Monday, June 30, 2008

Plastic Bags: Just Say No

If there is one thing I will indulge in getting preachy about, it's plastic bags. We must STOP ACCEPTING them with our purchases. At the grocery store, at the dollar store, at the second-hand store, at the farmer's market. We cannot afford to pay lip service to the practice of bringing your own bag. Plastic does not biodegrade. In other words, it will outlive us all.

This video about the research done by Algalita Research Foundation should convince you if you need an extra push.

Also, this article about a Bermuda triangle of plastic bags floating in the Pacific.

Some new bag practices to adopt:
  • Using your old plastic bags as trash liners is not a good solution. They'll still end up in a landfill where they'll sit forever. Instead,
    • bring them to the grocery store or farmer's market to reuse; not as fashionable as cloth, but who cares? it's groceries!
    • use them to protect produce in the frig
    • bring your lunch in them
    • recycle them at a Whole Foods or other grocery that takes plastic bags for recycling; they are typically a no. 1 or 2
  • Don't rely on ONE alternative shopping bag. They all compress, so keep one in your purse, pocket, car, at work, by the door - wherever you need to ensure that you'll have one handy when you pop into a grocery store or do a little impulse shopping.
  • Bringing your own bag goes beyond the grocery store - just say no at the mall, the shoe store and the electronics store. Your latest purchase from H&M will look just as good in a fold-up tote from envirosax.
  • If you have already purchased Ziploc bags, don't throw them out. Reuse them. They wash and dry, just like dishes. When they're worn out, cut the tops off and recycle them. According to the Ziploc site, they are plastic no. 4.
  • Make the switch to biodegradable trash bags. Use your current supply to protect things you put in a musty basement or fluff them up and fill a pillow with them. Okay, so I've resorted to an art project. Anyone got a better idea?

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