Plastic Nation

“I hate plastic,” I complained to my friend Sue. “I want to get it out of my life.”

“But it’s ubiquitous,” Sue answered.

“So is crime.”

Cartoon courtesy of Andy Singer

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  1. I feel the same way. I start shaking when clerks, without a clue, start filling a plastic bag at the check-out counter. Then I explain I always bring my own and whip one out, but cannot resist explaining why, how renegade plastic bags are killing sea creatures in the ocean nearby, that the plastic breaks up and the fish eat it, that it has collected in huge gyres. They just stare at me. The store clerks in town never give me plastic. When clerks do ask if I need a bag, I thank them. I think there’s an education curve and we are still climbing.

  2. I agree Alexandra. But I am baffled by how those who DO know better and ARE educated resist change for so long and don’t improve. I have been petitioning our local food co-op to charge for produce bags. Five cents per bag would mean that people would instantly–overnight–stop using them unnecessarily. You don’t need a bag for bananas! Or for apples! Or most things, really. It’s just a bad habit. But though I’ve gone to the board, written the suggestion, talked to the managers twice, they don’t want to do it. They don’t have a reason! Just resistance to change. Isn’t that sad?

  3. Holly

    Washington, DC, implemented a five-cent charge on plastic grocery bags (over loud protests from the usual suspects), but it’s been great so far. The Anacostia River (which had been choked with old bags) is getting cleaner, the city is generating revenue, and reusable-bag usage has shot up. They even enforce it in the cafeteria at Children’s Hospital. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve slooooowly walked back to the CICU with my hands full of food — anything to avoid using plastic!

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