Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Jellyfish or Plastic Bag?

To You: a convenient way to carry your vegetables

To a seal: it looks like a jellyfish, gets eaten and could choke the seal or if the seal eats a lot of plastic bags, its gut will be so filled with plastic it has no room for real food and it will die.

To avoid this happening:

shop in shops that use paper produce bags

take along your own fabric produce bags

avoid using produce bags of any type, where possible

talk to the managers of the shops where you buy fruit and veg and get them to reduce their use of plastic, move to using cloth produce bags or at least paper.

reuse all plastic bags you get - this size of plastic bag for example is a perfect fit for our bedroom bin.

Paper bags are not entirely perfect, it needs possibly even more energy to make paper bags than to make plastic bags but sea creatures don't die from ingesting or becoming trapped in paper bags and as Yowlyy points out in the comments below, paper bags can usually be composted. Cloth bags, on the other hand, are very long lasting, you can see two of mine here.

11 comments:

YowlYY said...

I agree fully! I saw a documentary not long ago, showing chicks of some sea bird that also died because they were fed plastic bags by their parents, who did not realize their error. It was very sad and I wish that plastic bags were charged for in supermarkets. I started using cloth bags in the late '80s when I was living in Germany. Already back then, the shops offered their canvas bags for shopping for a small charge. I must have dozens of them all over in the house, and every bag of backpack has at least one at the very bottom, waiting to be used.
The paper bags that are used in Germany are of the recycled sort and compost very well. Almost every butcher or grocery has them and I used them as lining for the recyclables bin (what they call Biomüll).

Squirrel said...

I could be completely wrong, but I was under the impression that my local organic foods store uses biodegradable plastic bags that look plastic but feel different, more crinkly, cellulose-based I believe, something worth researching. I also bring about twelve cloth bags with me, no matter how few I use, including one that is insulated for cold stuff. I'm very attached to my washable bags and what goes in each. They all contain memories of the food they carried. No kidding!

Scot said...

great post

Janice Thomson said...

I use fabric bags too - you can put more in them and they don't break like the plastic does, as well as the obvious reasons for using them. It should be mandatory to use cloth bags and get rid of such an overuse of dangerous plastic.

bondbloke said...

I could not agree more, to the point that I think if supermarkets in prticular charged £1 for every plastic carrier it would soon reduce their usage. But then I have been told that I favour Draconian methods...

bondbloke said...

P.S. You have just been awarded a Blogging Friends Forever award...

Dave King said...

Can't be rammed home too often!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Thanks for your kind visit today and for your comment. Edward and I welcome you back anytime.

No plastic bags! Correct. I am beginning to carry my own tote bags to the market, and am encouraged that others are as well.

Lovely blog you have here. We shall return. I am adding you to my blog roll.

Mistlethrush said...

I keep bags in the car boot so I can pop into shops without having to plan far enough ahead to remember to take one. So all I have to do is remember to get them out of the boot...

Rabbits' Guy said...

Plastic will cost $.20 a bag after the first of the year in Seattle!

Floating plastic bags a big problem all over Puget Sound ...

Unfortunately, many of the cloth bags being sold in knee-jerk fashion are made in China!

my verification word is blytosme which is probably latin for floating plastic!

sarala said...

We're trying here but I'm ashamed of all my failures. I've bought the cloth bags and then forgotten to bring them in to the grocery store for example. We have a great compost bin though. I recently gained a new utility for it. We got a pet turtle and it turns out compost is great for finding worms to feed her. Another kind of recycling?