Paper or Plastic? Using Bags at the Grocery Store

23 May

 

I just got back from the grocery store, and I’m sure the cashier thought I was completely off my rocker. Why? Well, because I refused a bag. My purchase consisted of a box of dishwasher detergent, 2 boxes of macaroni and cheese, a box of crackers, a bag of shredded cheese, a bottle of pasta sauce, a can of soup, a bottle of soda, shampoo, and conditioner. I also had my wallet, phone, and keys, because I didn’t have pockets/purse. So yes, she thought I was crazy.

But if there is any chance that I can carry my items in my arms, I’m going to do it. I hate using plastic. And paper just kills trees (do they even have paper bags any more?). And I usually forget my other, reusable bags. So I opt for inconveniencing myself and carrying them all by hand.

Numbers vary, but one report shows that people in California average about 550 plastic bags per person, per year. If I used that many, and I lived for 60 more years, that would be about 33,000 bags. So, I’ve stopped using them (I’ll be honest, I use them occasionally when I’m having a crappy day, but my bag use is very low). I don’t know if its true or not, but they say recycling the plastic from a bag is more expensive than making a new bag (if you know otherwise, please share!). They might have those plastic bag recycling bins at places like Walmart, but it would be easier for everyone to just eliminate! It may also take hundreds of years for our plastic bags to decompose.

What I want to know is why they don’t start producing plastic bags from corn, like they do with the cups and straws and my university.

What kind of bag do you use when you go shopping? How do you feel about plastic, and plastic users? What nifty “plastics” made from things like corn or potatoes have you come across?

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