Plastic Bags

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Plastic Bags#1
Posted: 2/18/08 at 10:58pm
I recently bought a nice, sturdy canvas grocery bag from the friendly local co-op, and found these startling statistics* on the bag's bar code tag:

-14 plastic bags contain enough petroleum to drive a car a mile
-Cities spend up to $0.17 per bag in disposal costs, wasting tax dollars
-380 billion plastic bags/wraps are thrown away in America each year

So, doing the math - that's equivalent to 27,142,857,142 miles of driving. Or up to $64.6 billion in tax dollars spent on disposal.

How much petroleum (or how many tax dollars) would you save by cutting your plastic bag usage in half this year? What if everyone in your neighborhood used fewer plastic bags? Everyone in your state?



*These three figures are pulled from www.1BagataTime.com, the 1 Bag at a Time company website.
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re: Plastic Bags#2
Posted: 2/18/08 at 11:02pm
I wonder why they have so many plastic bags. And they use more than they need to. Why not take a tip from Trader Joe's and let the customer choose paper or plastic. I always take the paper.
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re: Plastic Bags#2
Posted: 2/18/08 at 11:16pm
In addition to bringing a reusable shopping bag to the grocery store, my family brings our own containers for leftovers when we go out to eat.
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re: Plastic Bags#3
Posted: 2/18/08 at 11:33pm
I'm proud to say that I haven't been using those plastic bags for a while. I take in my own bags.

Or I scold them when they only ask, "Is plastic okay?"


NO!
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#4
Posted: 2/18/08 at 11:57pm
Updated On: 1/27/09 at 11:57 PM
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re: Plastic Bags#5
Posted: 2/19/08 at 12:34am
If ONLY I didn't have bigger trash cans...
"TheatreDiva90016 - another good reason to frequent these boards less."<<>> I hesitate to give this line of discussion the validation it so desperately craves by perpetuating it, but the light from logic is getting further and further away with your every successive post. <<>> -whatever2
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re: Plastic Bags#6
Posted: 2/19/08 at 9:28am
It's terrible, most of the stores round here ONLY have plastic, you don't even get the option of paper. I take the canvas ones in with me, and even have some others that roll up small to keep in my purse, but most people just use the plastic ones they give you.
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re: Plastic Bags#7
Posted: 2/19/08 at 10:22am
And they double-bag everything, so that when I get home, I now have 4-6 plastic bags to throw out.

That's from doing a small load of shopping, since in the city, we walk and have to carry our bags. When I'm at my family 's home in NJ, and they go shopping with the car, we might bring home over 20 plastic bags. The cashiers like to put one or two items in a bag!
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re: Plastic Bags#8
Posted: 2/19/08 at 10:28am
they don't recycle them? Stores here have a container where you can bring them back
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re: Plastic Bags#9
Posted: 2/19/08 at 10:32am
I'm guilty of using plastic, but I do re-use them for cleaning the litter box every day. Or I'll carry my shoes in the same bag all winter when I wear boots.

But I may invest in the canvas bags soon.
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re: Plastic Bags#10
Posted: 2/19/08 at 10:43am
Actually paper is not really the greener choice. The best choice is obviously canvas. But if you decide to go the paper or plastic route, I don't think it makes much difference, environmentally, which you choose.


Paper or Plastic?
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re: Plastic Bags#11
Posted: 2/19/08 at 10:44am
OK, this is political correctness gone astray. I lived through the "paper or plastic?" question of the 1980s. Grocery stores used to use paper bags, then tree huggers complained that too many trees were being cut down, so stores switched to plastic bags. Now plastic is taboo. I don't think there is any solution that will please all people.
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re: Plastic Bags#12
Posted: 2/19/08 at 10:53am
Nowadays the paper ones are made from recycled paper, and they can themselves be recycled, whereas in most stores the plastic ones are not biodegradeable and will just clog landfills even if you do use them for something useful after you get them home.
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re: Plastic Bags#13
Posted: 2/19/08 at 10:57am
exactly
It is ridiculous to set a detective story in New York City. New York City is itself a detective story... AGATHA CHRISTIE, Life magazine, May 14, 1956
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re: Plastic Bags#14
Posted: 2/19/08 at 11:09am
But manufacturing a paper bag, recycled or not, takes three times more energy than manufacturing a plastic bag does. Plastic bags may not be biodegradable, but they can also be recycled.

