The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

Monthly Archives: November 2012

November 28, 2012

Are Plastic Ziploc Bags Suddenly Green or Greenwashed?

Every year I visit the San Francisco Green Festival and wander up and down the aisles of vendor booths, looking for interesting plastic-free products but always finding a ton of plastic packaging.  Organic foods packaged in plastic.  Natural drinks in plastic bottles.  Compostable products shrink-wrapped in plastic.  But this year, my jaw hit the floor when I stumbled across a booth I’d never have expected to see at the Green Festival:  Ziploc.


Why would a brand of plastic bags have a booth at the Green Festival?  Because they have partnered with Recyclebank to reward people who pledge to take back their Ziploc bags to grocery store recycle bins to be recycled.  Notice: Ziploc is not actually taking back the bags.  They are rewarding people who go to the Ziploc page on the Recyclebank website, enter a code from the Ziploc box, and promise to take the bags back to the store.

What happens to plastic bags that are returned to grocery… Read the rest

November 23, 2012

Black Friday: To Buy or Not to Buy?

I’ve got a conundrum.  It’s Black Friday, the day in the U.S. when the holiday shopping frenzy officially begins.  Environmentalists decry this day of conspicuous consumption, advocating Buy Nothing Day instead.  And normally, I would be one of them.  But this year, I actually have something to sell:  my book.  In fact, I’ve planned a super cute gift pack with a copy of Plastic-Free, a copy of the Bag It DVD (which is packaged in a paper pulp case), and a cute reusable cotton gift bag from Green Planet Parties.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you want to look at it), I can’t sell this to you today because demand for the book has been so high, it’s sold out!  The publisher ordered a second printing, but it has been delayed.   The books were supposed to have arrived in the warehouse several weeks ago, but so far, no books.  (Keeping my fingers crossed for this week!)

Now, I have a confession to make:  … Read the rest

November 1, 2012

Confession of an Anti-Plastic Activist Caught Red-Handed With a BPA-Lined Can

I just got back from a week on the East Coast doing book promos and visiting family, and all I got was this stupid Facebook photo

Two days ago, my sister Ellen posted that photo and caption and tagged me.  It would have been funny, if it weren’t my Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup can.  My first reaction was utter embarrassment (for being caught eating out of a can lined with BPA or some other mystery chemical and even more, for eating Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup in the first place), and I asked her to untag me.  Instead, she posted a comment:  Just kidding! That’s my soup.

But it wasn’t her soup, it was mine.  Granted, I didn’t buy it — I found it in a cupboard in my dad’s house — but still… how can I go around advising people to avoid BPA-lined cans if I can’t always resist them myself?  So, after untagging myself and then feeling all weird and guilty, I suddenly realized…… Read the rest