Paper or Plastic?-
When the grocery store clerk asks, “Paper or Plastic?” do you feel the pressure? Do you glance around to see if someone is watching? Perhaps it’s the young person in line behind you or your very own elementary school child waiting for you to set an example for their future behavior: ‘Is Mom going to help save the planet or not?’
Save the planet or not, you might want to chose plastic over paper. Some genius invented plastic bags and we use them because they are light weight, strong and don’t usually require double-bagging. And they have built in handles, which makes carrying your groceries so much more convenient. It’s a logical choice, or at least it was until someone noticed how plastic things tend to stick around forever. All that convenience comes with a price… hundreds of years in landfills, the ocean filling up with plastic doo-dads, plastic bags wind-blown for miles or forever stuck in trees. That really is a lot of pressure, thinking about the whole world when all you want to do is pay for your groceries and go home.
Guilt-Free Grocery Bags-
Now you can choose a plastic bag without the guilt. You can even use several bags, carrying home your ice cream, cleaning products and meat in separate bags the way you want to, and double bagging them if you choose to do so. A company called Hilex Poly wants you to use all the plastic bags you desire, and with minimal guilt. They want you to recycle those plastic bags; and as a reminder to recycle instead of pitching them out with the trash, (or accumulating a thousand or so bags in a big, crinkled ball under your sink) they’ve marked each grocery bag with a ‘Bag 2 Bag’ logo to remind you it’s okay to choose a plastic bag as long as you bring it back where you got it from .
Hilex Poly operates the largest plastic bag recycling plant in the world. Each Hilex Poly grocery bag comes imprinted with a blue ‘Bag 2 Bag’ logo and a commitment spelled out right there on each bag: “Our Environmental Promise – Plastic bags returned to this store will be recycled into new plastic bags.” That’s a great promise; and each participating grocery store has a big barrel for you to do just that. Even if you do no other recycling, you can drop in your used plastic bags at the grocery store and feel good about the small difference you’re making.
So…… Is it Paper or Plastic?-
So if you feel guilty about wanting to use plastic bags, but not guilty enough to use paper bags, and certainly not guilty enough to refuse a bag altogether and walk out of the grocery store cradling your purchases in your arms; or if you simply can’t see yourself carrying a reusable shopping tote wherever you go on the off chance you may make a grocery store stop on the way home…. no matter how politically correct that might be, think Bag 2 Bag.
The next time the cashier asks “Paper or Plastic,” even if you don’t see a ‘Bag 2 Bag’ logo, just relax. Remember you can use all the plastic bags you want as long as you recycle them. Many plastic bags are recyclable; and plenty of grocery stores have had plastic bag collection programs in place for years. Now is a good time for you to take advantage of the one in your grocery store. If your store doesn’t have a bag recycling program, they might start one if you suggest it.
For a few other timely Green ideas, please be sure to check out these links:
Think Green – The Family Swap Meet
The Designated Recycler
Green Cleaning Products
How To Create Green Jewelry
How To Make a Tacky Plastic Homeade Christmas Wreath
Creating Green Jewelry – Turn a Target Pharmacy Bottle Into Wearable Art