Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tastes Like Plastic

On Sundays, I always make it a point to read the Travel section of the Hartford Courant. Sitting at the kitchen table on a dreary Sunday morning always makes me long from someplace distant and exotic.

This Sunday I noticed a travel advisory for Australia. Could they be throwing tourists on the barbey?

Apparently a crocodile was moved from a remote area to a locale 600 miles south as part of a wildlife relocation. After the move, this same crocodile began showing up on tourist beaches. Shortly after, it was found dead.

Officials found 25 plastic shopping bags in the crocodile's stomach. These plastic bags prevented the crocodile from digesting food. The plastic bags starved the croc to death.

Sadly, animals will often mistakenly view plastic in the water as yummy jellyfish, small fish or even plankton.

After reading this disturbing story, a friend and blog reader named Jean sent me an email outlining her journey to ditch plastic shopping bags for good.

Jean openly admits that she is far from green. Still, she is really trying to make an effort. Jean's first plan of action was to buy and use canvas shopping bags.

The first time Jean intended to use her reusable bags at the food store, she forgot them at home. No worries there. Jean asked for paper bags (in our area paper is required to be in a brown paper bag for recycling...counterproductive...I know). Since Jean was busy doing things like watching the scanner for prices and refereeing her children, she missed the fact that the bagger had bagged all of her groceries in plastic bags and THEN put the plastic bags in paper bags.

Fast forward to the next week. Jean remembered her canvas shopping bags! Again there was the price checking and kid threatening. The grocery bagger placed the newly purchased food in plastic and THEN put the plastic bags in the canvas bags.


Bringing reusable bags is not a new concept for stores. My bags have been accompanying me for the last eight years. Others before me have been doing this since the advent of merchants. How do these stores not take seven seconds of their training to talk about reusable bags?

Keep on trying Jean! Try bringing those bags to the sporting goods store, the pharmacy and the mall. Think of all of those happy crocodiles that are busy eating yummy tourists because people like you have said "no."

1 comment:

Erikka said...

not like you could squeeze this into your already full sounding schedule, but maybe the local shopping markets could use a "Gruppie Training" on bags. Become a local green consultant! Go Gruppie Go!