- Politics and Social Issues
Plastic bag alternatives
Plastic bags bad, Cloth bags and baskets good
Facts, figures, recycling ideas, alternative bags, alternative uses, valuable resources and links
Each year the world uses 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags. The US accounts for about 380 billions. As shocking as this is, it's even more shocking to know that only a tiny fraction of them are recycled. Most are thrown away and end up damaging the environment and killing an estimated 1 million birds, whales, seals, sea turtles and other sea creatures. 1 Million animals die. Every. Single. Year. And all due to plastics of one kind or another.
Here you'll find facts about plastic bags. More importantly, you'll find alternatives to plastic bags: how to reuse plastic bags and where you can get alternative bags and baskets. Some support specific charities and other are message boards for changing the world.
You can make a huge difference in the world by taking this one small action -- stop using plastic bags.
Plastic bags: Where do the 500 billion to 1 Trillion bags end up?
As shocking as the fact that the world uses so many plastic bags each year, it's even more shocking to know that only a tiny fraction of them are recycled. The rest are thrown away.
Ah, but here's the rub. Thrown away means putting them in the garbage can where they are taken to a dump. The problem is that a plastic bag can last for 1,000 years!
The worse news is that many of these plastic bags end up on the streets and out in the environment -- outside of the dump. So there plastic bags that are used usually for a few minutes or hours -- are literally killing the environment and animals.
When is the last time you walked down the street and did NOT see a plastic bag tumbling in the wind? Or wrapped around a tree or bush? Or, adorning a fence?
Save our planet from plastic bags
Plastic bags cost $250/household in retail costs and taxes.
Great Pacific Garbage Patch aka Eastern Garbage Patch
In the North Pacific Ocean is a mass of plastic debris that measures the size of the state of Texas.
The debris included bottles, bottle caps, wrappers, plastic bags, and fragments of plastic. North Pacific Gyre What is an oceanic gyre? According to Wikipedia...
"A gyre is any manner of swirling vortex. It is often used to describe large-scale wind or ocean currents. Gyres are caused by the Coriolis effect; planetary vorticity along with horizontal and vertical friction which determine the circulation patterns from the wind curl (torque)."
This photo shows the locations of
the 5 major ocean gyres.
Plastic Bag are a danger to wildlife
In the oceans, plastics become a "toxic sponge"
soaking up polutants. Fish who swallow these toxins can ultimately pass them onto humans further up the food chain.
According to Environment California
The Turtle That Pooped Plastic for 1 Month!
If you still don't believe that humans are destroying the oceans and their inhabitants by disposing of plastic bags, then this story surely should.
It seems that a green turtle after being rescued in 2009 by marine biologists in Melbourne Beach, Florida, had to have a large piece of plastic removed from it's gastrointestinal tract. As if that wasn't enough, the turtle then defecated 74 foreign objects over the next month. For the full story, go to Turtle found ...
A report was issued by Sea turtle.org's Marine Turtle Newsletter (pdf) which reports among other horrific things that about half of the sea turtules they surveyed had ingested plastic.
The report also states that today over 80% of all waste that ends up on land, shorelines, and in the ocean is plastic as opposed to only 1% in the 1960s.
Photo credit: Wikipedia
Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, coauthor of the report stated, "Sea turtles have spent the past 100 million years roaming seas free of plastic pollution, and are now sadly the poster animal for impacts of our throw-away society on endangered species."
Green turtles are listed as an endangered species. There is a subpopulation in the Mediterranean which is listed as critically endangered.
We need to stop using plastic bags. This is just one species that will be extinct because of man's inability or desire to curb our appetite for all things easy and disposible.
Retail stores spend approx. $4 billion to provide plastic bags for customers.
Video: The effects of plastics bags
Plastic bags are bad -- Need more convincing? Then check this out
Paper or Plastic is no longer the question. The real question is:
How can I reduce, reuse, recycle, replace plastic bags?
* What are the alternatives to these use-once bags?
* How do I recycle or reuse the existing bags safely with the least impact to the environment and animals?
* What type of bags can be used that don't impact the environment and animals?
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose, Replace
Plastic bag recycling -- Where and How to recycle plastic bags
Recycled plastic bags are used in composite lumber, new bags, pallets, containers, crates and pipes.
To recycle, simply take your dry, clean plastic bags to a recycling center which are located at retail stores and government municipal recycling centers.Click her to find a drop-off location by state: Recycling centers by State look-up.
500 Uses For Plastic Bags - Plastic Bags Uses Book
500 ways to use plastic bags in your life. This book is great because you're sure to find many ways you never even thought of to use plastic bags.
