Sunday, April 28, 2019

Best way to ditch plastic bags

Articles like this one are crazy-making. Sometimes what intuitively should be better for the planet isn’t. This article asserts that plastic bags are easier on the planet than paper or canvas. It makes us all want to throw up our hands a give up! Part of the problem is these analyses don’t measure everything. How do you quantify the impact on our oceans, of entire food webs choking on plastic? Or of the aesthetic impact of bags stuck in trees and cactus?

If you want to skip the crazy-making analysis, just go to the last section of the article with this apt header, “Stop depressing me. Tell me what to do.” There are a few useful principles:

  • Fees work better than bans on plastic bags
  • Reusable bags made from polyester or polypropylene are better than canvas.

Even better, make a bag from non-recyclable trash like dog food/bird seed/horse grain bags. They're really tough. See the one to the right that Richard Sidy's crafty wife, Monique, made from my dog food bag and hay-bale twine using techniques easy enough for a first grader. I can imagine retirement homes making a little business out of this, giving their residents something creative and meaningful to do.

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