In the beginning, this project seemed so exciting, but it is becoming frustrated to me. I am getting used to taking my reusable totes into the store with me and requesting take out food or other items to be unbagged. This project has made me more aware of plastic bag usage at places I frequent. However, this new learning behavior is hard to get used to.
I discovered some other ways to eliminate and encourage myself to maintain this project:
- Reuse as more as you can. Use a plastic for as least 3 times before you throw it away.
- Buy less than 10 items, put them in a reusable bag. It costs only 50 cents.
- Never take a plastic bag for orange juice containers or milk containers, or water containers.
- Put 4 or 5 other items into 1 plastic bag
- Go buy groceries at Publix. Bringing a Publix reusable in any shopping time will give you extra points.
- Go buy groceries at Sam’s Club. This business reduces their cost by banning plastic bags.
- Talking to other about your experiences.
- Saving money by becoming a member of Sam’s Club.
- Giving your old reusable bags to friends, relatives.
- Raising the awareness by sharing this post/project.
- Reuse – Reuse – Reuse
Click on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f08mVqyUQdI
Recently, my friend just told me about California banning plastic bags. It started in July 2015. In fact, California is the first state in the U.S to completely ban plastic bags. Previously, various cities and counties had bans on plastic bags. However, plastic bag manufacturers are fighting to appeal this law.
“If this law were allowed to go into effect, it would jeopardize thousands of California manufacturing jobs, hurt the environment and fleece consumers for billions so grocery store shareholders and their union partners can line their pockets” –Lee Califf (executive director of American Progressive Bag Alliance)
Various studies have been completed by environmentalists and shareholders in plastic bag production with possibly skewed results. Finally, I found an article that analyzes non-partisan studies. Here are some important points mentioned in the article:
- Bans Significantly Reduce Energy Use and Waste: A study that looked at San Diego estimated the number of bags one would need for a year. For one person in San Diego to carry all groceries for a year, they would need 375 single-use plastic bags. That equates to 525 MILLION plastic bags for the city in a year. For paper bags, one resident would need 250 to complete a year’s worth of grocery toting. This is 350 million for the year. A resident would only need 5 reusable bags to get them through their shopping a year, only 7 million for the whole city. Wow. Additionally, this study looked into the amount of energy that would be needed to create the total number of bags pre-plastic bag man and post plastic bag ban for San Diego. (SUPB= Single-use a the plastic bag. Re-PE= Reusable polyethylene bag)
- Bans Reduce the Litter Problem: Each year, Americans throw away 100 billion plastic grocery bags. Data from coastal cleanups reports that grocery bags are the 6th most collected item.
- Ban Funds Plastic Bag Manufacturers to Retool Facilities: The banning program provides $2 million in loans so that manufacturers can re-vamp their factories to produce reusable bags. While it is not a shocking amount of money and is all loans, I believe it is extremely significant that it was considered.
In my opinion, I think this is a great step towards reducing unnecessary waste. I am hoping to see other states follow in California’s footsteps. Maybe one day, Georgia will.