Plastic bags

We have pretty much managed to avoid using plastic bags by using hessian and organic cloth grocery and fruit and vege bags, and baking our own bread. Despite this they still seem to enter our lives so to ensure they exit gracefully here are two suggestions; 
  1. Some Councils are able to accept them for recycling. We tend to wash them and reuse them until they deteriorate prior to recycling,
  2.  Check out this link for some more creative alternative uses for them.

How about starting a campaign to get rid of plastic shopping bags in your area? Check out The Bag Ladies website from Golden Bay for inspiration!

Biodegradable bags can seem like a great alternative to plastic bags and are particularly promoted as bin liners. However, there is a lot of controversy over the wide and varied claims as to what biodegradable means. The main problem is that there are no clear guidelines governing these claims and it is left to consumers to decide what they feel constitutes biodegradable and as consumers we don't neccessarily have the scientific knowledge, resources or time to work it all out.

Some biodegradable plastics are merely standard plastic with a chemical added that makes them break down into fragments faster, but like normal plastic will only break down so far where they can easily enter the food chain. Plastic only ever breaks down into fragments and never completely disappears. Often these fragments find their way into oceans and waterways where they are mistaken as plankton by fish. The other problem is that these smaller fragments tend to attract molecules to themselves and end up being significantly more toxic than when initially produced!

Tags: bags biodegradable bags eco bags fruit plastic recycling shopping vegetables