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Save Plastic: Bring canvas bags to the grocery store!

    1. Heather Mansfield
    2. Petition by

      Heather Mansfield

      Springfield, MO

"Paper or plastic?" has become as commonplace and casual as "Have a nice day." But there's nothing casual about the use of plastic bags and paper bags for groceries in America. According to Worldwatch Institute, factories around the world manufactured 4 to 5 trillion plastic bags per year.  Although many of these bags are recyclable, each year Americans return only 0.6 percent of the 100 billion plastic bags they use and toss the rest.

Are paper bags better? Let's compare paper and plastic. Plastic bag production requires 40 percent less energy, results in 80 percent less solid and 94 percent less waterborne wastes, and generates 70 percent less air pollution than the manufacture of paper bags. Plastic bags also take up less room in landfills.

But many plastic bags are littered or fly away, where they clog up sewers and waterways, become entangled in vegetation and fences, and get caught in the throats of animals. Plastic bags are found in the stomachs of sea turtles and on the shores of remote islands. Once plastic bags are in the environment - whether in a landfill or polluting a lake - it can take hundreds of years for them to decompose, and they contribute toxins to the soil and water as they do.

And paper bags? Although they are more likely to be recycled (about 10 to 15 percent), the environmental impact is staggering. Beyond enormous energy costs, 14 million trees in 1999 alone were cut down to manufacture the 10 billion paper grocery bags used by Americans.

On the other hand, canvas bags are strong and reliable, don't tip over, hold more than plastic bags, and are good for the environment. Take them shopping today!

Source: PLASTIC BAGS? BRING CANVAS SHOPPING BAGS INSTEAD

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    • Carolyn Turner RALEIGH, NC
      • over 5 years ago

      Been doing this one for a while now.  May I take this one step further and suggest buying bags made in your country or made in countries whose human rights actions, etc. you agree with?

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    • Heather Riede N. LAS VEGASN, NV
      • over 5 years ago

      I started using canvas bags over 6 months ago as I (more os my boyfriend than me) was tired of collecting so many plastic ones to take back to the store eventually to be recycled, and even though I was doing that I knew how bad plastic is for the environment and it's better to just reduse one's use as much as possible, because it can only be recycled so much.  I wish I saw more people doing this, as I'm still usually the only one w/these bags when I shop, although I've come across a few others.  I think if you shove them in people's faces enough they'll start to use them, which I'm seeing more at Disneyland where I work, and now they have their own designed reusable bags.  I really think all stores should start charging for the plastic and paper bags to make people think even more about switching and being more environmentally aware.  I love how IKEA already does that.

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    • S M BEAVERTON, OR
      • over 5 years ago

      I've been doing this long before it was "cool".  I am so excited nowadays to see how popular it is getting.  And all the food stores I go to have affordable bags for sale to encourage it (and profit off the green movement).  Now if we could get all the clothing stores, the Apple store, music stores, etc to follow along that would be awesome.

      I only wish we had the bag charge (on plastic and paper) that other countries have.  These bags are not free and people should have to pay for their own wasteful bags instead of it being passed on to all people purchasing in the store.

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    • S M BEAVERTON, OR
      • over 5 years ago

      I've been doing this long before it was "cool".  I am so excited nowadays to see how popular it is getting.  And all the food stores I go to have affordable bags for sale to encourage it (and profit off the green movement).  Now if we could get all the clothing stores, the Apple store, music stores, etc to follow along that would be awesome.

      I only wish we had the bag charge (on plastic and paper) that other countries have.  These bags are not free and people should have to pay for their own wasteful bags instead of it being passed on to all people purchasing in the store.

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    • fang skalblaka LOST VAILY, OR
      • over 5 years ago

      Good going,

       Paper:

      In 2005, it was estimated that the total amount of forest area was around 30% of the land area on the planet, just under 24,856,000 square miles, but this is quickly disappearing. Overall, deforestation has been taking place at a pace of about 80,782 square miles per year during the period of 1990–2005 (an area roughly the size of Greece). Essentially, this is equivalent to a loss of about 221.32 square miles of forest per day or an area equivalent to about 2.5 football fields per minute.

      Or Plastic:

      Plastic is turning a vast area of the ocean into an ecological nightmare. Plastics, like diamonds, are forever. Plastic doesn't biodegrade, it photo-degrades - a process in which it is broken down by sunlight into smaller and smaller pieces, all of which are still plastic, eventually becoming individual molecules of plastic, still too tough for anything to decompose. For the last 50 years or so, every piece of plastic that has made it away from our shores to the Pacific Ocean has been breaking down and accumulating in the Central Pacific referred to as the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch". The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a plastic trash continent twice the size of the state of Texas, and it is continuing to grow. Every second Americans throw away 700 bottles made of plastic and only 140 of those are ever likely to be recycled.

      And how about this


      one aluminum soda can
      225 WH's of power saved

      one glass bottle
      400 WH's of power saved

      one pound of paper
      6.15 KWH's of power saved

      one pound of steel
      (may vary)
      1.5 KWH's of power saved

      If every aluminum soda can was recycled the power saved would run the USA for the next 2 thousand years. Need I say more.
      Thanks and God bless
      Fang













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