Three Down, Many to Go

Sacking the plastic bag habit

Not too long ago, I told you about my friend Chris Halleron who had begun a quest to rid his life of plastic shopping bags. I said back then that I would someday give it a try. Well, yesterday was that day. I took my first trip to the supermarket with my own canvas bag in hand.


Sacking the plastic bag habit

Not too long ago, I told you about my friend Chris Halleron who had begun a quest to rid his life of plastic shopping bags. I said back then that I would someday give it a try. Well, yesterday was that day. I took my first trip to the supermarket with my own canvas bag in hand. That trip–along with a stop at the drug store–has already saved me three bags. Of course I know I have a long way to go, but it feels good to be off to this start.

So why this desire to sack the plastic? Well, the obvious is that I don’t want my friends showing me up. Another is to regain control over lost space in my kitchen. Chris pointed out in his article that, by not taking bags from the store, he cleared up an entire kitchen cabinet. The other day I took a look around to see what my plastic population was. I was shocked to see that I easily have hundreds of these damned things. That discovery opened my eyes to a bigger fact.

If my apartment is this clogged with plastic from me, a single man shopping for just over three and a half years, to what extend is the rest of the world suffering? Well, something like 500 billion of these plastic bags are used worldwide each year. A measly 1% of these are recycled and the rest are tossed into landfills. Plenty also make their way into oceans, lakes and rivers. Of course we’ve all seen the rogue bags fluttering in trees or floating along the surface of our streets.

Because these things are plastic, they’re not biodegradable and are quite literally choking the planet. But even before tossing them into the garbage, we have to deal with another fact. Being a petroleum based product makes manufacturing these things a horrible strain on our ecosystem and resources as well. So here is this little and unassuming bit of evil that is destroying our lives from beginning to end and for what? Convenience? Well carrying a canvas bag or two around is not all that inconvenient, is it?

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Without further preaching on my part, I’ll just say that this is obviously a very important issue. If you would like to be part of the solution to this plastic nightmare, you have a few choices. If you want to show the world how cool you are, buy my spiffy new bag. Check it out, c’mon tell me, ain’t it spiffy?

A fine group called ‘Bag the Habit’ offers a bag that is lightweight, durable, made partly from recycled material and 100% recyclable. They say each bag holds up to 25 pounds, but according to my friend Christine or Art House Productions, they can handle more. Check them out at bagthehabit.com. Their proceeds support local artists in Jersey City.

Another, but not as desirable of choices would be to simply reuse the bags you have. Some of the larger supermarket chains offer discounts if you reuse old bags. Paper or plastic. Or you can just do like Chris Halleron and wear cargo pants while carrying a large backpack. That way you’re always prepared for an impromptu visit to market.

Whatever choice you make, if you’re like me, you’ll certainly find a use for all of the bags that are left. Like using them for holding your recycling on the side of the road. I know I have enough to last for many, many recycling pickups to come.

See Also:
get.cultured [green] tote
Bag The Habit
Double-Bagging Plastic
ChrisHalleron.com
Art House Productions


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