Cotton bags gradually began to replace plastic ones. A new trend unleashed among people by designers and retailers is leading to a boom, with the good idea that cotton bags are ecological. Can be cotton bags truly eco-friendly? Can we compare them to plastic bags?

Cotton Bag Ecological Impact

Although the original idea is well-meaning, there can be no question of ecology. If we want to calculate the elimination of the ecological footprint, an organic cotton bag should suffice for one in 54 years of everyday use. A bio-cotton bag should be used 20,000 times to offset the environmental impact of its production.

Cotton plantation. Photo by Trisha Downing on Unsplash

Growing cotton requires a huge water consumption. Due to the cotton plantations, water is drawn from rivers and other water sources. Which contributes to the global water shortage crisis, as is the case with strawberry plantations. Another minus is using pesticides in cotton cultivation.

Cotton Recycling

Only 15% of the 30 million tonnes of cotton produced each year go to textile waste. Even if cotton bags get into a special facility that focuses on textile recycling, this is not an easy task. Most of these bags have printed logos – these dyes are extremely demanding on chemical dissolution, so they are not easily recyclable.

Cotton bag with printed logo. Photo by Onlineprinters on Unsplash

The production of cotton bags cannot be compared to the production of plastic bags. The plastics industry consumes fossil fuels that emit greenhouse gases, a material that will biodegrade over hundreds or thousands of years. Together with other disposable plastics, it floods the oceans.

The problem with bags, whether cotton or plastic, shows that huge surpluses of anything have an impact on our environment. Consumers need to decide if they need a free bag from every boutique they visit. If a man keeps 10 organic cotton bags in a closet, it should be enough for 500 years. Some brands are already resorting to other textile solutions, such as hemp.

Source:, featured photo by Koto Kyoto on Unsplash.