Environmental concerns have increased the use of tote bags, also known as the reusable bags. In as much as they are seen as a better alternative to plastic bags, they too come with certain challenges and problems. For example, a critical look into them regarding cost and environmental contribution is not really perfect, they too cause certain problems and have challenges.
Printed tote bags are not fully Eco-friendly. When they are being manufactured, there is high chemical consumption. This chemical if emitted to the ecosystem is of great negative impact; the chemical does not only contribute to the global warming which today is a major challenge but also not very good for living things, whether through direct contact or indirect.
Reusable bags are expensive. One the cost of production is not cheap, those made from cotton requires a large amount of cotton which is not cheap whether grown or imported. Two they are Costly to the consumer especially in the case where one is doing a large shopping, one is going to need a lot of bags which will cost more.
Tote bags made from polypropylene material cannot be used again since the material is a non-renewable product, which is also not biodegradable. These means once the tote is used, it is rendered useless. Frequent Purchase of another makes it costly, and the fact that polypropylene is non-biodegradable is another great challenge to the environment.
Reusable bags made from low-quality material also tend to wear out faster. Replacing these bags over and over again is expensive to the consumer. A good example are those mad from propylene tend to wear out faster, this making them expensive
Most of the tote bags are not moisture resistant. This can be quite unreliable especially during the rainy or cold season. It can be quiet disappointing and embarrassing causing inconveniences. Good examples of such reusable bags are calico bags, jute bags. Though they can be chemically treated to make them moisture resistant, again this also has a side effect to the environment.
Tote bags made of cotton though can be washed, they shrink when washed. This leads to certain problems such as the bag is weakened, it also no longer has its original beauty and might not be able many things as it used to carry.
They are over production and common use in marketing has rendered them as disposable. This could pose a challenge to the environment. Since they are available everywhere, people might begin feeling comfortable carrying them as they go shopping. These comfort might result to the problem of disposing of them, therefore making them a waste just like the plastic bags. This would not be a good thing for the environment.
Researchers have claimed that tote bags provide grounds for bacteria breeding. According to Denver studies, which took place early this year, these bags usually contain bacteria, mold, and even yeast. The level of this bacteria has been described by Doctor Michelle Barron from the university of Colorado hospital as to be existing in millions. These bacteria are known to cause infections such as vomiting, diarrhea and stomach ache. Even though some made from cotton are washable, they too still poses a danger to human health since the washing might not be quite often.