We're bagging the plastic bag, or at least trying our best to! Me and the children recently watched a documentary called, 'Bag IT', about plastic bags, and plastic in general. It was an eye opener to say the least. What really hit home for us, was how much plastic is in the ocean!
How the albatross, and sea life consume the plastic. The Albatross are dying from eating it! When we thought about how a single plastic bag or plastic container that we use once is just thrown away, can last forever and there is no away. We as a family decided to make some changes. It's quite an experience, as virtually every thing is made of plastic! Toothbrushes, garbage bags, car parts, bottles, containers, toys, et cetera.
All plastic is not bad. We need to learn what plastic items we can do without and learn to live without them. The plastic bag, being the worst plastic offender.
Plastic is not biodegradable, it is photodegradable. Meaning the sun breaks it down into smaller parts, but it's still here. In the ocean the tiny pieces of plastic look like food to the fish... they eat the plastic, we eat them, we eat plastic. Several countries including India, and China have banned thin plastic one use bags.
Parts of Alaska have banned plastic bags, too. There are communities across the United States also trying to ban them. Plastic bags are not easily recyclable. When you throw away plastic where does it go? Ultimately the ocean, because there is no away... We send what plastic we do not recycle to China ironically, considering they banned plastic bags there.
But there are no environmental laws in China. The poor, working Chinese people sift through our discarded plastic waste, and melt it into a muck. The melting process is disgusting!
So what can we do? Here's what we as a family are learning. Bring your own bags and containers when you shop. Instead of plastic sandwich bags we use plastic containers that can be used over, and over, and over, and then recycled. The hardest plastic habit I am personally trying to break is the garbage bag! Sigh... how do I live with out that?
Every time I put a plastic garbage bag into my trash can, I think about what will happen to it. It's not easy to change habits... I take one step at a time, and have made some changes in our family and we're continuing to change more. Like the Chinese proverb says, " A thousand mile journey begins with the first step."
For a great documentary on the subject, see Bag It The Movie.