Saturday, July 28, 2007

Plastic Bags

On 'Drea's blog I saw information she shared about plastic bags: (sited here)

- According to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. goes through 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually. An estimated 12 million barrels of oil is required to make that many plastic bags.

- Plastic bags cause over 100,000 sea turtle and other marine animal deaths every year when animals mistake them for food.

- The average family accumulates 60 plastic bags in only four trips to the grocery store.

The next time I go to my local grocery store, where I always shop, I'm going to invest in a few reuseable bags, which, like in the USA cost 1$ per bag. I will ask if that store offeres a credit like Drea mentioned on her blog, as the bag will pay for itself if your grocery store offers a $.05 or $.10 credit per bag for bringing your own bags (which you got from them).

There are different options for bags. You can get an eco-bag or even knit one yourself. I saw a great bag that was beaded even, that Janet who goes to my SNB made. I am not sure if that was a free pattern or not. I tried googling a knitting pattern to make one, but didn't find what I was looking for. Plus, I don't think I'd knit one for myself, I'd perfer a bag that didn't have holes in it, like the eco-bag does. [Edited: I found this pattern online. It's cute. Thanks to Dogged (a blog I just started reading) for the link of the bag.]

I find this fact interesting:

-In 2001, Ireland used 1.2 billion disposable plastic bags, or 316 per person. An extremely successful plastic bag tax, or PlasTax, introduced in 2002 reduced consumption by 90%.

Ways we use plastic bags now:

- We use them to change the cat liter before putting it into the big garbage bag on garbage day.
- Jamie takes his lunch to work on the few days he takes lunch. He does bring them back home with the dirty tupperwear in them, but the plastic bag is dirty at that point, and not reusable for lunch a second day.

Stores that we shop at usually double bag stuff. What a waste. However, the bags are sooo cheaply made that for some purchases (like soda) they have to double bag, or it would probably break.

I will invest in some reuseable bags. Though, I will sometimes accept a plastic bag so that we have some in the house for the cat liter. Most plastic bags have the recycling symbol on the bottom, so I will put the dirty ones that Jamie brings back home from lunch into the recycling box instead of into the trash.

I have eliminated a LOT of garbage on garbage day by recycling. This also cuts my cost on buying green garbage bags, which I only use Glad Easy-ties. I've noticed how little trash I'm producing now, and how much I'm actually recycling. On recycling morning, I'm seeing my bin OVERFLOWING! That's a good thing. I feel so good about it!

I've been thinking for a while now about the situation with plastic bags. I've been trying to go as much "green" as possible, and now I'm cracking down on the plastic bags. One step at a time, right?


Andrea said...

I bought a bunch of bags at Sobey's for 99 cents each. They don't offer any sort of credit, but I can fit a ton of stuff in them and they're easier to carry.

Drea said...

Loving my bloom bags :-) their so much cooler looking 2,
Ive seriously gone hippie since Burger was born.

1. Cloth diapers
2. wearing him! - no strollers seriously, except long trips like the zoo.. and next time I go to the zoo, I wont take it! cause it was a pain
3. Cloth napkins (Im doing a review on some later in August)
4. Re-useable shopping bags
5. Homemade babyfood
6. Cloth wipes (occasionally - I use regular wipes more often though, its just to much poop for me LOL to use all cloth)
7. Natural soaps (face wash, lotions)

Crazy huh?
HIPPIE ME!!! and im so not hippie ish looking.. atleast I dont think so.... or am I? :-)

LotusKnits said...

That's awesome! I love the Ireland Plastax...brilliant.

I have a bag in my Ravelry queue, but it would be faster to buy some...

Maggie said...

hooray! every little bit helps! I'm SUCH a hippy!

Snarsh said...

We're actually lucky in Montreal, If you put out your plastic bags with the recycling, they will be recycled.

Barb said...

I'm making that tote right now:) it's a fast easy knit, i'm using Bernat Handicrafter Twists for mine, can't wait to see your if you make it :)

Ashley said...

Wow-those statistics are unbelievable! A good reminder to me that I need to sew or knit myself some more bags--although I'm with you, I like to have some bags around for doggie cleanup!

Jofrog said...

FYI Grocery stores will give you the credit for any re-usable bags you bring in to use, not just ones you bought there.

Keep it up and keep trying harder!