If I told you there was a big problem that you could easily help fix, would you do it? Of course you would!
You’ve seen them gently skipping on the streets, caught in bushes, and fluttering in trees on a windy day. Plastic shopping bags, are an eyesore and a nuisance. Used on average for 12 minutes, they clog our drains and our landfills for thousands of years. They are a danger to marine species including various turtles, porpoises and seabirds, and are often found in their stomachs. Plastic bags have been sarcastically christened the “national flower” in many African countries because of their prevalence in bushes and trees.
The statistics on plastic bag use are staggering. According to the Earth Policy Institute a trillion single-use plastic bags are used each year worldwide. In the USA alone, almost one plastic bag passes the hands of every person each day. The production of plastic bags requires the use of billions of pounds of fossil fuels, billions of gallons of fresh water and results in billions of pounds of solid waste and millions of tons of CO2 every year.
Fortunately, this is one area of environmental concern that is easy to fix. All we have to do is remember to bring our cloth or recycled reusable bags when you shop. You can even reuse the thin produce bags for a few times. I leave those inside my cloth bags so I always have them with me.
Make February 2017 the month you start re-committing to reduce plastic bags in your home, work and community. As a special thank you for helping us protect the planet, Crown Point will provide a reusable tote bag (like the one pictured on the right) to anyone who registers for their CSA share by February 24th, 2017 – which also happens to be National CSA Day!
Monica Bongue-Bartlesman, Ph.D.
There is no such thing as “away”. When we throw anything away it must go somewhere. -Annie Leonard