Posts Tagged ‘recycle’

Paper or plastic? …or cloth?

Monday, February 11th, 2008

Perhaps very soon, I will have to bring my own bag to the store. It sounds good to ban all those plastic bags, but is it realistic? These bags are flying all over the place. I see birds collide with them in midair; turtles I see while snorkeling always have them wrapped around their necks as if they were lei. Really? Considering how many of these things are out there, I don’t see many of them around. I see way more diapers in parking lots. After thses bags make it home, does anyone just throw them away? I’m thinking that most are filled with trash or dog poop. It is the luggage of choice for our local homeless.

I do foresee having dozens of these cloth bags under our kitchen sinks soon. We will amass them as a result of showing up at Long’s without a bag and being forced to buy a fabric one that we can use hundreds of times. The cloth bag idea is good in an ideal situation. A family is lounging at home as Mom or Dad announces, “Hey everyone, we are all going to Foodland right now, get the fabric bags!” But aren’t many of our visits to the store unplanned? This is where I think we will begin our bag collection.

On a recent trip to the mainland a store gave me a bag that looked like the kind we get here but this one said “biodegradable”. What does that mean? It takes only 100 years to breakdown and the type we use now takes 500 years? Could we use these new types?

The thing I would miss most about those bags is using them in my trashcans at home. Don’t we all do that? I favor the bags from Don Quixote and Price Buster’s. Wal-Mart used to have good ones, but they got to small. I take a few of the bigger ones from the divider behind the cashier. Safeway’s suck. I remember my Mom buying Glad trash bags at the time when the grocery stores used paper bags. I guess we’ll have to buy those again. Won’t we still have the same amount of bags then? I think we may all need to go without liners. We would just need to rinse our cans often. I can see the trash truck driving by dripping…peeeyoooh!

I’ve wondered how something decomposes when it’s put in a bag first. When I clean and cut fish I put all the scraps in a plastic bag and knot it up tight. People do the same with dog shit. I wonder how that all ferments in the landfill. If the bags lasts a 100 years I imagine mutant life forming from within.

I’ll go with the fabric bag then. My Mom and I just picked up some cool ones from Target in Tampa for $1 each. In the kitchen I’ll rotate a small trashcan. I’ll dump my full kitchen can into the city one outside. I’ll have to rinse out the kitchen one and leave it out to dry, then take a second one back inside. This may not work for the condo folk. For me, a minor inconvenience for the sake of birds and sea life.

Mark Ida