It started in Canada. Canadians seemed to be ahead of the Americans in the reusable shopping bag trend. When I first started going to Rouse’s grocery store here in New Orleans, they weren’t quite sure what to make of the reusable bags. In Canada, I’d pop my bags onto the conveyor belt with the items for purchase and the bagger knew that the bags were for groceries. At Rouse’s, the cashier thought the bags were part of my purchase! “Where’s the bar code? We sell these?” But they’re used to the idea. I’ve also started using reusable mesh bags for produce. (Oh, reuseit.com, how I love you.) And reuseable sandwich wraps and snack bags.
The idea that I’d buy something to use only once or just a few times and then throw away has been becoming more and more revolting. Buy to throw away. Yuck. And then once thrown away it will take hundreds, if not thousands of years to degrade. So the goal, to not throw away plastic bags.
But what about the garbage bags? They’re plastic too! I am doing all this effort to not use plastic in order to throw away less plastic, and I’m just wrapping up my plastic-less garbage… in plastic. One blogger has done some research into this, and it looks like I might not have an answer for now. Nuts.
Of course, it may not make much of a difference considering that even biodegradable materials may not decompose in landfills, according to Slate.