofriendly ♬ Comedy Music - Nissa

Indeed, many fruits — like oranges, lemons, and avocados — are protected by their peels. But if you're buying a large amount of produce or are worried about the germs, you can use a reusable mesh bag, which Shelbizlee does in the video.

How it's helping

The thin produce bags you get from grocery stores are often made from film plastic. While this plastic is recyclable, it may only be at specific drop-off locations — which can be a hassle — and if thrown away, can take several decades to degrade.

Duebest wrote that "people all over the world use more than 1 trillion plastic bags every year." Unfortunately, a majority of these bags aren't recycled — that's one reason why it's better to avoid using them in the first place

With a reusable mesh bag, you can help prevent even more plastic from polluting our planet, often harming wildlife in the process. Some grocery stores, like Trader Joe's, are even introducing compostable produce bags.

Many companies are dedicated to recycling and repurposing what would otherwise become trash. For Days will reward you for sending in your old clothes, and thredUP allows you to thrift shop online. Got Sneakers will recycle your shoes. Zenni Optical lists multiple places where you can donate your old glasses. 

TCD even has a guide for how to declutter, recycle, and make money at the same time — it's a win-win-win.

What everyone's saying

Other TikTokers commented that they don't use the plastic produce bags either.

"I also don't use those bags, [and] I wash everything before I use it," one person wrote. 

Other commenters said that they repurpose the bags later. 

"I reuse them as dog poo bags when I get them from grocery pickup," said one user.

"I use them for bathroom bin liners," another commented.

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