Monday, June 08, 2009

Rubbish is smelly when it's not encased in plastic

So I was at the supermarket with my mum, and I was toting 4 of those reusable grocery bags with me. And my mum asks me why I don't want the (still) free plastic bags that they give you at the checkout. So I try to explain to her that the world already has too many plastic bags clogging it's oceans and filling the landfills. And that is why the boy and I use the reusables.

But what do you use for holding your rubbish? she asks.

Um...the old supermarket bags that we still have from previous shopping trips, I tell her.
Well, if you've got so many then you can give me some. I have lots of rubbish and not enough rubbish bags.

And then I remember that we are actually running low on those very instuments of planetary destruction. And what will we do when we run out? Why, we'll leave our reusable bags at home on our next trip to the supermarket, that's what. Because we sure as hell don't want to start paying for rubbish bags, do we?

So...does this make us namby-pamby play-at-eco-awareness semi-lefty hypocrits?


donnasoowho said...

We have the same dilemma - I very diligently bought enviro bags ages ago (which we use for all shopping) but now we have virtually 0 plastic bags. We buy bin liners for the kitchen cause it's a large bin, and I find that supermarket bags get all leaky etc whereas the proper ones are more durable. (I kid myself that actually they're kind of biodegradeable (I think I read it somewhere but maybe they're not...)). But it's quite annoying not having any plastic bags for occasions which arise all the time. When we stop into the supermarket on the way home from work we get the occasional plastic bag which I horde up for a special occasion. 'tis quite sad really.

Angela said...

It just means that you are not throwing away all your aditional bags.
I keep on hand a roll of 4 gallon bags just incase I get sick. Grocery store bags have little holes.

Antoinette said...

It took us a while to get to this solution, but it works for us... Every room has a wastebasket, but only dry stuff is allowed in it, and no food wrappers, etc. In the kitchen, we keep the gigantoid garbage can with the liners we buy at the store. Once a week, on garbage day, we carry all the wastebaskets to the big kitchen garbage bag and empty them out. So we really don't need the plastic shopping bags.

Violet said...

I guess we're going to have to do something similar to what you're all doing - buying large bin liners and trying to use just the one each week. So, doesn't this imply that (free) supermarket bags are somehow more evil than the ones we have to buy?

Kazzer said...

In England, we recycle food waste. You can wrap it in newspaper and put it in a special bin. This reduces the yukky stuff in the main bin, so theoretically you could do without plastic bags. All very well, but the bin men are on strike at the moment and the maggots are having a field day with the food scraps. We also have a recycling bin and a garden waste bin. In fact, half the garden seems to be taken up with bins. The only real answer is for the big corporations to revise their packaging.

Violet said...

That would certainly help (packaging revision, that is). Tho I know that the boy and I could do a lot more about reducing the amount of rubbish we end up with each week.