Archive for Plastic Bags

A Lesson For Young Smart Asses About ‘Going Green’

Posted in America, Britain, Environment, Europe, Insanity, Modern World, Parenting, Senior Citizen, Teens with tags , , , on 23/11/2012 by floroy1942

Some young people today seem to think they know it all when it comes to saving the planet. Many blame the old folks for not taking greater care of our environment, but just to set them straight here is something I received through the e-mail that should open their eyes, so show it to your kids or send it on to any smart-asses you know.

Being Green

Checking out at the  store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman, that she should bring  her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.

The woman apologized  and explained, “We didn’t have this green thing back in my earlier days.”

The young clerk  responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to  save our environment for future generations.”

She was right — our  generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.

Back then, we returned  milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them  back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use  the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.

But we didn’t have the  green thing back in our day.

Grocery stores bagged  our groceries in brown paper bags, that we reused for numerous things, most  memorable besides household garbage bags, was the use of brown paper bags as  book covers for our schoolbooks. This was to ensure that public property, (the  books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribblings.  Then we were able to personalize our books on the brown paper bags.

But too bad we didn’t  do the green thing back then.

We walked up stairs,  because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. We  walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine  every time we had to go two blocks.

But she was right. We  didn’t have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed  the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throwaway kind. We dried clothes  on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts — wind and  solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got  hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new  clothing.

But that young lady is  right; we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one  TV, or radio, in the house – not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small  screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of  the state of Montana or Province of Ontario . In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because  we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us.. When we packaged a  fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion  it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn’t fire up an  engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran  on human power. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health  club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she’s right; we  didn’t have the green thing back then.

We drank from a  fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every  time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of  buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of  throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But we didn’t have the  green thing back then.

Back then, people took  the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead  of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical  outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances.  And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from  satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger  joint.

But isn’t it sad the  current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we  didn’t have the green thing back then?

Roy.

The Curse Of The Plastic Bag Returns

Posted in Atlantic, Britain, England, Environment, Europe, Government, Illegal Dumping, Insanity, Modern World, Oceans, Pacific, Parliament, Plastic, Plastic Rubbish, Toxic Waste, UK, USA with tags , , , , , , on 29/07/2011 by floroy1942

Despite government campaigns, environmental group actions, and other publicity on the dangers of supermarket plastic bags over the past five years, their use is once again on the rise.

People are turning back to the ‘one-use’ bag instead of the multi-use ones now available. The consumption of these items has risen from 6.1 billion in 2009 to 6.4 billion last year. Not a significant rise you might think, and certainly better than the 10.7 billion bags used in 2006.

The Infamous Plastic Bag

Why shoppers are going back to their old ways and ignoring the danger to the environment is to date a mystery. It would seem people no longer believe in doing what they can to save the planet from pollution, despite the discovery of the Plastic Islands in our oceans. Recycling Minister Lord Henley has suggested that if the current situation continues there may be need for legislation. Personally, I would think the sooner the better!

Although this would not solve the problem completely, for we still use plastic rubbish bin liners for example, it would go a long way to cutting down on the mountains of plastic that are currently polluting our world.

Plastic Bin Liners In Use

This information shows clearly that people are not willing to change their ways, and the supermarkets and retailers too are not interested, despite earlier promises. Therefore I would say legislation is imperative. Laws must be passed to outlaw plastic bags once and for all time from the High Street, and replace them with the old-time paper or cloth bag.

Environmentally Harmless And Recyclable

Paper bags were good enough for generations following Francis Wolle’s invention of the first paper bag making machine in 1852, and everyone used them prior to the introduction of plastic bags by Swedish engineer Sten Gustaf Thulin in the early 1960’s. Since that day the number of plastic bags in circulation has soured and billions are used every day throughout the world.

The largest users by far are the Chinese, but they at least are taking positive steps to cut their usage. Laws introduced in 2008 banned single-use bags and has received a positive response from shoppers.

One side effect of getting rid of billions of plastic bags will be the huge saving made in oil from which they are made. It is estimated the measures taken by China have reduced its oil consumption by around 3 million tonnes of oil per annum. That’s an awful lot of oil! So, what if the ban was total and  world-wide?

