GXT Green gets Roche Bros on the Green Track

OPINION: Roche Bros. on green track with GXT Green

By Teresa Normanly

As humans grow increasingly aware of the mark we are making on our home planet, people across the globe have been struggling for years to find convenient, less harmful solutions for our harsh demands on nature.

Thanks to the joint efforts of Roche Bros., and GXT Green, there could be a major ecological breakthrough just down the street in your local grocery store.

GXT Green, a company seeking to combine the best interests of ecology and economics, has partnered with Roche Bros. supermarkets to introduce ECOgrade degradable bags. This new alternative to plastic bags not only benefits the company, but enables shoppers to make a positive impact by shopping with their local Roche Bros.

Paper bags are already out of the question for eco-friendly grocery transportation, as they are more expensive, weaker, and require more energy/resources to produce than plastic bags. Although plastic bags leave a smaller carbon footprint than paper, they are far from the solution to our problems.

It costs the U.S. $1,000 to recycle one ton of plastic bags, according to Ocean Crusaders, and most towns require citizens to go out of their way to recycle their plastic bags. Any added effort is unappealing to most Americans, so this leaves huge numbers of plastic bags to litter our forests and oceans.?

Roughly 100,000 marine animals and 1 million seabirds are found dead each year from plastic entanglement, Ocean Crusaders reports. The dead animal will then decompose before the bag does, leaving it to continue on its destructive path.

ECOgrade bags are approved for recycling with plastics, making proper disposal more convenient. If littered or lost, it takes 240 days of exposure to sunlight for them to degrade into a non-toxic residue, which will then further biodegrade, leaving no harmful mark on our wildlife. One ECOgrade bag costs the same to produce as one plastic bag, but uses less energy and produces 50 percent fewer Greenhouse Gases.

They have an equivalent shelf life, and have proven to be even more durable than average plastic bags. In an effort to reduce their cost and environmental impact, companies continue to make their plastic bags thinner, resulting in distrust from the consumer.

Roche Bros.’ new bags eliminate any need for double-bagging, automatically decreasing the number of bags used by 20 percent. They also promote a sustainable, eco-friendly company standard, which increases customer base and corporate value.

Now consider that about 500 billion plastic bags are distributed globally each year, and it takes the average family just four trips to the grocery store to collect 60 bags; the impact adds up. Right now substituting ECOgrade bags is one of the most immediate and convenient ways to lessen our destructive impact on Earth. Why not, for no extra money and little hassle, adopt a cheaper, more sustainable alternative to plastic bags?

Teresa Normanly is a student at Marshfield High School and wrote this piece as a summer assignment.