Monday, June 30, 2008

10 Alternatives to Plastic Bags

Do we have to wait for a ban on use of plastics to stop using them? Why don’t we initiate on our own, make a conscious effort to stop accepting and using plastic bags?

Some of the ill effects of plastics are:

  • Plastic bags kill at least 100,000 birds, whales, seals and turtles every year.
  • It takes almost 1000 years for plastics to decay and mix with soil.
  • Plastics with a thickness less than 35 microns are the most harmful ones to the nature. They are mostly dished out by the retailers and take away food outlets.
  • Food is not safe in these and is prone to cross contamination.

The various other alternatives:

  1. Use biodegradable bags made from fabrics.
  2. Ladies can fold a cotton bag or two in to their purses which can be used to quench their sudden urge for shopping.
  3. Nylon bags can be used and reused several times.
  4. Donate old news papers and magazines to small scale institutes that cut these old papers in to paper bags and packets.
  5. Use a wicker basket. (They can make a fashion statement today.)
  6. Educate the local retailers on the ill effects of use of plastics.
  7. Insist your local retailers to use plastic bags of thicker variety if at all he has to use.
  8. Offices can distribute canvas bags as New Year gifts instead of diaries and other sweet nothings.
  9. Better still buy a foldable shopping trolley. When you can buy a stroller for your new born this is not impossible you see.
  10. The common man is already burdened with spiraling prices, so I don’t wish to suggest to the government to impose a plast-tax. Mere ban will fail, as it has in the previous.


Lakshmi Bharadwaj said...

Agreed with full support!! Well, the store I just visited named 'Ikea' sells furniture and home accessories, an they don't give a single plastic bag with it..they offer cloth instead. Using a wicker one is cool, as u said, perectly right. You know I should really try that out! Sounds excellent! :-)

Gowri Mohanakrishnan said...

Wel said, Indrani. Surely we can take the trouble to carry a bag with us when we go the shops?

Indrani said...

Thanks Lakshmi.

Thanks Gowri.

Jayashree said...

It makes sense. Carrying a folded cotton bag is a good idea.

Indrani said...

Thanks Jayashree.

Dinakar KR said...

You should see the way most of the public demand for a carry bag, if not given! And you should see the expression on the faces of shop-keepers when I refuse a carry bag at times! He cannot believe it! Gone probably are the days when food grains brought home from the market in paper envelopes wrapped up in thin jute threads that broke and got mixed up in rice or wheat that was first filled in the bag as it is!! Sorting them out was a tough job! But then, we had clean roads and drains then, did not we? How much fun it was for us children watching the jute thread roll hung up there release the thread in an attractive manner as the packet was wound up by the salesboy.

We took many bags..why don't we do the same today?

Sugumar (சுகுமார்) said...

I always keep cloth bags in my Car! I also take bags when I go to bring Milk etc to nearby shops. I really dont understand why people cant do it. Basically ignorance and / or arrogance can be the only reasons.

But in case I had forgotten to take a bag, I dont fuss or cause inconvinience to the shop keepers or my family. My principles are my responsibility...