Animal Life And Plastic

In order to cut down the massive pollution caused by these items, it is clear that plastic shopping bags should be consigned to history as one of man’s greatest environmental mistakes. Their use, reusable or not, can no longer be justified in today’s world. We have enough pollution problems, and let’s face it, would we really bemoan the loss of the plastic bag when we have so many environmentally friendly alternatives? I think not!

My wife and I keep several cloth shopping bags in the boot of the car and never accept the plastic alternative from the supermarket. It is such a small step, but if more people did that we would not need the plastic bag any more. Obviously, many are either too lazy to take such steps, or just don’t care, which is a shame. It is for this reason I believe legislation in this area is desperately needed.

Headed For The Plastic Island

Shoppers, like most other people, always look to the easiest option and don’t care what happens so long as it doesn’t intrude into own little ‘world’. Perhaps though we should all stop to think about what we are doing to our planet for the sake of our children.

What we do today will have a great impact on their lives!

Food for thought perhaps?

Associated Posts:

https://floroy1942.wordpress.com/2010/02/26/welcome-to-plastic-island/

https://floroy1942.wordpress.com/2010/03/07/the-plastic-island-part-2/

Roy.

What’s in the Package?

Posted in Britain, England, Environment, Europe, Health, Illegal Dumping, Insanity, Modern World, Plastic, Plastic Rubbish, Toxic Waste, UK, USA with tags , , , , , on 17/02/2009 by floroy1942

Supermarket PackagingThe big ‘Tizzwozz’ in the U.K. news today concerns the supermarket packaging of our daily groceries, and what a ‘kerfuffle’ it caused!

Local Councils are complaining they are running out of space to dump all the non-biodegradable packaging that is flowing out of the supermarkets, and the percentage of it that IS recyclable is far too small. Wow! Welcome to the real world guys, you must have been asleep for a long time.

The Plastic Menace

The Plastic Menace

Ever since the good old fully recyclable paper bag disappeared in the fifties, we have been inundated with plastic in various forms when we shop. If you put together all the global plastic rubbish from the last fifty years and placed it all in Africa, the entire continent would probably be buried to a depth of five miles (just a guess) or, adversely, we could fill in the Atlantic and drive to the States!

It does not matter what you buy, most of it is wrapped in plastic or cardboard, but does it need to be? Much of what is sold these days is not just wrapped, it is double wrapped. In the shops we see loose fruit and vegetables sitting next to pre-packed items that are identical. Why!

Acceptable Cardboard

Acceptable Cardboard

A frozen TV dinner is another fine example. It comes often in a sealed tray, which is then inside a cardboard sleeve. If the tray is sealed with a cardboard lid, then what purpose does the extra sleeve serve; good looks? The company logo??

The greatest environmental curse has to be the plastic shopping bag, which has taken over the lives of shoppers everywhere. I would not care to guess what the world-wide consumption in a single day is, I am sure however it would be staggering. If you filled each one to the brim you could probably empty the Mediterranean! As I live in Marbella, I’m glad that’s not likely to happen.

Garbage Backup In Naples Italy

Garbage Backup In Naples Italy

When I shop here at a particular superstore, the till girls have a set of hooks beside the till with plastic bags on it. They open a bag and drop your items in as they come off the bar-code reader and so on. I have often been amazed at how many bags I accumulate for a small number of items. Sometimes I get a bag with only one item in it and they are already getting the next one ready! The mind boggles!

The makers of women’s’ products i.e. perfumes creams etc. ( the kind of thing no decent woman can live without – Oops! Sorry Ladies) are the champions of wasted packaging.

How often have you opened a large beauty product box e.g. perfume, and found a small bottle in the bottom of the box? Whenever I go shopping with my wife for such things, I am amazed at the audacity of these companies, it’s as if they are trying to fool you about how much you are getting for your money. A word to the wise, when shopping for such things, it is advisable to peek inside the box to see just how much you are getting for your hard-earned cash.

Burying It Is Not The Best Solution

Burying It Is Not The Best Solution

Anyway, to sum up; is it time supermarkets and stores cut down on the amount of packaging they foist off on us – Yes! Is it time we started thinking about the number of plastic bags we use – Yes! Is it time we started turning to more biodegradable packaging – Yes! Is there anything we can do about it – not much!

It is possible for shoppers to start re-using plastic bags when they are out and about, and I guess if we all started to remove all the unnecessary packaging at the till and left it there, supermarkets would take notice, but short of that I don’t see much change. Do you?

Keep your chin up – the level of waste is rising!

Roy.

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