It’s confession time again. I am sick and tired of washing out plastic bags. To get them really clean, you have to scrub and rinse all four sides. And then they take forever to dry, even with this handy Bag-e-Wash plastic bag dryer.
The thing is, in my August 28 post, I said one of the Fake Plastic Fish guidelines was to “reuse existing plastic as many times as possible before throwing it away or recycling it.”
And to make matters worse, in my September 17 post, I bragged about how “some of my best friends are plastic bags,” discussing all the handy things that we can do with them instead of tossing them out for recycling. That was the infamous “tea party” post.
And while I still don’t believe that plastic bags are evil, I can’t say they’re my best friends anymore either. I procrastinate washing them out because it’s tedious work (and uses a lot of water, too), and then I end up with a sinkful taunting me every time I come into the kitchen. That’s not so friendly, is it?
I’m ready to take all the plastic bags I have left to the Safeway recycling bin and be done with them once and for all. In a comment on the plastic bag tea party post, Rejin asked, “Doesn’t it prolong our dependence on plastic (bags) if we get creative about how to use them?” Maybe she’s right. Or maybe I’m just lazy. I’m already not the best dish washer in the world. And some people, like another reader, Axelle, are so good about washing out their bags that they actually take the time to dry them with a towel before hanging them neatly in the closet!
So what’s my point here? We can’t all be saints and preserve every last resource on earth. I’m going to give myself a break; take those bags to be recycled; and get on with using organic cotton produce bags for everything from produce to dry bulk goods. They are so easy to pop into the washing machine. And I think that tossing a few cotton bags in with the rest of the laundry once a week probably uses a lot less water and energy than hand-washing plastic bags.
I’m really tired and grumpy today. Good thing I’m leaving Thursday night for a weekend meditation retreat. We’ll have a special guest-post from Michael, a.k.a. Terrible Person, writing from the husband’s perspective, Friday morning. Hope you’ll enjoy it. I’ll be back again Sunday night to tally the mountains of plastic I dragged out this week. It’s going to be a doozy.
Update: Here’s how I keep bread fresh without plastic bags.