Death or Destruction?

I used to see people with those cloth grocery bags and roll my eyes. "How silly they look" I used to think. Then I got a dog and started collecting all of my plastic grocery bags as future "poop bags." As I was storing away all of these old bags I realized something, I use a TON of these plastic bags. Within a month I had so many under my sink, they had taken over the entire space.

I started looking around online to find out the impact of these free plastic gifts from the grocer. Some gifts! Lets just say they are not exactly the treasures I thought they were. According to www.ReuseableBags.com, the US uses 380 billion plastic bags, sacks and wraps per year.

Unfortunately, plastic bags don't biodegrade. They break down in to smaller and smaller toxic pieces which get into our water sources. Often plastic bags blow into oceans where hundreds of thousands of sea turtles, whales and other marine mammals die every year after mistaking the bags for food. When kind folks clean up our beaches, plastic bags are one of the top 12 items they find littering the coastline.

I'm all about solutions to these problems, not just whining. Apparently one of my favorite countries in the world, Ireland, shares my philosophy. They intitiated policies aimed at reducing plastic bag useage and successfully reduced consumption by 90%. This meant 18,000,000 litres of oil was conserved (oil is used in manufacturing plastic).

How can you help? You probably have cloth bags lying around your house that you use for the beach and trips. Bring them with you to the store and fill them up. At first, you'll feel strange asking the bagger to use your personal bags, but after a while you'll feel relieved at the waste you have saved.

Go Here for bags on Amazon.com. The particular bag I link to seems pretty handy because it folds up into a tiny bag you can easily store away until you need it.

1 comment:

  1. If you feel silly bringing your own bag to the store, many of them, like Publix, stock their own totes. I bought one, which has a catchy "recycling" one-liner, and bring it with me every time I shop. The bag, while it looks small, actually holds a ton of groceries, and even the bag boys/girls take notice and make sure to fill the tote instead of asking their standard "paper or plastic?"