Ban the bag

I normally try to avoid putting non-food related posts on the site, but I feel that it needs to be said.  Plastic bags are the worst.  I just read a statistic that globally we use 1 million plastic bags per minute.  That is mind-blowing!   The other amazing fact is that the amount of energy and petroleum that would be saved by halting the production of these bags would have the same effect as taking hundreds of thousands of cars off the road. 

Beyond the energy cost there is also an environmental cost of plastic bags.   These bags are filling up our landfills and oceans.  Animals mistake them for food, eat them and suffocate.  

The only feasible way to get people to stop using them is to start charging for them.  I am firm believer that if it cost us 20 cents (or more) per bag every time we went to the grocery store, it would not take long to figure out that reusable bags are the way to go. 

There are times it seems like retailers practically force you to use a bag….or they look at you like you have three heads when you tell them you do not want one.  I mean, who needs a bag to carry a CD out of the store?  Sure, I forget my bags in the car on occasion and if I do I will either just carry the product out in my hands or go back to the car and get the bags.  I think the key to helping us stop our bag addiction is to buy four or five reusable bags and always leave them in the car (or preferably on the bike). 

I use this trick to remind myself to put them back in the car after using them….whenever I come home from the grocery store and empty our bags, I will drop them next to the front door so that the next time I walk out to the garage, I will remember to toss them back in the car.

I think eventually there will be a "tax" on using plastic bags.  I hope this day is coming soon.  Until then, we can all be stewards of the Bag Free Movement and bring our own, encourage others to do the same and refuse plastic bags when they are offered to us. 

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Comment by eric
2007-03-08 13:32:44

I just saw on CNN that IKEA is going to start charging 5 cents for bags. This is a great first step! I think the price will need to be higher for people to start caring about it. Also a lot of stores offer rebates when you bring your own bag, like Trader Joes and Henry’s/Whole Food. I think it’s like 5 cents.

Comment by Meg
2007-03-09 05:19:37

That’s great.

Honestly, it is such a simple action to do. On the flip side of your post, I wanted to tell you that I’ve met some very nice grocery staff at Trader Joe’s, Vons, Henry’s, Jimbo’s and Whole Foods as well as Target that thank me for bringing my own bags.

Trader Joe’s enters you into a raffle if you recycle your brown bags or bring your own and Jimibo’s has a wooden nickel program allowing you to either get $.05 back or better yet donate it to a local charity (Shameles plus for Girls On The Run as I think we are eventually going to have a box). Target has a bag recycling program so if you have more “trash can liners” than you can possibly use, bring them by your local store- there is a receptical outside of the entrance.

Comment by eric
2007-03-09 07:41:45

Here is a link for the IKEA deal. It’s interesting to see that you will need to purchase a “disposable” bag for 5 cents or you can buy a Big Blue Bag reusable for 59 cents.

Comment by eric
2007-03-29 09:42:09
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