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Urge Borders Book Stores to Use Paper--Not Plastic--Bags for Consumer Purchases

The other day, after browsing through books at Borders, I decide to purchase a few.  I stand in line, wait my turn, and observe the sales associates place purchased merchandise into plastic bags. Immediately, I thought, why doesn’t  Borders use sturdy, reusable paper bags when forgetful customers fail to bring their own reusable bags to transport purchased items.

After a good five minutes, it was my turn at the checkout counter and after paying for my books, I felt compelled to ask if Borders had considered how irresponsible it is to use plastic bags. The tired sales associate simply rolled her eyes and said that she didn’t know. Surprisingly, she mechanically placed my two paperback novels in a bag the size of a white 13 gallon kitchen garbage bag. Perhaps they ran out of smaller bags? In a falsetto of a thanks, I quickly removed my books and receipt from the white garbage bag and I exited the store with my books in hand.

Despite the fact that the plastic bag is a symbol of consumer convenience from the 20th century, it is perhaps the most ubiquitous man-made invention on the planet. Many plastic bags are made from petroleum-based products harvested from fossil fuels, and some plastic bags with designs in ink or colorants contain lead, a harmful contaminate, a toxin.

Each year Americans dispose of over 100 million plastic bags after a single-use of transporting purchased goods from stores like Borders, and the disposal of plastic bags is a very serious problem for the environment and animal welfare. Discarded in landfills, plastic bags do not easily decompose and often last for centuries. Additionally, since plastic bags are so light, they frequently blow away and become deadly litter. Plastic bags plague city streets, public parks, children’s playgrounds, and fences; they clog up ventilation machinery, and end up in streams, rivers, and inevitably oceans. Birds and marine animals suffer horrible and untimely deaths from ingesting or getting caught in plastic bags.

Please contact Borders Book Stores at  (734) 477-1051 and leave a message, urging that they discontinue using non-biodegradable plastic bags.  Or if you prefer, you may visit their website at ( and use their standardized form to send and email requesting that they stop using plastic bags immediately.

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