Paper or Plastic?

How often are we asked this question in the checkout line at the grocery store?  For California shoppers, however, plastic will no longer be an option come 2015, when the first state ban on single use plastic bags goes into effect. Single use plastic bags can be recycled, but too often they end up in landfills, caught in trees, or floating beside highways like ghostly tumbleweeds.

Are California lawmakers crazy?  Consider these facts about the usage of plastic bags: (1) about 1 million plastic bags are used every minute; (2) a single plastic bag can take up to 1,000 years to degrade; (3) more than 3.5 million tons of plastic bags, sacks and wraps were discarded in 2008; (4) The average family accumulates 60 plastic bags in only four trips to the grocery store.

The world’s oceans now have large floating garbage deposits, made up largely of discarded plastic products. The most famous of these floating disasters is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which is estimated to cover as many square miles as the state of Texas!  Maybe California is on to something.  At the very least, as stewards of our earth we should take note!

 

Posted: October 2, 2014

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