Paper or plastic? How many of you remember that? It was etched into our minds like an image burned onto a computer screen. I feel plastic bags are now so ingrained in American culture, the same as apple pie. Okay maybe I should not associate a staple that's so right, with a man made article that's convenient and yet so destructive to nature and the environment on many levels.
Worldwide as of 2010 there were a total of 500 billion plastic bags used, and it is estimated that 1 million bags are used each minute! Mind boggling figures for sure. It has also been reported that we Americans contribute up to 700 or more pounds of packaging material per person each year to the waste stream and yes this number includes plastic Bags.
We started on this deadly march sometime in 1977 when someone decided it's a good idea to offer consumers plastic Bags. I'm convinced the person that came up with the idea originally thought it was a good one however, the consequences far outweigh the benefits.
In order to manufacture these bags we use non-renewable energy sources, like Oil and coal which are limited resources to make an item that is used once, then discarded into the waste stream only later to cause myriad problems.
What can we do? We can start by using the non disposable shopping bags. Men! It's okay to use these Bags no one will laugh at you. There are also Recycle bins for plastic bags at all Publix Grocery Store locations.