A paper bag requires 69 percent more resources and energy to produce than cloth.
Make your own grocery bags: Free Patterns - Dozens of free patterns
They share 33 Reusable Grocery Bags -- Free Tutorials and Patterns. The patterns are split into 3 sections: Sew, Knit and Crochet. You'll find among the patterns:
A t-Shirt Grocery Bag, Pillowcase Tote,Reusable Grocery Bag, A Bird Seed Bag Grocery Tote, Canvas Bag, Hand knit Market Bag, Susitna String Shopping Bag, Knit Shopping Bags in Two Sizes, Free Reusable Cocheted Grocery Bag Pattern. And many, many more -- well 33 in all.
String It Along is another blog where you can get bag ideas and patterns.
Free patterns for simple crochet, Turkish Stitch String, mesh bags, market bags and more.
She says about this bag, "This bag can be knitted in any string or thread--preferably of a non-stretching fiber like cotton--from crochet cotton to sport weight, maybe thicker, using any very large needle size. This pattern is about as "mindless" as knitting gets, and goes very fast. "
This Lens Supports Wildlife S.O.S. To Help Save The Dancing Bears Of India
This lens donates to Wildlife S.O.S. for their "India Bear Rescue" Project.
You can help save the bears by making your TAX EXEMPT donation to Save the bears
Fun bags on Amazon
Various Hemp Bags on Amazon
Jute Bags on Amazon Search
Hemp bags on Amazon Search
Canvas bags on Amazon Search
African Bogla Baskets Set Of 2
Uncertain Times in Kenya -
The people of Kenya had their lives and country turned upside down following post-election violence earlier this year. The unrest left a devastating wake, including hundreds of thousands of displaced people still living in camps, many who lost loved ones, and considerable damage to homes and businesses. The economic impact has been severe and far-reaching, leaving people throughout Kenya without ways to make a living while costs of basic needs rise.
Getting people back to work and earning income is a vital part of the reconstruction process. Artisans who are dependent on sales to tourists have been particularly hurt by loss of work since this major facet of Kenya's economy has come to an abrupt halt. The impact on the Bombolulu project with 190 mostly disabled employees and casual workers is devastating since there are hardly any tourists to buy the crafts made by them...In January, sales dropped by 90% compared to the previous year, Director, Hubert Seifert advised.
Although there has been a temporary calm in the violence, the future is uncertain.
When you purchase our African Collectibles, you are helping in the recovery efforts by providing artisans with work at this critical time. This also allows our suppliers to provide additional funds to aid in the rebuilding efforts.
This mesh shopping basket makes a great desk accessory! Use it to hold mail, pens and pencils and other office supplies in style. The Mini Basket also makes a great catch-all in your kitchen or entry way. Just toss your keys or the mail into it when you walk in the door. This Mesh Shopping Basket is so versatile, you can even use it on the counter top or table as a fruit basket. The possibilities are endless! This decorative basket is made of sturdy silver mesh wire, and features two vinyl coa
News about plastic bags around the world - What are countries doing about plastic bags?
- Drycleaners Phase Out Plastic and Improve Profits With The Green Garmento Reusable Drycleaning Bag
Created to eliminate single-use plastic from drycleaning in the same way smaller totes do for groceries, The Green Garmento is having a second surprisingly positive impact: improving drycleaners' revenue. As a result, just six months from its introdu
- Bill would charge nickle for shopping bags -- Courant.com
Some Connecticut lawmakers are hoping to encourage shoppers to use reusable bags by imposing a new nickel fee for every plastic or paper bag they receive at retail stores.
- Viet Nam, Indonesia and Taiwan accused of dumping plastic bags by USA
Viet Nam Indonesia and Taiwan have been accused of dumping plastic bags by two American companies according to Viet Nam's Ministry of Industry and Trade.
- Plastic Bags: Ban and Tax? : TreeHugger
Photo via Flickr: by Zainub San Francisco is the first U.S. city set to ban plastic bags and Los Angeles City Council followed suit, approving a ban, effective July 2010. Last week, they also tacked on a 25-cent fee
- Even ragpickers donÂt pick plastic bags: study
Three years after plastic carry bags below 50 microns were banned in the state, thin plastic thailis or polythene bags continue to be a nuisance in Mumbai with even the ragpickers unwilling to pick them for recycling.
- Eco-friendly plastic bags launched
WASTE Busters, pioneers in recycling of solid waste in Pakistan, have launched biodegradable plastic bags in the provincial capital.
