Bag It - Is Your Life Too Plastic?

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Bag It - Is Your Life Too Plastic?

Postby rickfm » Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:17 am

Lacey mentioned this movie in the BPA in canned foods thread. I think it deserves it's own topic.

I just watched the movie and I must say, I'm never asking for another plastic bag at the grocery store again. In fact, I'm going out tomorrow and buying some reusable grocery bags. Over the past year or so, I've been feeling more and more self-conscious about the plastic bags I use. I have two kitchen drawers full of them!

In that regard, I guess I have to call this movie a life changer. Definitely worth watching. It really made me aware of what a use-once-and-throw-away society we are. And I had no idea there were so many countries where plastic bags have been outright banned.

The film also gives compelling evidence that BPA is indeed something to be concerned about. It's time to start cooking raw beans and forget about the cans. Of course, even then, the beans are still packaged in... plastic.

It's really alarming when you think about it. That stuff is everywhere.

EVERYWHERE! :?

Bag It website.
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Re: Bag It - Is Your Life Too Plastic?

Postby Wild4Stars » Thu Jul 05, 2012 5:01 am

I just watched it and posted the link on facebook!

OMG, I never knew how invasive all this plastic is. The oceans! That part about the albatross - unbelievable. It's just heartbreaking what we are doing to our planet. And ourselves.

I have long used my own canvas bags for shopping, the first time I carried my groceries in with a sturdy, substantial bag, I was hooked. But that is so minor compared to all the other plastic that can be eliminated.

I am also adament about recycling, our recycle bins are always over flowing and we hardly have any trash. But this movie shows the truth about recycling and it's not pretty. We need to reduce and reuse FIRST.

WATCH THIS MOVIE !!!
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Re: Bag It - Is Your Life Too Plastic?

Postby Nettie » Thu Jul 05, 2012 5:11 am

rickfm wrote:Lacey mentioned this movie in the BPA in canned foods thread. I think it deserves it's own topic.

I just watched the movie and I must say, I'm never asking for another plastic bag at the grocery store again. In fact, I'm going out tomorrow and buying some reusable grocery bags.


Yes, and I'm old enough to remember how plastic bags were going to be the salvation of the world because it would save all those trees that were being cut down to make paper bags. Surprise, surprise, now they're filling up the landfills and making the world unsafe, or whatever.

I remember disposable diapers being hawked the same way: all that detergent used to wash cloth diapers was getting into our rivers and polluting everything, so disposable diapers were just the thing to save our water supply. Lo and behold, now disposable diapers are filling up the landfills and making the world unsafe, etc.

Recycling newspapers has also gotten some bad press in recent years. The idea, again, was to save trees. But clearer heads have pointed out that recycling is expensive for cities, and not a panacea for the environment.

I found this information regarding recycling newspaper: "America's supply of timber has been increasing for decades, and the nation's forests have three times more wood today than in 1920. 'We're not running out of wood, so why do we worry so much about recycling paper?' asks Jerry Taylor, the director of natural resource studies at the Cato Institute. 'Paper is an agricultural product, made from trees grown specifically for paper production. Acting to conserve trees by recycling paper is like acting to conserve cornstalks by cutting back on corn consumption.'"

Now these mercury-containing light bulbs which are supposed to save the planet will one day be revealed to be actually be damaging to the environment - which I believe they are. Anything that you practically have to wear a hazmat suit to dispose of is not something I think should be foisted upon the American people, as these are.

So, I try to ignore the fads. I know they'll be proved wrong down the road.

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Re: Bag It - Is Your Life Too Plastic?

