The Broad is Back!

December 18, 2007

Bag lady

Filed under: consumerism,nature,New Broads — by maggiec @ 6:55 pm

I refer to myself here.  I’m not talking about a homeless person!  My house is being taken over by plastic shopping bags. 

One thing that strikes me since I’ve been back is the number of plastic bags Americans use.  The packers at my local grocery store double bag almost everything and will put one item in a bag.  I can come home from the shop with 25 grocery items and 16 bags!  Sometimes I get paper to pack my newspapers in for recycling, but I still get too many bags.

In Taiwan I had a grocery cart, as I did in Switzerland, and in Sweden I had a collection of canvas bags (which are still in storage, waiting to come here).  In Europe, we paid for each bag we used.  Believe me, that cuts down on bag usage.

I try to reuse them as trash bag liners at home, and they do come in handy when scooping the cat litter daily, but it’s still overwhelming.  I’ve started buying some canvas bags, and I try to bring empty plastic bags with me when I go to the store.  It sometimes confuses the packers.  These young kids don’t seem to know the meaning of the word “reuse”.  It’s sad.

And then today, I read the following. It comes from the website, and it is so scary I had to put it here so it would get more coverage!

Bring Your Own Bag

What’s your answer to “paper or plastic?” How about, “No thanks!”

If every American consumer brought their own reusable bags when shopping, we’ll cut more than a billion pounds of CO2 this month – that’s the equivalent of taking 1.3 million cars off the road!

When you bring you own reusable bag to the store, you’ll save wildlife, reduce waste and pollution, and reduce our dependence on oil. Hundreds of thousands of sea turtles, birds, whales, and other marine mammals die every year from eating plastic bags mistaken for food. And an estimated 12 million barrels of oil are required to make the 100 billion plastic shopping bags used in the U.S. alone each year.

For today’s daily action, pledge to “Bring Your Own Bag” this month when you shop and make a big impact with a simple action

Carbon Conscious Consumer Logo



  1. thank you so much for writing this, M.
    I’m so glad to learn one more person that also cares about this issue.
    I also used plastic bags as garbage bag and save a few cents when reusing the fine ones in stores like Wholefood.
    On the one hand, I wish this thinner plastic bags that we are using are dissolvable bags; on the other, I am still amazed: with so many plastic bags we got from grocery shopping, why do some ppl still prefer to BUY strong and “indigestible bags for earth” as their rubbish bags?
    One thing that I am still getting used to is trying to evade the sight of recycle bins, which are already rare, full of unrecyclable garbages.

    Comment by Julia — December 18, 2007 @ 8:11 pm |Reply

  2. Somewhat related: NY Times article on shopping bags as status symbols.

    Comment by Emily — December 18, 2007 @ 8:54 pm |Reply

  3. Now that’s an interesting article. I really should save my bags, eh? But I don’t think Wal*Mart is what the Times had in mind.

    Comment by maggiec — December 18, 2007 @ 8:59 pm |Reply

  4. I have been so depressed about the amount of plastic shopping bags that I have gathered in my daily life. At the stores they double the bags to pack my groceries. I have had enough!
    My local “Stop and Shop” began selling reusable green fabric type bags for 99 cents. they are great! you can pack so much more and organise the contents. fabulous!
    Then on a recent shopping trip to “King Kullen” I noticed right by the entrance door was a fairly good sized “bin” which is for peaple to drop off their used plastic bags for recyling. Horray! I have hope…..

    Comment by Donna T — January 7, 2008 @ 4:49 pm |Reply

  5. I have my canvas bags from Walmart and I want to get some from Hannafords (they come in purple there!). And I have used the recycle bins at Market Basket, so yes, there is hope.

    Comment by maggiec — January 7, 2008 @ 7:05 pm |Reply

  6. China is way ahead of us

    Comment by Dan N — January 9, 2008 @ 8:15 pm |Reply

  7. Thanks for that story! In Switzerland and Sweden we had to pay for each bag we used, which really encourages recycling. I wish at least they would start that here. Nice to see you here! Wassup?

    Comment by maggiec — January 11, 2008 @ 10:48 pm |Reply

  8. Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

    Comment by sandrar — September 10, 2009 @ 10:20 am |Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: