Saturday, August 23, 2014


What can one person do about plastic bags that are polluting the world?  We, my husband, John Culllum, and I, are still using plastic bags.

I can blog and remind you guys that what we are doing is harming the world.  Golly, I've blogged about trash a half-dozen times -- describing plastic bags over-filling landfills, clogging lakes, rivers, and oceans that are already filled with trash islands that are cram-jammed with plastic stuff that will never completely degrade even after it becomes -- in 20 to 1000 years -- fragments. The fragmented bits, looking like food, poisoned by chemicals that have created the plastic, continue, like a serial killer, to kill creatures and plants and destroy our ecosystem.

Hey, we've heard most of this bad news before. Why don't we bring previously used bags with us when we shop? Well, we are not lazy, but it's very inconvenient, and ...  well, we forget. My mind is overloaded with blog-writing and publishing routines, and my husband, who buys groceries on his way home from performances and appointments, finds it awkward to bring used plastic bags to the theater or an interview.

The problem is our kitchen garbage can. We fit plastic bags in the can. (two bags in case one leaks). When the can gets full, we remove the bags, put them in the large, heavy duty plasic bag that's in the hall container that our janitor empties once a week. (The city's Sanitation Department disposes of it.) 

Trying, as one small person, to do something, I suggested, "John, we could try to use just one plastic bag in the kitchen can."

Remembering the mess when a bag leaked, John said, "Surely there are some sort of biodegradable liners ..."

I said gee!  Got up from the table, headed for my computer and Googled.

Holy Smoke!  Before my eyes was a page with more than a dozen dealers -- lists of biodegradable bags, liners, all sizes, different strengths -- my God -- phone numbers and links  -- big bags , tall cans, small cans, sandwich bags, food-storage bags -- one box or a case of 25 -- free shipping if you spend $99 -- FDA approved, "completely biodegradable," and prices -- a quick look said they were reasonable.

Hey, we are not poor, and we're not lazy -- we can change our ways, even if it's inconvenient at first.  (If this "plastic bag" blog gets you thinking of doing the same thing -- check; gogreen,com;

Will we actually do it? It could take at least an hour, maybe more on the phone. The new bags might not fit; we might  need a new kitchen can. Will I find reasons not to bother? Probably a lot of people haven't stopped using plastic bags for the same reasons that I haven't stopped.

Well ...  if one person can change, other folks can change.

Hey, busy-lazy-lady --  get up and get going -- change your ways today!


Jeanabella said...

Yes Em, I'm guilty of same! I appreciate the info on where to get biodegradable products!

Carola said...

It's easy for us to use cloth grocery bags because we drive to the supermarket. Since plastic bags have become illegal in our county, we have noticed a shortage of them. We employed our left-over plastic bags for all kinds of uses, and now we don't get them anymore. We save them assiduously. They don't go in the trash. Some of the local non-profits who use plastic bags for one thing or another are actually asking for donations of used plastic bags.

Lisa said...

They've started charging us in LA for bags in stores - and have banned plastic altogether. 10 cents a bag for paper bags, which is expensive! paper is fine, except they are so flimsy they usually break apart in the parking lot! They are trying to get you to spend a dollar on reusable cloth bags that are frankly unsanitary - and not very helpful when you consistently leave them in the back of your car! :)

Gary Alan Henson said...

Thanks for raising awareness to a very good place we can all 'get better'.
It's hard to believe that recycled paper trash can bags would not be economical and useful!

Linda Phillips said...

First of all thank you for Lazy Mary. Shades of my childhood! :-)

Plastic bags used in markets and stores were banned here over a year ago, although my Italian Restaurant still uses them to deliver dishes.

The supermarkets also add a fee for the paper bags, which is unavoidable if you order a delivery online.

My hands are quite weak and my ability to fold paper shopping bags is nil. So for me it has become a giant pain in the butt. I totally understand the reasoning, but for someone with band hand usage those paper shopping bags are a real nightmare.

I am the first to complain about climate change and I worry about the poor Polar bears, but I am caught in a difficult situation and yes, I do feel guilty, but...........