Postby Ginger » Thu Jul 05, 2012 6:04 am

I have made my own cloth (cotton) shopping bags and have used them for years here in Panama. They are much easier to wash and keep clean than canvas. I think there may be ONE other person here who uses reusable bags. The local merchants have gotten used to me (it took a while!) and my refusal of plastic. But it never occurs to them to do the same. In the more modern supermarkets there are often canvas bags above the cash register with signs urging customers to buy and use them. No one pays the slightest attention. Cashiers and bag boys have never been educated about them and will continue to double bag one item. I want to start some kind of cottage industry where local women can earn money sewing cotton bags and selling them (at least to the foreigners) But unless the consciousness changes, I'm not sure how successful it would be. But it might be worth a try!!
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Re: Bag It - Is Your Life Too Plastic?

Postby Wild4Stars » Thu Jul 05, 2012 6:12 am

Ginger wrote:I have made my own cloth (cotton) shopping bags and have used them for years here in Panama. They are much easier to wash and keep clean than canvas. I think there may be ONE other person here who uses reusable bags. The local merchants have gotten used to me (it took a while!) and my refusal of plastic. But it never occurs to them to do the same. In the more modern supermarkets there are often canvas bags above the cash register with signs urging customers to buy and use them. No one pays the slightest attention. Cashiers and bag boys have never been educated about them and will continue to double bag one item. I want to start some kind of cottage industry where local women can earn money sewing cotton bags and selling them (at least to the foreigners) But unless the consciousness changes, I'm not sure how successful it would be. But it might be worth a try!!


Would love to see a photo of the bags you make, and maybe some basic instructions.
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Re: Bag It - Is Your Life Too Plastic?

Postby rickfm » Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:42 am

Wild4Stars wrote:Would love to see a photo of the bags you make, and maybe some basic instructions.

I would love to buy some of them. :D

And I forgot to mention the fish. What a shocker! I thought the big problem with fish was mercury, I had no idea they were eating all that plastic. And birds and turtles, too... so sad. I knew about the "great Pacific garbage patch," the circle of ocean current where tons of plastic was circling about, from watching other documentaries about ocean wildlife. But this movie really highlights just how bad it is. It's sickening.

And once again, the chemical companies... like drug pushers, using their power and influence to get, and keep, the masses addicted to their poisons.
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Re: Bag It - Is Your Life Too Plastic?

Postby HealthyMe2010 » Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:11 am

For those who have eliminated plastic from their lives, how do you go about storing things like lettuce? Do you just stick it in the fridge without anything or do you store them in glass?

I've tried not bagging lettuce and it just dries out and becomes nasty.

Also for bulk items, how do you purchase them? Flour isn't going to work in a cloth bag and using a glass container will just cost more because of the weight of the container...
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Re: Bag It - Is Your Life Too Plastic?

Postby Wild4Stars » Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:13 am

rickfm wrote:
Wild4Stars wrote:Would love to see a photo of the bags you make, and maybe some basic instructions.

I would love to buy some of them. :D


Good point Rick. Would you be willing to sell them?
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Re: Bag It - Is Your Life Too Plastic?

Postby Wild4Stars » Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:18 am

HealthyMe2010 wrote:For those who have eliminated plastic from their lives, how do you go about storing things like lettuce? Do you just stick it in the fridge without anything or do you store them in glass?

I've tried not bagging lettuce and it just dries out and becomes nasty.

Also for bulk items, how do you purchase them? Flour isn't going to work in a cloth bag and using a glass container will just cost more because of the weight of the container...


I can't claim to have eliminated plastic, but I have reduced it and plan to reduce it more. I think the big issue is the stuff that gets used once and thrown away. I may still use plastic containers, that I use and re-use, like for lettuce in the fridge. I don't use plastic grocery bags, I take my own. I've moved to glass water bottles that I refill with filtered water for drinking. Next I'm going to work on the ziplocks and other use once and throw away things. I know I can't do it all at once, but I can sure move in the right direction.
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Re: Bag It - Is Your Life Too Plastic?

Postby stoumi » Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:21 am

Is this movie available on Netflix? I can't get to the site since it's not allowed here at work.
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Re: Bag It - Is Your Life Too Plastic?

Postby HealthyMe2010 » Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:29 am

stoumi wrote:Is this movie available on Netflix? I can't get to the site since it's not allowed here at work.


