Time--2017 A to Z Theme

My theme for the 2018 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is "Cleaning the Clutter"--I might literally be cleaning my closets or figuratively clearing the excess from some other part of my life. I'm sure you can think of other things this could mean for you as well.

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Plastic Bags ( #AtoZChallenge )



          I still remember when the grocery bagger would ask, "Paper or plastic?"   Now they ask if you brought your own bags or do you want to buy some?  But that's California.  Perhaps coming to a town near you...










Picking P's 

        For the letter "P" I had first considered using "Plethora of Pants" as my topic because it sounded funny to me.  I do indeed have lots of pairs of pants. If I wore a different pair every day I could probably go for a month without repeating.

        "Pieces of the Puzzle" was the next thing that came to mind.  All of my A to Z posts in this series are pieces of a larger puzzle, but I guess all the posts on this blog are pieces of an even larger puzzle.  I like pondering metaphorical puzzle pieces to try to put them in proper place.  However, I decided to postpone the puzzle post. 

         Then I thought about the large plastic trash bags filled with smaller plastic grocery bags.  The bags are something else I have in my garage.  For many years I've saved the bags for utilitarian household purposes such as trash can liners, totes, wrapping, or whatever reason I might need them.  As time went by I kept bringing more grocery bags home than I was using.  They were amassing to an obtrusive degree.

        Eventually I decided to start throwing them in the recycle bin now and then.  That plan came to an end when the California government decided to ban the plastic bags.   Now we had to bring our own carriers to the store or buy reusable bags.   I put a hold on my mission of getting rid of my cache of plastic bags.  Now I'd be using them up.

          The Bag Ban has been in effect for over a year now.   For the most part I've gotten used to bringing my own bags into the store.  At the rate I've been using the old grocery bags I figure I'll have enough to last probably a few years.  They're talking in the California government about banning plastic straws next.   In a few years I can imagine that we'll have to take our own reusable cups to places where they sell fountain drinks.  When that happens I'd say that there will be a big business in selling reusable cups to people who want to buy a drink.

           I think I see where this might be going.  People will get used to it I suppose.

            What do you do with your plastic grocery bags?   Has your local or state government banned anything that you have found to be useful?    Do you sometimes think of your life as a puzzle that you are still trying to figure out?
            







32 comments:

  1. I did not like it when a law was passed banning free plastic bags in shops, although we can still buy one, but that is changing soon. A friend saved the day by giving me 3 colourful and lightweight shopping bags that I can easily take with me. Like you I still have a stash of plastic carriers. I wonder what has happened to the firms that make plastic carrier bags. Wth millions less being used their profits must have taken a hit.

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    1. Zannie, the economics of the whole thing is suspect. Maybe some of the bag companies started making the new reusable bags.

      Lee

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  2. I have been using my own cloth bags (mostly) for several years now. The plastic ones I do get line garbage cans. I really don't find it a hardship at all. I just keep my bags in my car for when I shop. As for straws, well, do we really need them? We can drink without, right? But to tell the truth, the two things that really get me are water bottles and "K" cups from coffee. In a world that knows how dangerous plastic is to our environment, how is it possible we accept these things? I get the convenience, but at what cost? By the way, someone in my town figured out a way to braid the plastic bags together to make attractive and usable pocketbooks!

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    1. Liza, drinking in the car or on the go calls for using a straw I think. I think the technology needs to keep evolving to improve.

      Lee

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  3. We reuse the plastic bags given to us from almost every shopping experience, as trash can liners. However, a few towns/cities over they have been banned and if you request them you have to pay for them.
    It is funny to me how things change. It use to be would like paper or plastic. Now for many, it's did you bring a bag. I do not know how many bags I have purchased and current don't use.
    Thank you for your post. It has brought my attention back to using what I have bought with a purpose.

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    1. Mrsjrll, I've started carrying a lot of the reusable bags in the car. But I still have more in the house. More bag clutter.

      Lee

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  4. I never remember to take the bags I bought to the store (sigh). But I do reuse the plastic bags for trash liners or quick trips to the dumpster when I don't want to put (whatever) in the kitchen trash. I have had to throw a few out on occasion - when I've amassed way too many ;-)
    I do liken life to a jigsaw puzzle. I just hope none of my pieces are missing when the time comes.

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    1. Diedre, I believe that a lot of us are like you and me. Maybe it's good to think about socially conscientious things, but over-thinking it might be related to the missing puzzle pieces.

      Lee

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  5. The plastic bag ban shows how easy it is to make a huge difference, and after a while, who really notices anymore. Plastic straws and bottles definitely next, and I reckon we will all manage to cope :-)
    https://iainkellywriting.com/2018/04/18/p-is-for-prague-czech-republic/

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    1. Iain, we fall in step with what the government and society provide us and as some us remember things past, new generations accept the lot they have been given.

