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1 posts from June 2003

June 18, 2003

It's Not My Bag, Baby!

NRDC's Magazine, OnEarth

 It was the grooviest thing to come along since, oh, Tupperware, but after 25 years the plastic bag is proving that, indeed, breaking up is hard to do...

Nothing epitomizes better the mindless profligacy of our consumer culture than these cheap, flimsy, yet depressingly indestructible little bags that get caught in our trees, blow down streets, and wash up on our beaches. Look around -- they're everywhere. Americans throw away one hundred billion polyethylene bags a year. They choke thousands of marine animals annually; the inks used to print all those smiley faces break down in landfills and create a toxic seep. Though plastic bags take up less than four percent of all landfill space (they're easily compressed), estimates on how long they take to decompose range from a hundred years to a thousand, despite what the bag boys at my local supermarket think... 

Link: NRDC: OnEarth Magazine, Summer 2003 - It's Not My Bag, Baby!.