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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Don't Throw It In the Bag



Umm, instead of radio killaaaaa, we got an environment killaaaa - Maybe it's that Walter Berglund in Freedom getting to me or perhaps it's that I've been a bit edgy... For some reason, the excessive amount of plastic bags being distributed at my local deli really struck a nerve this week. Whether it's a 1/2 pint of milk (236 ml- that's not a lot, people), a chocolate bar or a plastic container of salad, they insist on a plastic bag and stack of napkins each time I purchase anything. The staff is very sweet, so I sound like a jerk repeatedly reminding them, "It's OK! I don't need a bag" each time since they never seem to remember or get the clue... Maybe they're so caught up in the routine that is checking people out at the register or something, or sincerely think that a plastic bag is the cherry on top of the service sundae, but these guys know me, and are very well aware that I am just going upstairs, and can hold or better yet- very easily put the 4" x 2" plastic package of Pretzel M &Ms in my oversized Mary Poppins purse. If smaller businesses aren't taking the precautions to handle such frivolous waste, which I know is an ongoing discussion for some environmental agencies in select towns and cities, I would at least hope individuals that work for these places could make an effort to reduce this careless expenditure that occurs on a daily basis, break out of the monotonous day job malaise and ask the customer if it's necessary to receive a bag before they hand over this sometimes useful, yet otherwise slightly ugly material that will only serve to decorate your trash can in less than an hour and clutter streets, landfills or marine life in less than a month after receipt.

Websites That Can Give More Info:
A thorough student paper on the matter titled Plastic Grocery Bags: The Ecological Footprint
http://www.suite101.com/content/say-no-to-plastic-bags-a20241 Of those 100 trillion plastic bags, 1% are recycled? It takes 1000 years for polyethylene bags to break down?
http://inspirationgreen.com/plastic-bag-stats.html This site says that less than 5% are recycled.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/1974750.stm Older article, but still good information.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/1329600.stm And one more!

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I'm an LA transplant now living in Brooklyn. I develop film projects by day, write at night, and have a dangerous predilection for vintage Robinson Golluber scarves- this blog serves as a tiny window to everything else I do when I'm not satisfying those first three passions. I'm trying to blog more and tweet less @annabelleqv. What about you?

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