Environmental Experts Say Make the Switch From Plastic to Canvas

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One Texas A&M University student is living green, thanks to a gift that just keeps giving.

Abbey Adkison is one of thousands of Americans saying yes to helping the environment.

"It's a good investment," Adkison said. "It saves you space in your house. It's just a more environmentally way of thinking. If I go to Target and I'm only getting one thing, I'm like I don't need a bag and people are like, ok."

For Christmas, Abbey's roommates gave her reusable grocery bags.

"It's really nice having these bags," Adkison said. "I can just fit them into one little pouch and take them with me to the store."

This week Whole Foods handed out thousands of reusable bags after the chain announced it will stop using plastic bags at its 270 stores in the U.S., Canada and the UK.

Plastic bags may be easier to carry, but experts say they are not exactly environmentally friendly. Americans discard over 100 billion plastic bags every year. The more green choice, use paper or canvas instead of plastic.

Plastic bags are made mostly from fossil fuels-oil and they take a long time to bio-degrade.

"We try to prevent that in every way that we can," BVSWMA Programs Coordinator Shelia McQueen said.

BVSWMA is now offering an alternative to plastic.
The local organization will be handing out canvas bags at all recycling events.

If you still have plastic bags, experts say recycle.

"You can always reuse them," McQueen said. "Take them to work with you. Use them as lunch bags or you can take them back to the grocery store. Most of our stores here do recycle plastic bags."

For Abbey, plastic bags are a thing of the past. She urges others to follow her lead.

"It would be cool if more people did," Adkison said.

Several local grocery stores are offering incentives to shop green.

Wal-Mart sells reusable bags made of recycled plastic for $1 and offers plastic bag recycling. Kroger offers canvas bags for $2 or $3 dollars and has plastic bag recycling. HEB offers canvas bags for about $4 and reusable bags for $1. It also offers plastic bag recycling. Albertsons will give you a credit of .05 on your grocery bill for each canvas bag you bring in. It also offers plastic bag recycling.