Monday, August 18, 2008

Word on the street: Plastic or plastic?

The scene: My email inbox. What follows is an exchange between several of my relatives regarding the environmental impact of plastic bags. All original formatting is retained. Names are removed to protect the innocent.

Original email from Uncle #1: a powerpoint detailing the horror that plastic bags wreck on the planet.

Aunt #1: AN EMAIL WORTHY OF SENDING. THANK YOU. I'VE BOUGHT MY SHOPPING BAGS. HAVE YOU????? AND ARE WE ALL RECYCLING??? IT DOESN'T TAKE MUCH EFFORT. LET US ALL DO OUR PART. I DON'T KNOW ABOUT THE REST OF YOU BUT IT BREAKS MY HEART TO SEE THE ANIMALS SUFFER AND OUR BEAUTIFUL PLANET DESTROYED. THANKS AGAIN [UNCLE #1]. LOVE, [AUNT #1]

Cousin #1: I am right there with you. I actually got tired of all the bags I had to recycle and purchased my own bags several months ago. They hold more than the plastic bags and I even get 3 cents per bag off my grocery bill every time I use them. Now that isn't to bad. Something for everyone to consider.

Cousin #2: Good morning, everyone. So glad to see that [Uncle #1] sent such an important e-mail to all of the family. As many of you know, I am a bit of a recycling fiend. However, as [Cousin #1] stated using your own cloth bags will get you a small but (in the scope of things) significant discount. Reusing plastic bags is also another way of getting the most out of the bags you have. Produce bags can be rinsed and reused when you return to the market for your next round of lettuce, apples, etc. The grocery store will NOT throw you out for bringing your own bags and I just store them in the cloth bags in my car - so they do not cause "clutter" in my house.

I know some you the non-believers in the group are saying well what about trash bags, produce bags, etc. There are many brands of bags made from recycled plastic and there are even "bio-degradable" trash/storage bags. These items can be found in most Target's or at your local co-op or health food store. If you are an Internet shopper, the possibilities are endless.

Thanks for taking an interest and I hope this inspires us to influence our friends, families and children to make a positive impact.

Uncle #2: I am proud to tell you all that [Aunt #2] has been cloth bagging for a couple of years and saves the few plastic bags that the store forces her to take for recycling. When you consider all the layers of wrap we just take for granted and then the store puts each item in a bag and then puts all the little bags into big bags. I am not a tree hugger but that nonsense makes me want to spit. It may not be a big thing but it is a lot of little things done by us all is what makes the difference.

Cousin #3: Dear Family, (especially [Uncle #2]),
I am proud to tell you all that when I go to the grocery store, I ask to have every item I purchase individually bagged in plastic bags so I wind up with tons of plastic bags when I get home which I recycle by picking up my dogs poop with them. When you consider all the layers of wrap we just take for granted and then the store puts each item in a bag and then puts all the little bags into big bags, I am not a tree hugger but that nonsense makes me want to thank goodness I get a lot of bags for poop! It may not be a big thing but it is a lot of little poops around my yard, that equal one big poop, that makes the difference.
love [Cousin #3]

Uncle #2: Dear [expletive meaning poop] bagger,

[Aunt #2] says to pick up the poop in newspapers and then send it to the landfill. That will help the paper break down and fertilize the dirt.

Another thing. Why not feed your dog the plastic bags, then when he [expletive meaning poops] it will come out wrapped in plastic and save everybody a lot of work.

Ed. note: Classy, everyone. Very classy.

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