      Lee

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  6. I have quite a stack of 'disposable' plastic carrier bags too. Hopefully I reused all the biodegradeable ones they used to make before they disintegrated. I mostly take my own bags when i go out for shopping but prone to forgetting at times. Since free plastic carrier bags have been banned in the UK the online supermarket I use has reverted to a thicker plastic - in-store you pay per bag but for the online service you pay 40pence however many bags are needed and they pack my shopping in far too many bags! They will collect used bags to recycle (unlike the local authority recycling service) but I have plenty of uses to put them to. I've even got a small archival collection of carrier bags saved to one side when those local shops closed down. I don't really know why I'd want to do that, but I have. (I noticed you've asked for a link to be left by commenters so letting you know my official signed-up blog is The Wishing Well with my latest still life themed art post at https://bedressed.wordpress.com/2018/04/18/az-peeping-into-p/ I'm sure you're super busy though so please don't feel obliged to reciprocate.

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    1. Colette, when CA grocery stores were still allowed to hand out the old bags, they did have a place in the front of the store for people to bring back bags to by recycled. I never remembered to do that .

      I'll hopefully get to your blog soon. Now I'm falling behind. I just finished writing my post for tomorrow.

      Lee

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  7. My state is just as wasteful as ever, so plastic bag ban here.

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    1. Alex, wasteful can mean a lot of things. Your state is a pretty nice one and I've been there a lot.

      Lee

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  8. We are devoted to recycling, to the point that my husband growls at me. Plastic bags were blowing in the wind a few years ago. Not so much now.

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    1. Susan, I've long been into recycling and so has my brother. It's strange that since the bag ban I see more trash on the streets than ever.

      Lee

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  9. Sounds like you need to wait for the next big wildfire...

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    1. CW, if I have to wait for a wildfire in my neighborhood then it's gonna be big and catastrophic. Not a lot of easy fuel where I live.

      Lee

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  10. My husband reuses the plastic grocery bags for his lunch bag. We have several nice lunch carriers, but he prefers just tossing everything into those plastic bags (needs no rhyme or reason, no fuss in trying to get everything to fit)!

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    1. Trudy, back when I was working I used to do the same. Often I'd have more bags of other stuff.

      Lee

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  11. We use our plastic bags for kitty litter.

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    1. L.Diane, I used to do that when I had a cat. An excellent use for those bags.

      Lee

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  12. We don't have to bring our own bags yet. Service gets skimpier all in the nameof ecology.

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    1. Pop Tart, what I wish is that when they ban something useful, they'd have a good substitute or alternate solution in place. I'm all for ecology.

      Lee

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  13. Yep, we use our plastic bags for trash liners too. I have about 20 or so cloth type bags in the car for use when shopping and I always remember to bring them since they are there. They don't even offer plastic where we are but you can buy a paper one for a quarter.

    Janet’s Smiles

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  14. As a matter of fact, I just called our recycle place today to see if that were the case. It was. I can't figure out why they never sent a notice around. We got one at church (a notice) from a different company. So I thought I'd check. And sure enough! No platic bags -- they get caught in the machinery they said. But the one at church talked about the decline in the demand for that plastic. So who really knows? But I DO see your vision of the future unfolding!

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  15. I have that same large plastic bag filled with smaller plastic bags. Our town's largest grocery store has switched to biodegradable plastic. The bags claim to break down within four years. This makes plastic bag storage interesting because my bags start breaking down if I do not use them fast enough. I pulled one out the other day and it had small holes all over it. I went through them and tossed a bunch of bags.

    Other stores in town still use standard, stay for the next 500 years, plastic bags. Paper is not offered here.

    It threw me off when I visited my dad in California last year when every store I went to asked if I wanted to buy a bag for $.25. Even at clothing stores. I quickly learned to bring bags everywhere!

    Keep your eyes out for bamboo straws! There is a restaurant here that says they will start using them soon.

    Emily In Ecuador

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  16. I'm glad that there is an awareness of plastic and how it's not good. I use cloth bags for shopping. I read that 2 million plastic bags are used every MINUTE across the world .. an Earth Day notice about earth day on 22 April ..

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  17. We have to pay for our plastic bags at the shops, My how times have cahnged.

    Yvonne.

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  18. Back in the day, I used leftover plastic bags for used diapers (got two childrens). Now, because of the change at work on how trash/recycling items are disposed of, we have to use plastic bags as mini-trash can liners, which basically means that we have to empty our own trash. I have a drawer full of about a baker's dozen of trash bags.

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  19. I have reusable bags that I take to Aldi for my regular shopping. The Walmart bags (and there are scads of them, as they only put a couple of items in each bag) I use to scoop the cats' litter box. I also carry my own reusable cup (knock off Yeti) and washable straw, because I felt bad about all the styrofoam cups I was going through for my daily Diet Dr Pepper, plus it keeps it colder and doesn't tip as easily....

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  20. My life does feel like one dumb ass puzzle but I like puzzles so it will all work out. We still have plastic bags but they strongly encourage to buy their bags or plastic boxes or bring your own otherwise it costs 5 cents per plastic bag. I would use the bags for my dog’s poop but now we just recycle them. Thank goodness they recycle bags but I do love my straws! Sometimes the restaurant glasses look ..not that clean and I don’t feel like placing my lips on it. I remember these wonky straws my mom got for my brother and I when I was a kid and they were reusable. They were funky straws.

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Lee