Posted by: David McKay | March 30, 2010

Plastic Bags

My New Year’s Resolution this year is to try to eliminate single-use plastics from my life.  How hard could it be?  I would begin with plastic grocery bags.

Well, that was easy.  All that was required were some reusable bags, a backpack, some t-shirts a friend made into sacks, and changing my habits.

People talk about the three Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle.  There are more than three Rs.  And a couple of them are more important that those three.  They are: rethink and refuse.

It is the changing of habits that is the key, I think.  Living in a throw-away culture is difficult.  The teenage kid bagging groceries is not putting any conscious thought into whether or not the customer gives a shit about the world.  I would say, “just put it all in one bag” to save on bags, and they would double-bag it.  The dish soap has to be separated from the food items.  Heaven forbid that the dish soap might spontaneously combust and destroy the plastic wrapped chicken, which also needs to be separated from the rest of the food.

So now I refuse to accept a grocery bag, of any kind.  I have thought about what my principles are.

Plastics have revolutionized the world.  There is no doubt about it.  But we have lost touch with our world in the process.  We have been double-bagged by the plastics industry; the wool has been pulled over our eyes.


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