Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Plastic Fantastic!

Here's some food for thought:

California has already banned plastic grocery bags - how long do you think it'll be before the rest of the country follows suit?  Ten years?  Twenty?  Less time than that?

Personally, I switched to using canvas bags about a year ago.  It's great!  I get 5 cents off for each bag I use and they hold a lot more groceries without breaking.  Of course, it's better for the environment because there's less waste.

Growing up in the Seventies, I only remember the brown paper bags.  Any plastic bags I saw were those heavy-duty shopping bags that ususally had the plastic handle on the top that snapped closed (and you were in a pretty fancy-schmancy place if you got one of those (see the photo)!  But the plastic bags we're all used to now are so ubiquitous I can't remember when they came into being.

I don't know about you, but I think they're a pain in the butt!!!  I seem to accumulate them by the thousands with little to no effort!  And it's not just the grocery store, of course - it's every department and discount store too!  But what can you do about it?

Well, if you're arty, you make art with 'em!  :D  My friend Kathi showed us how to make "paper" with plastic bags last year at one of our ATC live trades - it's really fun and surprisingly there is very low odor emission from the plastic, so you can do this inside!  Basically, you put down a layer of parchement papers, pieces of plastic bags, more parchement or wax paper and iron it!  The plastic bags will fuse together to form neat "papers" that you can cut, sew, glue - anything you want!  It's a great way to recycle your bags and have fun doing it!

Here's an ATC I made with my plastic bag stash - and I've got plenty more to choose from for future sessions!  :D


  1. Great idea! Making lemons into lemonade! On a related note, at Metcalf's grocery stores in Madison you have two choices when you use your own bags. 1) receive money off your purchase OR 2) donate that money to a local charity! I like that philosophy. However, I like the idea of charging people to USE plastic bags much more. If we all had to pay for the bags, their use would be eliminated pretty quickly.

  2. Sarah - now THAT'S a great idea! I would love it if our grocery store made it that easy to donate to charity - if every customer donated 20 cents a day, imagine what kind of money that could generate!
    I think at some point we'll have to start charging people to use plastic - there truly is no better incentive for change than to talk to people's wallets, unfortunately.