I recently – and by recently, I mean over a year ago – saw an article about how a plastic bag ban had been put in place in California (a ban that has since been put on hold). The article spoke of all reasons behind the ban, the pros, the cons, the science. More interesting than the article, however, was the ensuing fury in the comment section.
People – and by people, I mean the detractors – were amazingly passionate about this ban. How dare the government restrict their rights to continue to receive a “free” object of single-use convenience, despite the fact that said free object was being inappropriately disposed of in waterways and public spaces, wreaking havoc on wildlife? Naturally, none of the enraged commenters were ever responsible for inappropriately disposing of a plastic bag. They would never, say, toss out a shredded or pet dookie filled or otherwise grody bag. These were perfect people, with perfect opinions about their perfect behaviors. Based on the fervency of their passions, clearly these people washed and recycled any plastic bag that came into their purview.
Plastic bags do not biodegrade. Light breaks them down into smaller and smaller particles that contaminate the soil and water and are expensive and difficult to remove.
Clean Air Council
I’m not one of those people. I am imperfect. I am disorganized. I totally use and reuse plastic bags and eventually, horrendously, throw them in the garbage. Because I am horrible.
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The truth is, I can’t stand plastic shopping bags. I’m a reusable grocery totes gal and have been for over a decade. And I don’t understand at all – not even a tiny, tiny little bit – why some people demonize the plastic bag ban. Personally, as a canvas convert, I simply cannot stand the clutter plastic bags bring into my life. And when you have as many kids as I do and have to grocery shop multiple times per week – if you allow them in, they can completely overtake the space under the sink.
Sure, I try to avoid them as much as possible, but then inevitably, stupidly, I fall victim to laziness (mine or that of the people I live with), and I have to find a way to coexist peacefully with the rotten things.
But my issues go deeper.
Completely unlike maybe everyone else I know, I have an overactive imagination that has taken my disgust with the objects much further.
You see, every time I use a plastic grocery bag – and ultimately dispose of it – I have this horrible mental image of me toiling in the afterlife, suffering alongside all the plastic bags I’d ever used. The bags follow me around for all eternity. And like a water-drenched Gremlin, they just keep multiplying.
An estimated 3,960,000 tons of plastic bags, sack and wraps are produced annually. Of those, 3,570,000 tons (90%) are discarded.
Environmental Protection Agency & reuseit.com
The point of this missive: As I walked into my kitchen earlier, I located about 67 tons of the foul things under the kitchen sink, all laughing at me in a disorganized way. What is a paranoid plastic hater to do?
Simple. I popped over to my pal, Mr. Internet, and I found a simple storage solution. I’d love to say I was the brain trust behind this genius idea, but alas, I think we all know that would not only be a bad lie, but a horrendously ridiculous one.
No, the idea came from web content developer Katherine Ande’s short YouTube video, wherein she carefully stores plastic bags in a tissue box. As a bag is pulled out of the box, the next pops up, ready for use. How great is that?
What you’ll need:
▪ Empty tissue box
▪ Plastic grocery bags
Start by stuffing a bag into the empty box, making sure the handles stick out of the top of the box.
Lace the next bag’s base through previous bag’s handle (about 6 inches). Shove the excess all down into the box, making sure the handle of the second bag is poking through the tissue box’s opening.
Continue adding bags in this manner until all your bags have been loaded, leaving the handles of the final bag poking through the tissue box opening.
Need a bag? Pull the handles. A bag comes free, pulling the next bag up tissue style, ready for use.