- Shoppers in Hong Kong face plastic-bag tax to cut waste mountain - Monsters and Critics
Hong Kong - Shoppers in Hong Kong were Monday preparing for a plastic bag tax aimed at cutting the city s daily mountain of waste.
- Whale death off Puerto Rico blamed on plastic bags
A rare whale has washed up dead in Puerto Rico, and a biologist is blaming plastic bags for its demise.
More Good Articles on Plastics
- Kitchen Plastic: Easy Greening | Healthy and Green Living
Is it safe to use plastic in the kitchen for food storage or cooking? Find out which plastics to avoid for use with food and read our 12 tips for safely using plastic in the kitchen.
- Alternative uses for plastic bags - Green Daily
Too many plastic bags at your house? Or are you just trying to use up a multi-year stash? If you don't want to just recycle them all, here is a huge list of alternatives from the folks over at Real Simple. See if any of them will work for you.
- Letter: In defense of plastic bags
In a letter to the editor of The Berkshire Eagle in Massachusetts, Shari Jackson, director of Progressive Bag Affiliate for the American Chemistry Council, notes that there is much ingenuity and innovation in the development of plastic bags. For inst
- Going green is in the bag
So before you brew that pot of shade-grown Colombia Supreme from Raleigh's eco-friendly coffee roaster, Larry's Beans, consider the package containing all that shade-grown, Free Trade java goodness. It looks like a plastic bag, feels like a plastic b
- Old pantyhose, bags get new life as handmade rugs
For many people, their idea of recycling plastic grocery bags is probably using them as trash bags. If they reuse old pantyhose, it's to hold moth balls. And they reuse old tube socks as dust rags.
- Local program keeps millions of plastic bags out of the dump
It's in the Bag creates jobs for adults with disabilities, while recycling millions of pounds of plastic. "This is what you get when you work at Merrick," a Merrick client named Terry said while showing off his biceps.
- Department launches plastic-free campaign - Fiji Times Online
IN an effort to minimize the use of plastic bags and create awareness on its harmful effects on health and the environment, the Department of Environment has embarked on a festive season campaign.
- Perf Go Green Expands Biodegradable Bag Line
The average garbage bag preserves last night's meatloaf-and anything else sealed within its plastic lining-for 100 years. Pitching a more eco-friendly option to consumers, Perf Go Green launched biodegradable plastic bags back in March. Now the compa
- Giving new life to old plastic grocery bags
Izetta Gorman recycles thousands of plastic bags into beautiful floormats. Each floor mat is unique. The colour and pattern in each one depends on the colours in every bag. At first glance they look very much like old-fashioned cotton braided area ru
- 520 NM BAGS
The 520-nm Reusable Produce and Bulk Item Bags are designed with you and the environment in mind. Use them instead of the flimsy plastic bags you find in the produce and bulk section of your grocery store or take them with you to your local farmers'
- VietNamNet - VN company introduces dissolving bags
A Vietnamese company has released its first batch of self-dissolving plastic bags - a product that promises to solve a big environmental problem.
- OpEdNews Â» PLASTIC BAGS ARE DANGEROUS
Burning plastic bags emits dangerous chemicals. Don't burn plastic bags! They are very toxic. When my neighbor burns her leaves, she burns them plastic bags and all. I wondered what chemicals were coming from burning the plastic bags, so I looked it
- What to do with old plastic baggies
What to do with old plastic baggies by Jennifer on September 11th, 2008 I don't buy plastic bags. To me they're a total waste of energy and plastic, when frankly, containers work just as well, but can be reused for years. You do hear stories of th
- Plastics By The Numbers by Heather Ramsey
It seems that nearly everything these days has plastic components: cleaning products and drinks come in plastic bottles, toys are either made from it or come packaged in it, and we store our food with plastic wrap and Tupperware. And, though we tend
- Yellows and Blues | Share - Learn - Green
An adventurer is collecting thousands of recycled 2-liter plastic soda bottles to make a boat and sail it from California to Australia, a journey of 11,000 miles through treacherous seas.
- Do Bioplastics Deserve a Seat at Your Table?
Unlike typical plastics made from crude oil, "bioplastics" are often made from plant matter such as corn starch, potato starch, cane sugar, and soy protein. A potentially renewable alternative to petroleum-based plastics would have the long-term bene
- Distinctly Green: Produce finally gets its own reusable bags : Business : Redding Record Searchlight
Checkers at supermarkets are hesitating to ask the question "paper or plastic" with more consumers bringing reusable tote bags.
- What Plastics Do to Your Body | Healthy and Green Living
Chemicals in plastics have been shown to cause cancer, infertility, obesity and early onset of puberty, and plastic is everywhere in your kitchen.
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