Friday, May 9, 2008

And more on bags:

OK, so I have continued to use my reusable bags everywhere we go and have also purchased some for friends and family (Wait till you see what I got you for your birthday Mom!!)

AND.....I was watching the progress as reported by different companies. I read on Life Less Plastic that she has seen more people using paper bags than reusable at her local Whole Foods.

And the PBA (Progressive Bag Alliance) has actually said that :
Any plan to replace plastic bags with paper bags will yield negative
impacts on the environment. According to statistics published by the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency and other European studies, plastic bags use
40% less energy to produce, generate 80% less solid waste than paper, and
produce less than half the greenhouse gas emissions. Paper bags generate 70%
more emissions and 50 times more water pollutants than plastic bags. Studies
have also shown that one pound of paper requires 91% more energy to recycle
than one pound of plastic.


Now of course, this is a study that they commissioned (being as they are, by their own description "non-profit association of plastic bag manufacturers promoting environmentally responsible plastic bag use")

Is that kinda like the Big Pharms commissioning vaccine studies?

Granted reusable bags, use only the energy it takes to pull them out of your car/purse/backpack and carry them throughout the store..and since I always use a grocery cart inside the store, I use very little energy;)

ANYwhooslbeez....I asked the checker the other day at Sunflower, my local market that has done way with the plastic bags how THEY are doing? What are they seeing? He said from his point of view, he has seen more people using the reusable bags. His estimate was about 1/3 of his customers. This is a store that sells 6 different varieties of reusable bags though, so you should be able to find one to your liking. They have given a credit for reusable bags since I've been shopping there. (About 5 years now)
He also said that he has a few people that actually bring back the plastic or paper disposable bags to reuse at the store also.
Another option is do what we have done in my household:
Go to Goodwill and get some canvas/reusable bags. We have some interesting screened designs on our bags! Always good conversation starters!

My friend J just gave me a canvas bag today that was destined for the landfill until she rescued it--BRAND NEW--still with the creases in it that reads "Nurses, Dedicated to Caring" and it has a beautiful colorful design and a reinforced bottom on it!

There are a variety of sites dedicated to reusable bags. My favorite is, well, Reusablebags.com. They have a HUGE variety (and also some nice stainless steel water bottles!)

I'll have to keep watching to see how this change of lifestyle plays out because, seriously, for most people, this is a NEW idea. And some people aren't all that open to change.
But if my brother can use canvas grocery bags, ANYONE can...

  • How about you?
  • Are you using bags?
  • What kind?
  • From where?
  • For how long?
  • What made you start and have you missed the plastic ones?
Looking forward to hearing the feedback on this one...

1 comment:

Karen said...

It's funny to think of the evolution of grocery store bags. When I was a kid it was only paper. Then plastic was The Thing. And for grocery stores they were so much cheaper. We were taught (at Smith's #197 at Swan & Grant in Tucson) to only ask, "Is plastic ok?" rather than "Paper or plastic?" And at some point the checkers & baggers just stopped asking.

It was about half way through my career in the grocery biz that I started noticing people bringing in their own bags. And our chain gave a 5 cents a bag credit to encourage it. But there was still some underlying feeling about the odd people that came in with these reusable canvas bags. Maybe that's what stuck with me because although I've known about the idea of bringing my own bags it took me about 15 years to start doing it myself. Now I am so happy. Mostly because I hated bringing home so many bags when a bagger used one for just a few items. And if they were filled with too many things or things with sharp edges they ripped. Yay cloth. And yay to my old man who remembers cloth most of the time now too.