Ok, be warned, this is a bit of a spleen vent.
Plastic bags are everywhere. I try very hard not to end up with them - I use carry bags or stuff things into whatever bag I am carrying at the time. And gee, sometimes I even use my hands and just carry things home in them. But they are still in my life
(plastic bags that is). Even bread comes in plastic bags - it seems like everything comes in bloody plastic.
I don't get it - given the damn stuff doesn't break down for a very long time - and when it does it isn't exactly benign - why is it allowed? Why are approximately six billion plastic bags churned out and used every year in Australia alone?
I heard an interview with Ian Kiernan (Mr Clean Up Australia) on the ABC the other day that made me quite sick - and this is why: "In the middle of the Pacific Ocean, near Hawaii, lies a floating garbage patch twice the size of Britain. It is a place where the water is filled with six times as much plastic as plankton. This plastic-plankton soup is entering the food chain and heading for our dinner plates. Plastic bags are mistaken as food and consumed by a wide range of marine species, especially those that consume jellyfish or squid, which resemble plastic bags when floating in the water column."
So these crappy plastic bags are not only choking marine life, they are breaking down at sea and entering the food chain - with unknown (but gee, let me guess, toxic) results. After all the damned things are a petroleum by-product. And those of us who eat sea food will sooner or later end up with some of those broken down molecules in our food. At the risk of sounding bitter and twisted, it seems no more than we deserve. A not very nice example of what goes round comes round.
Let's say no to plastic and other crappy packaging. We don't need it, it is energy intensive to make and it doesn't go away once we're finished with it. And it does not add to our quality of life. Just say no.