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How many offices and businesses are using plastic bags for their trash cans every day? Chances are the waste basket in your office cubicle has a plastic bag in it, which gets thrown away a few times a week, full or not. How many eco-type businesses and events use plastic trash bags? How many farmers markets with their organic and healthy alternatives use plastic bags for produce and have vendors who package their ‘healthy’ products in styrofoam and plastic, flower vendors who wrap bunches of flowers in plastic wrap, and at the end of the day, how many of these markets empty their trash in plastic garbage bags? I’m tired of so called eco-friendly businesses using plastic trash bags and packaging their products in plastic. How many products in stores are sold in plastic packaging that ends up in landfills and oceans? When will product packagers and distributors wake up to the tons of non-biodegradable waste they create? How many single use products are in plastic? How many individual creamers, straws and jelly’s in restaurants. How much waste does a hospital create with disposable instrument packaging, surgery boots, gloves, masks and clothing, saving lives at the cost of polluting our environment? The list never ends. When will we wake up and make change happen? Plastic gloves for food handling, for healthcare? Every day there’s a new product on the shelves of grocery and retail stores composed of or wrapped in plastic. What are we going to do about it??
I read your words every day. It is so depressing. I am an environmental artist who tries to continue the message about the damage of plastics through gallery shows. Yet, I feel so powerless. Yes…shamefully all my trash goes into plastic trash bags. I live in an urban area…in a multi unit bldg. We cannot compost here—and certainly cannot burn trash as my grandparents used to do in the 1960s on the farm.
What can we do???? I bring my own cloth bags to shop and I have cut down on shopping to begin with. The trash in plastic trash bags seems to have no solution right now. Beth, what can we do?
Also what can be done about shampoos in plastic bottles? Chemical soups…on my hair…I have had enough !
Mary Anne, there is a lot we can do! :-)
First of all, there are things you can do to reduce the amount of plastic trash bags you are using. If you recycle, most of the big stuff will go in the recycle bin. No trash bag for that. Then, just keep the wet stuff separate and put it all in one small bag each week. No need to line wastebaskets, or if you do line them, reuse the plastic bags. Don’t throw them out each time. As for composting, if there is any compost facility available (community garden, neighbor who composts, etc.), you can do what my friend Cat does. She lives in NYC and freezes all her food scraps in a bag. Then, every few weeks, she takes them to a compost bin at a community garden in the city. You might have to do a little research to find one. I don’t know where you live.
Shampoo is a very easy solution. There are solid shampoo bars you can switch to. Or use the ‘No Poo’ method that I use, which is a baking soda solution followed by an apple cider vinegar solution. All of these solutions are listed on this blog and in my book. And the book, by the way, is laid out in a very easy to follow, step by step manner.
Hope all this helps! There are solutions!
Thanks Beth. It hits home to read your blog. I had thought I was living green…but now, I realize just how much plastic is in my life. It makes me physically queasy everytime I use something in plastic now. The reality is setting in just how pervasive it is. In the car, typing on computer, daily products.
I thought by creating art in recycled plastic I was doing my part …but I have reached the point, I don’t like even handling it anymore. Creating art that is shown in Green environmental shows….is not enough. You are so right that recycling is giving folks the idea that its ok to buy since it can be “recycled.”
But often plastics are sent over seas where they are burned! Ultimately, the air pollution affects EVERYONE. Just read “The Secret Life of Dust.” It only takes 3 weeks for pollutants from China to reach California shores. several weeks later…its across all of North America.
I also want to share this:
Its in household dust!
Of course its not just phthalates.
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