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Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:22 PM

The Plastic Bag Problem

http://www.motherearthnews.com/nature-community/plastic-bag-problem-ze0z1302zwar.aspx#axzz2JxgZA2TX



“Plastic Free” is a practical guide to educate everyone on the presence of plastic and its harmful effects on the environment. Learn how to rid your life of plastic with pertinent knowledge, realistic application and a commitment to encourage others to limit — or even eliminate —their plastic intake.

Read more: http://www.motherearthnews.com/nature-community/plastic-bag-problem-ze0z1302zwar.aspx#ixzz2KEcnfqX1

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 14 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Plastic Bag Problem (Original post)
ashling Feb 2013 OP
hollysmom Feb 2013 #1
NightWatcher Feb 2013 #3
GoCubsGo Feb 2013 #11
RockaFowler Feb 2013 #13
snooper2 Feb 2013 #5
hollysmom Feb 2013 #8
marions ghost Feb 2013 #2
athena Feb 2013 #4
Mosby Feb 2013 #6
randome Feb 2013 #7
hollysmom Feb 2013 #10
BadgerKid Feb 2013 #9
progressoid Feb 2013 #12
athena Feb 2013 #14

Response to ashling (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:32 PM

1. here is the thing

I have a dog and I walk said dog. Plastic bags are the easiest thing to use to pick up the poop. I suppose if they had cellulose bags, I could use that most of the time, but the flimsiness of plastic allows me to pick up every drop even when the dog is kind of loose that day.
The metal scoops are to heavy to use practically on a 2 mile walk, the alternative is to confine the dog to my yard. But she loves walking in the park.

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Response to hollysmom (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:35 PM

3. Reduce, reuse, recycle. I too use them for the dog and cat box

But other than that I don't get more from the store than I'll use bagging poop. Reduce what you can, reuse what you get for poop, and recycle any additional plastic.

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Response to NightWatcher (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:56 PM

11. I try to use the non-recycleable bags for the cat box.

Most grocery stores will recycle their grocery sacks, which are #2 plastic, but I don't believe any other plastic bags are accepted. I save bread bags and the like for used kitty litter. Otherwise, I bring my own bags for groceries. One of these years, I hope to be in a place where I can just compost whatever comes out of the litter box, as I use non-clay litter.

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Response to GoCubsGo (Reply #11)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 01:24 PM

13. We used to use Newspaper

Plus it kept down on the smell of cat urine!!

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Response to hollysmom (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:41 PM

5. There are lots of uses for plastic bags

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Response to snooper2 (Reply #5)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:51 PM

8. I try

I have 5 cloth bags I bring to the store instead of paper or plastic, I don't get plastic until I am running out of walking bags. I don't use plastic wrap in my house, I use wax paper (which my SIL was surprised they still made) instead for wrapping things. I have glass bowls to contain things (but they have recyclable plastic lids). I rarely drive anywhere when I can walk. I recycle fruits and vegetables in my yard. I drink tap water. I put out garbage once a month, but recyclables every week.

But when the dog poops.... I am weak.

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Response to ashling (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:34 PM

2. sounds like a good resource

Refuse plastic bags. Bring your own.

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Response to ashling (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:37 PM

4. This is a great book.

I had been an environmentalist for many years, but it renewed my motivation. I managed to lower my plastic use even more, using the tips in this book.

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Response to ashling (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:48 PM

6. This is the problem for retailers

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Response to Mosby (Reply #6)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:50 PM

7. Most places you can use your own bag. You don't need to buy one.

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Response to randome (Reply #7)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:53 PM

10. true

but when I am buying heavy stuff, I like my reinforced canvas bags.

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Response to ashling (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:52 PM

9. Assuming most people won't think to limit their using plastic,

I've wondered why there doesn't seem to be any law requiring all plastic packaging to be of type 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7 so that it could be recycled in principle. I understand some places accept only certain types, but you would think at the very least, plastic would be stamped with something.

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Response to BadgerKid (Reply #9)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 01:22 PM

12. Our curb side recycling only accepts types 1 & 2

Anything else has to be taken to the recycling center outside of town. Most people just toss the rest.

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Response to BadgerKid (Reply #9)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 03:26 PM

14. Are you aware than even your #1 and #2 containers are probably not being recycled?

This is one of the things I learned from reading this book. The little number surrounded by arrows on the bottom of a bottle looks like a promise to recycle the bottle, but in fact, it is nothing of the sort. Your milk bottle may be marked #2, and you may have curb-side recycling that accepts #2 bottles, but your bottle will likely end up in a landfill even if you put it in your recycling bin.

http://www.ecologycenter.org/ptf/misconceptions.html

What really happens to plastic containers at a recycling facility is that workers remove anything that is not obviously recyclable. There is no way to sort plastic automatically, and recycling companies can't (or won't) pay workers to spend half a minute on each container looking for the tiny number that may or may not be on it. As a consequence, anything that is not obviously recyclable either ends up in a landfill or gets shipped to China, depending on which part of the U.S. you live in.

Moreover, even when things are recycled, they are almost never recycled back into the same thing. Even #1 soda bottles don't get made back into bottles. Instead, they are made into polar fleece. Plastic bags that get recycled get made into composite lumber. This is why the plastics industry is so pro-recycling. So-called recycling (which should really be called down-cycling) ensures that the demand for virgin plastic never goes down.

This is why "recycling" is the last R in the list of four Rs: Refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle. The best thing you can do for the environment is to refuse plastic in the first place.

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