ETA: not saying that plastic is better, but I don't think it's as simple as saying paper is better than plastic.
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Updated On: 2/19/08 at 11:09 AM
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re: Plastic Bags#15
Posted: 2/19/08 at 2:34pm
I use the canvas bags that my local Stop and Shop[ sells for 99 cents. I have many of them and believe me, they hold a lot more than plastic.
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re: Plastic Bags#16
Posted: 2/21/08 at 12:13am
And once you've had the delightful experience of a plastic bag splitting open and spilling your oranges all over the sidewalk, it's canvas bags for life!
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re: Plastic Bags#17
Posted: 2/21/08 at 9:08am
The Irish now have a tax on plastic bags. This story was in the Times a couple of weeks ago. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/02/world/europe/02bags.html?scp=2&sq=irish+tax+on+plastic++grocery+bags&st=nyt

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re: Plastic Bags#18
Posted: 2/21/08 at 4:15pm
I bring my own canvas bags. I work in an indsutry where I get a lot of corporate swag totebags at tradeshows and what not. They make great grocery bags!

However, I do put my recyclables in a paper bag, and put the whole recyclable bag full of recycalbles out with the weekly recycling collection. If I am running low on paper bags for this purpose, I will get a few on my next grocery trip (I do what I can, but I'm not environmentally friendly enough to rinse out a recycling container sitting in my kitchen every week, sorry!).

For sanitary reasons, I will use 1 or 2 plastic bags at the grocery store to put meat in before placing in my canvas bag. I then re-use the plastic bags for litterbox cleanup.

I noticed Whole Foods will be doing away with plastic bags soon.
Updated On: 2/21/08 at 04:15 PM
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re: Plastic Bags#19
Posted: 2/21/08 at 4:58pm
I'm with Goth on this.

I remember when the plastic bags were introduced with HUGE fanfare.

Now, it's just trash that doesn't decompose.
"TheatreDiva90016 - another good reason to frequent these boards less."<<>> I hesitate to give this line of discussion the validation it so desperately craves by perpetuating it, but the light from logic is getting further and further away with your every successive post. <<>> -whatever2
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re: Plastic Bags#20
Posted: 2/21/08 at 5:29pm
we use plastic, but we re-use them as poopie bags when we walk the dogs
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re: Plastic Bags#21
Posted: 2/21/08 at 6:09pm
In San Francisco all the grocery stores have switched to paper bags which is just so annoying. It's like switching over from one evil to another. Plastic bags don't decompose in landfills and people don't recycle them... but on the other hand paper bags are made from trees and trees have to be chopped down to make paper bags and I don't think more paper bags are recycled than plastic bags. So what exactly is the point?

And now instead of reusing my plastic grocery bags I just have to buy glad trash bags so I'm not only still using like the same exact amount of plastic that I was before, but now I'm wasting trees too.
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re: Plastic Bags#22
Posted: 2/21/08 at 6:20pm
I bought some canvass bags at my local grocery last night. I can't wait to go to the store so I can use them again.
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re: Plastic Bags#23
Posted: 2/21/08 at 8:50pm
Yeah, I have the "I'm Not a Plastic Bag" bag. It's pretentious, but so cute.
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re: Plastic Bags#24
Posted: 2/21/08 at 11:34pm
In the fall I cleaned out a closet where I'd been throwing all my plastic grocery bags, took nearly all of them back to the store, stuck them in the recyling bin and bought 3 of their reusable bags. Not only can you fit more stuff in the reusable bags, but they're easier to carry too. I love being able to carry my two bags into the house, rather than 8 plastic ones that are cutting off the circulation in your hands.

I did have my first "spill" last week, when the container with the feta and cucumber salad spilled its oily dressing all over one of the bags, but a quick trip to the washing machine and all is better.

Unfortunately, like many of you posted, it's nearly impossible to get paper bags anymore. That means parents actually have to buy book covers for their kid's textbooks! re: Plastic Bags