Netflix USA, yes.
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Re: Bag It - Is Your Life Too Plastic?

Postby HealthyMe2010 » Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:32 am

Wild4Stars wrote:I can't claim to have eliminated plastic, but I have reduced it and plan to reduce it more. I think the big issue is the stuff that gets used once and thrown away. I may still use plastic containers, that I use and re-use, like for lettuce in the fridge. I don't use plastic grocery bags, I take my own. I've moved to glass water bottles that I refill with filtered water for drinking. Next I'm going to work on the ziplocks and other use once and throw away things. I know I can't do it all at once, but I can sure move in the right direction.


We reuse large zip-lock bags as well, but we haven't used plastic grocery bags in ages. I love glass, so most of the containers I use are just glass jars that we've reused.

The movie was certainly an eye-opener, even though I've followed the plastic issue for a while.
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Re: Bag It - Is Your Life Too Plastic?

Postby rickfm » Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:47 am

Wild4Stars wrote:Good point Rick. Would you be willing to sell them?

Uhm... I'm afraid that would be more than I could take on. Sorry. Great idea, however, there is already a competing market.

Wild4Stars wrote:I think the big issue is the stuff that gets used once and thrown away.

Yes, that is the focus. I can't go cold turkey and eliminate all plastic tomorrow, but my awareness has been raised and I'm going to start taking steps to move in that direction. Easiest thing to do is the grocery bags.

One of the things that really nagged at my conscious was all of the smaller produce bags I brought home. At least with those I use them a second time to re-wrap stuff that I only used a portion of. After seeing this movie I now know I can get these reusable ones. I'm placing an order today. :D

What are alternatives for kitchen waste containers? I can't think of what would be sanitary for liquid and other food waste other than plastic liners.
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Re: Bag It - Is Your Life Too Plastic?

Postby Kiki » Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:58 am

I made a dozen of my own muslin bags for the grocery, and really like them. Unfortunately, only one store in the area can handle this. The plastic produce bags I weighed were .08 oz. If you buy or make your own cloth ones they will weigh five to twenty times that depending on the size and materials used. Paying for an extra ounce of goods (especially nuts!) could end up costing hundreds of dollars a year.

Whole Foods, for example, can't deal with the bags despite their campaign to give up plastic bags. Their tare max is .95 oz. Full size cloth bags about the size of the plastic produce bags weigh over an ounce. The ones I made weigh 1.5 oz.

Their solutions range from dumping items (even fragile tomatoes and mushrooms) out on the bare counter to giving one free item, to crediting back a couple of dollars at the end of the transaction.

I'm writing to them to ask them to correct this. I hope that other people who shop at national chains would do the same. It would probably be more effective.

I'm also asking them to get compostable produce bags. I currently use the ones I get to line the kitchen compost bin. The other 'organic' stores I've shopped at all have compostable bags that more or less go back to nature. Whole Foods really needs to step up.

*******

I didn't find an online pattern that I liked, so I made my own pattern for the produce bags. They work great! The sharp ends of corn and sweet potatoes no longer shred the bags the way they do with the plastic bags. They also work fine for bulk items, even grains. Cutting the pattern out of cardboard first made it easy to make multiples.

I'm still using purchased large insulated bags as regular shopping bags, but when those wear out, I'm thinking about making some like these:

https://sew4home.com/projects/storage-s ... nvironment

https://sew4home.com/projects/storage-s ... pping-tote
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Re: Bag It - Is Your Life Too Plastic?

Postby rickfm » Thu Jul 05, 2012 11:17 am

Oooh, I didn't think about the weight difference of cloth produce bags. Something to consider... am I willing to pay a few cents more for produce to help keep the planet a little cleaner? I think so.

And there are some produce items that I typically put in plastic that I really don't need to... onions, garlic bulbs, cucumbers. Hmmm... this really has me thinking about my habits.
Last edited by rickfm on Thu Jul 05, 2012 11:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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