Posted by: thormiller | February 17, 2009

Paper or Plastic?

It’s a question nearly everyone over the age of 16 has heard in a grocery store: “do you want paper or plastic?” It seems like a very benign question and up until recently, I was like many other people and replied, “what’s ever easier for you.”

That was until I started reading about the plastic bag problem in many of the world’s oceans. The Surfrider Foundation has started a movement to “bag the bag.”

According to an article in the National Geographic, plastic bags are being found in the ocean floating along like artificial jellyfish, and even worse, they’re being found in the stomachs of dead sea birds and mammals like endangered sea turtles.

plastic bag in a reef courtesty of the Monterey Bay Aquarium

plastic bag in a reef courtesty of the Monterey Bay Aquarium

Many cities in California are already on board to stop plastic bags from being used in grocery stores and other shops. San Francisco and Los Angeles are the two major cities to stop plastic from clogging up land fills and ending up in the ocean. Even China has banned the bag and home furnishings giant IKEA has stopped using plastic bags in its stores.

The beauty about this movement, it the ease of doing your part. When asked a simple question like, “paper or plastic,” just choose paper, or better yet, shop at stores like Trader Joes or Market of Choice that give customers a small discount for using their own reusable nylon bag.


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