Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Join the Movement! Sack the Bag!

Please consider attending “Sack the Bag” at the Council on Aging, 7 pm, tonight, Wednesday. Plastic bags are unnecessary. They have become a bad habit for many of us. And, contain polyethylene, which consists of long chains of ethylene monomers. Uh-oh, big unpronounceable words. Sometimes I think some really sneaky mid-level administrative aide in the fledgling chemical industry, on his way up, realized that if chemicals had unpronounceable names, regular people like you and me would black out when we heard them. Plastic bags. Ugh! Remember the video, voiced by Jeremy Irons, when San Francisco was trying to ban them? How these bags make their way to the sea and put the lives of sea creatures at risk? Or, as in the Beachcomber parking lot above, get stuck in trees and flutter like flags? If we thought to bring totes or baskets, we would not need plastic bags when shopping.

I hated to tell Sven, but a Swede came up with this horrific invention: From Wikipedia, “The lightweight shopping bag as we know it today is the invention of Swedish engineer Sten Gustaf Thulin. He developed the idea for forming a simple one-piece bag by folding, welding and die-cutting a flat tube of plastic in the early 1960s for packaging company Celloplast of Norrkoping.” (Pronounce the K like this “sh.”) "His idea produced a simple, strong bag with a high load carrying capacity and was patented worldwide by Celloplast in 1965.”

So, before 1965, no plastic bags. When I was a child grocery stores provided bags made of paper. Then we started worrying about trees. What a shame so few people thought of totes back then. It's great to save trees, but plastic has invaded our lives, so it's time to reject plastic, too. It disintegrates and pollutes our waterways, our oceans, our fish. Would you care for some plastic with your fish today? This is aberration.

“In 2009 the United States International Trade Commission did report that the number of bags used in the United States was 102 Billion.”

If you absolutely must accept a plastic bag, once in a while, while shopping, collect them and recycle at Stop & Shop (extreme left of entrance).

Some ignorant storekeepers still give customers plastic bags, even for the purchase of one item, like at CVS, where it's a rule!!! Get gutsy. Suggest to the store clerk that plastic bags are bad for the environment, that you do not need one, and pull out your tote. Write his/her boss and explain why this rule should be lifted.

I am never without a tote ever since Ronni Bennett gave me a marvelous Chico bag, which I carry in my purse at all times and use on a regular basis. How do you avoid plastic bags?