Posted by: David McKay | April 29, 2010

The plastic bag: Vermont’s new state flower?

Spring is in full swing around here.  Yesterday it snowed six inches in my town, and two feet up in the mountains.  Today?  Up to fifty degrees.  And the wind!  Blowing change, the wind does.

And plastic bags.  Lots of plastic bags.  I see them everywhere now.  In some parts of the world, the plastic bag is looked upon as the national flower.  They get caught in trees, bushes, everywhere the wind blows there is sure to be a plastic bag.

If you look closely enough you can even find them in the bellies of sea animals, like the gray whale that died on a West Seattle beach not too long ago.  It was not believed that the twenty plastic bags found in its stomach were the cause of death, but irregardless, it does not look good.  Hey, maybe the Japanese can use this information to their benefit when they’re out killing whales for scientific research!

Out in Portland, Oregon, seeing is believing.  A plastic bag was used in the construction of a red tailed hawk nest on a downtown office building.  The plastic bag is known about because the nest has a 24 hour cam on it.  Read about it from Newschannel 8.   She just had three chicks!  See her and her chicks live on the KGW Audubon Raptor Cam.

So what’s my point, you may ask?  More doom and gloom?  No.  My point is this: just stop using plastic bags.  Be conscious.  It’s not every day that we get a chance to change the world.  Oh, wait, actually it is.

Create change.  Every day.  Why not?  Or, rather, why wouldn’t you?

I am going out to pick some flowers. . .

Rethink.  Refuse.  Reduce.  Reuse.



  1. “It’s not everyday we get a chance to change the world. Oh wait, actually it is”

    I heart that!

  2. Hi plastic free friend! Nice to hear from you. And yes I do feel the movement building. I will add you to my blogroll fo sho, and will be following the tweets. Awesome.

  3. Dave, maybe the bird had never experienced such a quality nest building material as a plastic bag. While this might be a dilemma for you, but the bird found a usable part for a home and her future family.

    I ordered a part for my motorcycle and the screws with it were in a little plastic bag. After learning of your crusade I wondered, how would these little parts get to me if there wasn’t a tiny plastic bag? They could come in burlap or cotton or waxed paper or a wooden box or a tiny metal container or a piece of hemp clothe tied off with a thread or whatever. But I kept thinking about that little plastic bag and it all made sense.

    Why would a society try to modernize, invent and manufacture items if they were not for our safety, our benefit and our convenience. While a whale may die from swallowing bags it was not the bags that killed them. It was the greedy human who dumped the bags somewhere in the ocean where they should never have been.

    Many people die in car crashes but we do not call for cars to be illegal. With every good there is probably going to be a bad. I could ramble all night but it’s late and I think you get where I’m going with this.

    Right now I’m going to search around and see if I can find something in my refrigerator wrapped in plastic that I can safely eat because the plastic has prolonged it usable life.

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