Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Bring Your Own Bag

When you go grocery shopping, bring your own bag to the store with you. You will save on more plastic bags being used and ending up in landfills and not being recycled. In San Francisco for example, only 1 percent of bags used actually gets recycled. Although paper is easier to recycle than plastic, it also does not end up being recycled as much as it should be, and often doesn't even biodegrade due to unnatural decomposing conditions such as lack of sunshine, air, and moisture in landfill holes. Try using whatever you already have in your house - cotton, canvas, and net bags are very useful for shopping trips. If you already have paper bags, use them until they are unusable. Reuse, reuse, reuse!

Just take a look at this article which illustrates how ubiquitous plastic bags are, especially in places they shouldn't be. Here are just a few startling statistics about plastic bags (from Squidoo Health):
  • Each year, an estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide. That comes out to over one million per minute. Billions end up as litter each year.
  • According to the EPA, over 380 billion plastic bags, sacks and wraps are consumed in the U.S. each year.
  • According to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. goes through 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually. (Estimated cost to retailers is $4 billion.)
  • Plastic bags don't biodegrade, they photodegrade-breaking down into smaller and smaller toxic bits contaminating soil and waterways and entering the food web when animals accidentally ingest.
Many cities and states have begun banning plastic bags. Isn't it time you did too, and made a difference?

1 comment:

Bruce said...

I couldn't agree more!!! Especially the part about using what you have in your house already. The hard part is remembering to bring that with you when you go shopping. Maybe if you left a few bags in your car it would help.