- Politics and Social Issues
Plastic Bags - Let's do something about them or with them!
A big problem...a small solution...
Ah...the plastic bag. While they are found everywhere these days, there was a time when they were more difficult to find. Today they're found in the streets, tree branches and streams - in every corner of this planet.
Are Plastic Grocery Bags Sacking the Environment?
John Roach for National Geographic
The "paper or plastic" conundrum that vexed earnest shoppers throughout the 1980s and 90s is largely moot today. Most grocery store baggers don't bother to ask anymore. They drop the bananas in one plastic bag as they reach for another to hold the six-pack of soda. The pasta sauce and noodles will get one too, as will the dish soap.
Plastic bags are so cheap to produce, sturdy, plentiful, easy to carry and store that they have captured at least 80 percent of the grocery and convenience store market since they were introduced a quarter century ago, according to the Arlington, Virginia-based American Plastics Council.
As a result, the totes are everywhere. They sit balled up and stuffed into the one that hangs from the pantry door. They line bathroom trash bins. They carry clothes to the gym. They clutter landfills. They flap from trees. They float in the breeze. They clog roadside drains. They drift on the high seas. They fill sea turtle bellies. Read the entire article on National Geographic
Tutorials...How To's...DIY - Isn't that what you want? Go ahead...make one!
- Crochet with Plastic Bags on Craft Central Station
- needlepointers contains a list of excellent links to all kinds of crochet with plastic bags. Tutorials on how to prepare the "yarn", hat, purses, rugs, granny squares, etc.
- Crocheting Plastic Grocery Bags into Tote Bags by Amelie Redman, Bethel, AK from Solid Solutions. To get a copy of Solid Solutions contact the EPA Tribal Program, 271-6323
- Top 7 Links For Crocheting With "Yarn" Made From Plastic Bags on about.com
- Instructions for Plastic Bag Crochet Tote on Marlo's Crochet Corner
Think you have no use for those bags? - Check these books out...
Recycled Crochet Bags Video Clips
Some TV show clips and how-to's
What some countries are doing
Germany - consumers use their own bag or pay a tax at the store for a plastic bag.
Brazil - Initiatives are local: the government of the state of Parana' imposed a deadline (11/18/2007) for grocery stores to come up with alternatives to circumvent the problems. Some stores adopted recycling programs, some are utilizing oxi-degradable plastic (degrades in 18 months) and some are selling reusable bags. The state of Sao Paulo launched an awareness campaign. The Federal government is pushing for garbage recycling, which already happens in numerous communities. Brazilians are very resourceful when it comes to recycling.
USA - Each year, the country uses one hundred billion plastic bags. In San Francisco (California), they were replaced by recycled paper bags. Some manufacturers are using corn and potato starch as a raw material. Reusable shopping bags are all the rage.
The grocery store I go to, Kroger, has a Bag-2-Bag program: You take the bags back to their recycle bin and they make them into new bags.
Bangladesh - Because they clog rainwater drainage networks, the plastic bag was banned. The measure includes the manufacture, marketing and use.
Ireland - The government has imposed a specific tax to inhibit use. The measure caused a 90% reduction in use. The money raised is for actions of environmental protection.
Taiwan - Stores are prohibited from offering free bags to the customer, patrons; they face fines.
South Africa - Government banned the use and drafted penalties of fine and imprisonment.
India - To prevent the ingestion of the bags, and death, by cows (sacred animal), some states banned their production, storage, use, sale and distribution. Penalties for infringement are imprisonment and a fine.
Australia- Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts is supporting Clean Up Australia, a national plastic bag awareness campaign Bag Yourself a Better Environment. Retailers and the community are being asked to reduce the use of plastic shopping bags, increase plastic bag recycling, and reduce the amount of plastic bag litter.
Out of Print...Bummer! But it might show in the "used book" listings.