Apr 22 - The Headache with Plastic Bags

OhMyNews Global Watch writes a compelling Op-Ed looking at the exponential suffocation of Mother Earth by plastic bags. Yes, the ubiquitous plastic bags that consumers pick up from virtually everywhere, even when purchasing single items their hands and arms could easily carry; the plastic bags that consumers are addicted to using for <1 minute for the walk from the grocery store to their car in the parking lot 25 feet away; the bags, which are made from petroleum, used in spite of the increasing demand for oil and spiking oil prices, are landing in landfills (if we’re lucky) and storm drains and rivers and oceans, clogging city drains, killing marine life and taking hundreds of years to even partially degrade. (sigh) Plastic bags, though they are not war mongers with machine guns out to kill the world, are an environmental hazard that consumers need to be educated about. OhMyNews breaks down the issue with plastic bags and advocates an alternative: reusable bags.  

Most of the plastic debris goes into giant landfills which surround major agglomerations.

The chemical compounds which make up the bags may take over a century to decompose. They add to flooding by clogging drains and they suffocate sea creatures such as turtles and manatees.

These polypropane-Earth-stranglers are a constant blight on the urban landscape: collecting in drains, obstructing sewage filters, and acting as an additional hazard during flash floods.

Along with plastic bottles, such waste washes ashore polluting pristine coral reefs and indiscriminately sullying nature’s most magnificent splendors.

There is "good news" on the horizon however. Plastic bags are, as we know, a derivative from oil or petroleum based products.

As the markets dictate, when oil goes up so does the cost of making plastic bags. Eventually supermarkets will no longer be able to give them out for free."

Complete Article

Californians Against Waste is on the attack against plastic bags; CAW is sponsoring AB 2449 (Levine) which will mandate that large grocery stores take back plastic bags from customers for recycling.