Reusable Grocery Bags

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Reusable Grocery Bags

Postby Ityse » Thu Sep 24, 2009 2:06 am

Hi, I'm from Ityse and I'm new to the forums. I hope to become more involved in the community. I want to stress the importance of reusable grocery bags in a green lifestyle. It is a simple change that, over time can drastically reduce the amount of waste you contribute to. Let me know your thoughts.

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Re: Reusable Grocery Bags

Postby MichaelB » Thu Sep 24, 2009 6:56 am

Hi Itsey,

Welcome to the forums.

I couldn't agree with you more. I see you're from the USA - you may not be aware of this, but South Australia has already banned lightweight plastic checkout bags. Through the move, it's expected to reduce the number of bags heading to landfill each year by around 400 million. Hopefully the rest of Australia will follow suit soon.

I've certainly noticed a reduction in roadside litter since the ban, and most South Aussies seemed to have coped with the change quite well.

Reusable bags are a great idea - but folks need to also carefully consider the type of reusable bags they purchase. For instance, some of them are made of heavy plastics that can't be recycled.

There's all sorts of options aside from non-recyclable plastic bags such as calico, canvas, hemp and jute; and of course recyclable plastics.
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Re: Reusable Grocery Bags

Postby Millsy » Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:33 pm

Hi Guys,

Personally i prefer the use of biodegradable plastic bags, because they are so convenient plus i also use them as my bin bags.

I have heard that the common 'Green' bags they sell in most supermarkets we see these days use plastics that dont break down at all, to me this seems even worse than the old plastic bag type and would like to see a shift to using only biodegradable plastics.

I have noticed my family has wholeheartedly taken up this idea of the green bags, though i do also notice they have far more than they need, collecting them like you see with plastic bags from shopping. Perhaps as many as 1 doz (currently to date), if everyone starts doing this, then we are going to see a much greater problem in the future!!
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Re: Reusable Grocery Bags

Postby FrYs » Tue Oct 06, 2009 2:10 pm

Not sure if this is for all of Australia but Target have also ceased using plastic bags. Fabulous idea! i hope other big chains also catch on!
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Re: Reusable Grocery Bags

Postby jdaley » Thu Oct 15, 2009 2:48 pm

I too have mixed feelings about banning bags.
I agree too many finshed up in the drains or against fences and in seaways.
As a shop keeper selling seedlings I find I cannot get a paper bag that will hold damp seedlings.
At home I reuse any bag I do get and that is with domestic waste I cannot reuse or recycle.
I guess at the moment the trend to limiting tem is ok, but what alternative is avaiable for my shop situation?
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Re: Reusable Grocery Bags

Postby taggertycyclist » Thu Oct 15, 2009 8:42 pm

We, too, reuse plastic bags for various things at home. In fact, there is a web listing somewhere compiled by an American woman cyclist on 101 uses for plastic shopping bags. Each of those uses is legitimate.

One of the significant issues that I see is that supermarket staff have obviously been instructed to not overfill bags because of "OH&S issues". They also have been instructed not to put things like cleaning products in with meat packs in with vegetables in with pacakaged foods. And fragile stuff also seemingly has to be segregated.

We do have the ubiquitous green, blue and orange bags, but sometimes we don't have them when we shop. In which case I inform the staff that putting various mutually exclusive items in with each other is OK. And I will repack bags so that at the end of the transaction, the number of bags actually is reduced.

In North America, many supermarkets are charging customers for bags. You have to estimate how many bags you will need before the first purchased item is rung up, and you are charged the three cents for each bag straight-up. In these cases, you have to pack your own. In France, if you wait for the attendant to pack your bags, you will be waiting a long time -- you have to pack your own bags there, too. My Canadian wife finds it extraordinary that Australians leave it to the slave on the cash register to do the packing for them.

I find it amusing that there is a green groundswell against plastic shopping bags when there is so much other plastic that is used in wrapping grocery products that cannot be recycled in any form. We dispose of myriad plastic bags, coverings and containers for fruit, vegetables, meat and various other products every month. In the end, there is more of that plastic than that contained in the shopping bags.
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Re: Reusable Grocery Bags

Postby Ityse » Thu Oct 22, 2009 3:20 am

MichaelB,

I did not know that South Australia had banned lightweight checkout plastic bags. That is great! I wish more of the world would take that as an example. At Ityse, we prefer reusable mesh bags because they can carry more groceries, are easier to wash, and you can fit more of them in a bag than say cloth ones. Thanks for the information, that is very inspirational to know!
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Re: Reusable Grocery Bags

Postby kerstengeon » Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:40 am

actually there is a place on Europe where they are only using paper bags not plastic bags on their grocery store. The plastic bags are being banned. in the grocery store where i buy products they charge extra payments for every plastic bags if you don't bring your own. but if you have your own reusable bags you get to have their daily freebies. not bad. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

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Re: Reusable Grocery Bags

Postby kerstengeon » Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:59 am

absolutely right not only planting tree and conserving energy is the way of taking care for the earth. it is also enviromentally healthy to use reusable bags for grocerries. An d we must noy forget that recycling plastic bags also is a good idea.

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Re: Reusable Grocery Bags

Postby Tracker » Thu Nov 19, 2009 12:36 pm

The notion of banning Check-Out-Bags, ( COB), I think, is flawed.

At least with COBs, the composition can be legislated, such that they are Degradable, Bio-Degradable or whatever.

As an aside, I started going through the garage recently. Bags of bits (in check-out bags) taken out there when dismantling and recycling things, all fell apart when touched..
The equivalent bags that I bought for the job, are as good as the day they went out there. (YES - I do need to tidy up and there are only so many parts that you can store for reuse - one day - Maybe)

Street litter is a function of training and upbringing.. Street litter ends up in rivers etc.
COB's don't usually end up in street litter.
I think modern kids are more aware of littering, and hence there is less littering.
( except for certain ethnic groups - who have yet to learn )

If we legislate to ban COBs, then people who do want them for garbage etc. WILL buy the next best thing, and that might not be good for the environment.
We use the classic blue-Poly-shopping bags , classed as recyclable, but when they rip and are thrown away, they WILL last for hundreds of years, where as the cruddy COB would be disintegrating in about a year.
Are we really being green - I don't think so.

We predominately use the COB for the wet-garbage and the recyclable Kitty-Litter, neither of which would not be nice in a paper-bag.
.
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PS - ReCycling - I look at Junk and think - Shape? Function?
What could that be used for ?..
What parts can have a new life ?
I don't see - Junk - It's not working - dispose of it quick !
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Last edited by Tracker on Tue Nov 24, 2009 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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