Climate change and global warming have long been ongoing issues, though the world is only now gradually becoming increasingly aware of its severity. People have begun actively reducing their carbon footprint to minimise the environmental impacts they may exacerbate, and there has also been a shift in the way major corporations operate or produce goods.

The problem that lies therein is that it is now a trend, and something that was once meaningful has now transformed into an aesthetic. Take reusable tote bags for instance. The list never ends, but museums, restaurants, NGOs and literally every business are handing them out for free as goodies and we are now slowly but surely drowning in them.

The average person realistically purchases about two reusable tote bags worth of groceries at any given time, so really, two are all each individual should need. And admittedly, the majority of us now have tote bags filled with hoards of other tote bags and not nearly half of them get used enough or even make it into our handbags each time we head out the door.

Photo: These Salty Oats

In our mission to eliminate single-use plastic bags, another problem has unfortunately emerged – tote bags are now overproduced and we have churned out way, way too many. As a matter of fact, we have enough to last us the rest of our lives and they are essentially disposable. There is an excessive supply for a demand that is now diminished.

Shockingly, the production of tote bags generates 131 times as many emissions than that of plastic bags, and you would have to use each of your tote bags as much as 131 times to say that you’ve done your job as a responsible human being. We’ll just put it at that – we know you haven’t.

One problem is now replaced with another, and it’s time we step up to say no to receiving more reusable tote bags to curb production. For companies looking to brand everyday items to be given out as freebies, we hope you take note and look to other alternatives like wine glasses, portable phone chargers, blankets.. or stop investing in useless freebies completely.

[Source 1, 2, 3, 4]

Carmen Chong
YouTube-obsessed and a beauty junkie at heart. Find her on Instagram: @carthemen