New York State’s plastic bag ban went into effect on March 1, 2020. Did you know that New York City alone goes through approximately 23 BILLION plastic bags per year?!?! (23,000,000,000 — that’s a LOT of zeros!!!).
The goal of the ban is to encourage New Yorkers to carry reusable bags rather than having stores provide single-use plastic bags for (most) groceries and non-perishable purchases. And while some may argue that they reuse these bags for garbage receptacles and to carry their lunches to work, the majority of bags end up in landfills, or worse.
In New York City, about 10 billion plastic bags are discarded each year. According to the Department of Sanitation, their workers pick up more than 1,700 bags each week. At any given time, plastic bags can be seen stuck in trees, as litter on the street, and floating in oceans and rivers.
Plastic bags are nonbiodegradeable and have been responsible for numerous wildlife deaths. In addition, the thin plastic is notorious for clogging recycling machines and thwarting recycling efforts.
Here at FGF, as resident New Yorkers, we’re pretty psyched about the statewide ban. Our county has had a ban in place for over a year already, and in Suffolk county alone plastic bag use is down by 1.1 billion.
That said, New York is not the only state to be taking action on single-use plastic bags. Check out this map to see which states have taken action so far.
In honor of the plastic bag ban, we’ve put together this roundup of some cute reusable tote patterns that you can make, as well as some adorable totes that you can buy. We hope it inspires you to carry a reusable bag with you wherever you go — wherever you may live!
Reusable Tote Roundup
- This free and easy tutorial shows you how to turn Suzy Quilts’ Modern Fans block pattern into a large quilted tote.
- Also free, this tutorial from Sew Can She will show you how to make this sweet little tote and this very chic color-blocked tote.
- This Bluprint tutorial will show you how to make a quilted tote in under an hour!
- The awesome Supertote Pattern from Anna at Noodlehead is available for purchase.
- Looking for a challenge with zippers? This adorable Dot Dot Dash Bag pattern from Sew Sweetness is the one for you!
- And last but not least, Jeni Baker has this roomy Workshop Tote pattern available for purchase on her website.
And just in case you aren’t looking to make a reusable tote right now, check out these fabulous and chic, handmade bags by Maechen Marie. Or these adorable ones from Ponderosa Creative!
We hope you love this roundup! Now tell us below, is your state transitioning to ban single-use plastics? Are you on board? Do you have a favorite reusable tote pattern that is your go-to?