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Could You Live Without Plastic Bags?

What started as a friendly contest between two Colorado cities has now become a documentary on the hazards of using plastic bags.

In October last year, I attended a film screening at Oregon State University.  All in attendance learned something new that day and left a little more aware of why not to use plastic bags.

The film screening was for “Bag-It: The Movie”.  It follows an average Colorado man named Jeb Berrier, who makes a pledge to stop using plastic bags.  This decision leads Berrier to start being more conscientious of plastic bag consumption, how the bags are made, and where they end up.

It started with a contest in Colorado to see which ski resort town, Aspen or Telluride, could remove the most plastic bags from the area.  Telluride succeeded, diverting 5.4 million bags from the waste stream in just over three months.

Aspen later banned plastic bags and started charging 20 cents per paper bag, encouraging customers to “BYOBag”.  It allows all other retailers to join the ordinance.  All fees collected are shared between grocers and the city for waste reduction costs.  Many cities countrywide are now banning plastic bags.

Berrier is not a radical environmentalist; he simply wants to take a closer look at our infatuation with plastic.  He discovered that 60,000 single-use disposable bags are thrown away every five minutes in America.  That statistic, along with the effects on animals and the world is very alarming.

Berrier also looks beyond plastic bags to discover that almost everything in modern society is made with plastic or contains potentially harmful chemical additives used in the production process.  The documentary shows how far mankind has come and displays how the plastic world has caught up to us.

I am not suggesting that you should see the documentary, but I do suggest that you look around your home or do an internet web search and see how prevalent plastic is in our world.  The results will captivate you, surprise you, and may persuade you to stop using plastic bags or plastic all together.

Just because plastic bags are disposable doesn’t mean that they disappear when you’re done with them.


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