The plastic I use in my life is really starting to grate on me in a bad way. To me it signals a lack of progress, in many ways, for a race who excells at creating problems and then solving them. The latest episode of Hello Internet highlighted that we still have a long way to go.

In it CGP Grey claims that the UK government reviewed the impact of plastic bags when compared to other kinds of bags and that the cloth totes require 20,000 uses to become more sustainable. The document he was probably referring to was this one here, from the executive summary a very handy table is given:

Type of carrier HDPE bag (No secondary reuse) HDPE bag (40.3% reused as bin liners) HDPE bag (100% reused as bin liners) HDPE bag (Used 3 times)
Paper bag 3 4 7 9
LDPE bag 4 5 9 12
Non-woven PP bag 11 14 26 33
Cotton bag 131 173 327 393

Sure, still a decent number of times that each type of bag needs to be reused, but a far cry from 20,000. I certainly use my bags at least 100 times a year, and have had them for 3 1/2 years so far….they could last for many many years to come.