Many states have banned single-use plastic grocery bags because of their impact on the environment. But how effective are these bans? Paper and cotton tote bags aren’t always better for the environment. Paper bags must be reused 3 times and cotton tote bags must be reused 131 times. Furthermore, producing paper and tote bags emit more toxic chemicals than plastic bags, and they’re heavier and bulkier, meaning more resources for transportation and distribution. So what can we do to help the environment? It’s a motto as old as time: Reuse! Regardless of the type of bag you use, be mindful of how you’re using it and don’t assume that just because it isn’t plastic, you’re doing your part to help the environment.