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Plastic Bags Never Go Away

Plasitc bags are single use items that do not biodegrade and stick around the earth in the ocean forever.

 

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.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Jennifer Shafer Wood September 28, 2012 at 09:22 PM
It is all of ours... You use plastic, then your plastic is in the ocean too.
Sensei Mitch September 30, 2012 at 02:13 AM
I find this kind of funny, the same people who wanted paper bags banned because they kill trees now want plastic bags banned. The same group is all for renewable energy sources because they are "good" for the environment. Aren't trees a renewable source? Make up your mind and while you are at it, bring back paper bags.
Darrell Lucas September 30, 2012 at 08:42 AM
You are correct... I remember this back when I was 10 years old.. '91. For some strange reason we didn't think trees could grow back as fast as they could. OR the forests were depleting quickly.. if we stayed at that same rate. The thing is... We see trees. We can see them disappear. We are lucky that they can come back. We dont 'see' the oil in the ground.
Jennifer Shafer Wood October 03, 2012 at 06:58 PM
How about hemp instead of plastic or paper bags? Hemp can be used for both paper and fuel, it's a renewable resource, and grows quickly. But, it's controversial and illegal, the demonized herb of our modern times... The Constitution was written on hemp, ironically. As for paper versus plastic, use reusable bags. Those can be made from biodegradable materials. Our earth our future... Take care of the living planet, for the sake of the future.
Robin Hood October 03, 2012 at 07:51 PM
Hemp is the future, it would jump start the economy, it can make clothes, fuel, food, medicine, it was part of America as she grew, the canvas wagons? hemp, Levis?, hemp. It just doesn't fit in with big oils and Monsantos plans, not to mention Dupont. If we had hemp bags you could literally throw them out the window and they would just compost. The entire move to outlaw hemp by calling it "marijuana" and scaring people rings true of the propaganda today, scaring people. It's a real shame the way this nation has been led by it's nose, anyone who doesn't think we are controlled ought to watch this-- "Who Killed The Electric Car?" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKgpXDs25TI&list=FLJYB8sCeFFNRhY3bc0g8vYA&index=3&feature=plpp_video

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