Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Bags of bags in bags and even more bags!

Geez, being a trolley pulling reusable bag carrying veteran, I'd forgotten how many plastic bags could potentially come with a weekly shop.

But look! Here's my latest shopping that arrived home today from the supermarket! And just look at those bags. There are blimmin' lots of them!

But as you can probably guess, it wasn't me doing the shopping today. This isn't how my shopping looks when I normally bring it through the door. For the first time in absolutely yonks I'd ordered my groceries online, thanks to my car being immobile and needing an urgent mega top-up of stuff. I would have normally gone on the bus, but I've also been too busy of late to make regular trips into town.

Ordering online may have been convenient but it meant there was no escape from the plazzie bag and its many friends, which is utterly ironic because only ten minutes before the delivery van arrived, I'd got a call from BBC Three Counties Radio to appear on the JVS show later to discuss the topic of carrier bags. Timing is everything, wouldn't you say!

A few years ago I wouldn't have given this picture a second thought, but these days I look at the amount of plastic and think, what a potential waste! And there were even more bags than you see here, but I'd quickly unpacked them and gave them back to the driver along with a bag full of plastic packaging I'd been collecting for recycling.

At least these bags are in good hands. It's not quite the end of their life just yet. Many people would just throw them in the bin, where they would take decades to break down in landfill, not to mention those that get blown away and harm wildlife. However these will be reused as bin bags for all the plastic film packaging that I'll collect over the year and each month will be recycled together with the contents. I guess they'll probably come back as plastic lumber or something similar!

But plastic bags aren't the only problem when it comes to the amount of rubbish that gets generated by shopping. There's so much other rubbish that a trip to the supermarket can create too. So if you'd like to find out more about what else you can do to reduce waste, be sure to check out my latest guide for Week 2 of The Rubbish Diet challenge, which was published online just yesterday.

And if you really need some extra help with remembering to take your reusable bags to the shops, take a look at the YouTube video below featuring Dave Chameides from 365 Days of Trash. Email subscribers can find the link directly to the video here.

More advice is also available in Dave's article, that accompanies his video, entitled Plastic Bags: Stop being part of the problem.

And the good news is, after this tiny blip in usual proceedings, I will be back to the shops next week with more reusable bags than you can shake a stick at!
Thanks to Stephanie of @Facing_South on Twitter for sharing the link to Dave Chameides' article. And if you're interested in further discussons on plastic bags, listen into BBC Three Counties Radio today (19th Jan) between 1-2pm where JVS will be discussing this very topic on his show.


easternsparkle said...

It amazes me how they pack the stuff for online shopping - you wonder what they're actually thinking! A bag for one medium sized,easy to handle item and then they try to give you an armful of unbagged stuff - I always try to give my bags back every week regardless!


LOL, I know Easternsparkle, it's so true. There were so many, I could hardly fit them into my bag holder and it was empty when I started. LOL. At least it's highlighted again, how many bags a household that doesn't regularly reuse other bags, are actually faced with. :-)

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