Thursday, October 02, 2008

Plastic bag challenge

So here is my challenge, starting Monday October 6th, see if you can go the rest of the year without using plastic bags. So that means when you go grocery shopping you bring your reusable bags. Or maybe when you buy a CD at HMV you just put it into your backpack instead of a separate bag.

If you want to read a good article on the effects of plastic bags on the environment read it here.
"Thousands of birds and marine animals die through entanglement and ingestion. When a plastic bag falls into the water, it resembles a floating egg mass (food) to some fish, turtles and birds. They swallow the plastic, fill up and starve to death."

Also check out One Less Plastic Bag. It has some good photos and a video as well as plastic bag facts.

Whats the point?
The point of this challenge isn't just for you to stop using plastic bags. Its more for you to think about the excess "waste" that you pick up and use without even using your brain. So much extra packaging goes into the products that we consume and dispose of like there is no tomorrow.

So try this challenge, think about what you use/throw out. Let me know how things go, or any other steps you are taking to reduce your waste.

Good luck to all who participate.


Chucksk said...

Yes! I've been recycling all my plastic bags; but here's a twist to consider: Why not demand that all new plastic bags be readily bio-degradable? Seems like there are times when a plastic bag is the best thing (freezer bags, for example), and if the ones we occasionally have to accept (like the one the new satellite dish transmogriffer came in today) were made to bio-degrade, and perhaps made of natural-substance plastics (ie - cellulose from plant stalks, for example), then they would naturally break down and be of a carbon-neutral source - seems better than trying to do without them in all circumstances. But they do comprise at least a third of the landfill trash, so less wouls help as well. That nifty transmogriffer could just as well been shipped bag-free.

Briggins said...

Some good ideas there. You would have to ensure the bags are biodegradable, not just photodegradable. There are a number of bags now claiming to be more environmentally friendly, only catch is they require sunlight to break down. And in a landfill this isn't always going to happen as more and more garbage gets piled on and sometimes stuff like soil gets piled on on top as well.
But I think that cellulose from plant stalks would be a great idea....any substance as long as when it decomposes it wouldn't just be releasing more toxins.