With the move to get rid of our excess waste and the worlds attention to the environment, why do grocery stores still insist on asking the age old question; “would You Like Paper or Plastic?”.
Since most grocery stores can’t seem to get away from the plastic option, we need to take it upon ourselves to step in and refuse the plastic.
You don’t have to go paper either, there is a better solution.
According to scientists, a single plastic bag can take up to 500 years or longer to photodegrade.
Plastic bags don’t biodegrade. Plastic bags are created from a man made polymer called polyethylene. Microorganisms do not recognize this as food, therefore they don’t degrade.
Plastic bags over time and with consistent exposure the sun will breakdown, but this does not destroy the polymer.
When exposed to the UV radiation from sunlight, polyethylene’s polymer chains become brittle and start to crack.
What this means is that the plastic will eventually fragment into millions of little pieces. It will never be completely gone.
Based on research, when something begins to biodegrade, it gives off Carbon Dioxide, when a plastic bag begins to photodegrade, there is no Carbon Dioxide present, therefore these polymers do not biodegrade.
The U.S. goes through over 100 Billion plastic bags each year, think how long it is going to take for these bags to photodegrade.
We have choices, it’s up to us to make the right choice for the welfare of our environment. There are options out there and the trend is becoming fashionable and trendy.
When you go to the grocery store, instead of selecting paper or plastic, bring your own eco-friendly tote with you.
If you are going for a few items, not shopping for a weeks worth of groceries, save a bag and bring your tote.
Eco-Friendly totes are flying off the shelf. Hundreds of people stood in line in New York City in the pouring rain to get their hands on an eco-friendly tote.
In Taiwan, crowds waiting in line for an eco-friendly tote started a massive riot because there were not enough to satisfy the demand.
People everywhere are refusing the option of paper or plastic and stuffing their totes with their groceries.
Now it’s the grocery store chains turn to lead by example and get rid of these non earth friendly parasites.
Around the world, retailers are looking ata ways to either recycle the plastic bags or even banning them outright.
For example, Retailers in Modbury, England recently committed to ban plastic bags all together. In California, most large grocery stores are legally required to recycle plastic bags.
That is a start, now which states, nations are going to follow suit? We can’t wait for the government to make it mandatory. Since lobbyists work for the enemy, we need to take it upon ourselves and educate our friends, family and neighbors and set the example.
Even if the idea of carrying in a tote to the grocery store does not appeal to you, re-use your plastic bags several times over, or better yet go back to paper.
I like the tote idea myself.