An article over at Groknation regarding a plastic fast peaked piqued my interest today. The article noted:

At the beginning of our group plastic fast, we watched the documentary Bag It, which made it crystal clear that our addiction to plastic is truly frightening. Toxins from plastics have leached into all of our bodies, including the bodies of newborns. There is an island of trash in the ocean that has been estimated as somewhere between the size of Texas and the size of Russia, and a lot of that trash is plastic.

It takes hundreds of years for a plastic bag to decompose, and we use up to a trillion single use bags annually worldwide. I always bring my plastic bags to the recycling bin at the market, but the film highlights what happens to that plastic. It is shipped overseas, where it is sorted by impoverished people who are exposed to toxins. And anyway, the vast majority of plastic bags are not recycled.

I periodically think about plastics: In particular, I think about what our life would be like without them. After all, most are made from petroleum, and that’s a limited resource. Think about all of the products we manufacture — from the plastics in our electronics to the plastics in medical supplies to the plastic insulation in our walls and our plastic piping for sewer lines — that we might not have. Think about what society would be like if we had to depend on cloth, fabric, metal, and glass only. Yes, some plastics can be made from plants, but not all.

So in addition to the trash problem, we have a limited supply and source problem. Keep that in mind the next time you grab a plastic bag for a lunch, or a plastic straw for reusability.

At the end of the Groknation article, there was a list of alternatives. Some I don’t like at all. Some are intriguing. I’d like to mention a few more worth exploring:

  • Bagpodz. This is a pod of 5 or 10 Nylon bags you can bring when you go shopping as easily reusable bags.  We use ours everytime we shop, and we love them for their convenience.
  • Stojo. This are collapsible silicon cups you can use for coffee or tea or whatever. They are reusable and dishwasher safe, and the Stojo Biggie even has a straw.