Plastic Bags and What You Can Do

Plastic bags are everywhere.  You buy groceries, they put them in a plastic bag.  You go to a store, your purchases are in a plastic bag.  Even at the farmer's market you'll get a plastic bag if you forget your market basket.

If these bags aren't recycled, they end up in the throats and stomachs of wildlife, they clog gutters and sewers and they float on waterways.  The design of a plastic bag is perfect for getting caught around the neck of wildlife or a fin of a fish, and if it gets stuck on the head of an animal they'll suffocate or die of starvation. 

Plastic bags photodegrade, meaning that they break down into small toxic bits contaminating soil and waterways.  They simply don't disappear.

Plastic bags are a major threat the to environment.  They are one of the 12 most found items in cleanups along the coast.  Americans throw out 100 billon plastic bags each year.

What can you do about plastic bags?

It's really easy to avoid all of this.  Just do not use plastic bags!  Take your own reuseable bags to get groceries or when you go shopping! 

I know that it's not always easy to remember, even for me.  Make things easier for yourself: 
  • Get one of those folding bags and after you get home and unload it, fold it back up and put it in your purse or put it by the door. 
  • Keep extra canvas bags in the car.
  • If you can manage without a bag, just ask not to have one.  I actually do this more than I remember to bring my own bag.  I either put the stuff in my purse or just carry it to my destination.
If you do end up with plastic bags, make sure they get to the recycling bin.  (Even this isn't 100% effective.)  Better yet, find creative ways to reuse them.  (I'll be sharing some tutorials on my tutorial website this week.)

How do you avoid getting plastic bags or reuse the plastic bags you get?

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