I just signed up for a Living Plastic Free blog subscription. My kitchen is plastic free, but my food isn't yet. I don't use plastic storage containers and I use glasses now, not plastic cups. I do have a few plastic cups for our patio, as we don't want broken glass out there, and friends come over to hang out. I might have them start bringing their own reusable cups or just go with glass and pray no one breaks any. I bring out my wine glasses and seem to do okay with them. But the plastics on food....I mean, you get meat, what does it come in, you get pretzels, produce (carrots, etc)....everything is plastic! Yikes. I didn't even think about that. I have to start going to a butcher who wraps in paper, like in the "old" days. Too bad we don't live like that anymore. returnable cocacola bottles, milk bottles etc.
I have stopped using plastic bags at stores, except maybe once in a while, where I reuse them in my bathroom trash (and I know, I should not even do that). I have to look into those biodegradable trash bags.....
My green bags are my favorite. I have ones from Australia with the leaf on them, I have Shaklee ones and even Target. I even have two that hold wine for when we go to wineries. They each hold six and it works for juices at the store also. They hold a ton of weight. I got comments on them when I started to carry them last year, and funny, since then, the stores sell them now....I was the only one last year in my store with them. (not that I started it, Oprah did a big thing about it and got everyone interested).
We recycle everything we possibly can. I don't buy plastic milk containers anymore either, plastic bottles of water, in fact, we got SIGGs for our water and they are in the frige ready to go at the drop of a hat. We recycle every bit of paper in this house, and well, it can get out of hand. Our recyclers only come twice a month and that really gets to be a mess here with all the cardboard packaging, pizza boxes etc that we have waiting for them to pick up.
I could go on and on, as I am living and learning to be more ecologically friendly, but I must stop for now.
http://www.reusablebags.com/ a great site to get all kinds of earth friendly things.....
Facts and figures regarding the true cost of plastic bags
Want to know more about Ireland's wildly successful PlasTax? How about numbers on consumption? Think paper bags are better than plastic bags?...Think again, and be in the know.
Top Facts - Consumption
Each year, an estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide. That comes out to over one million per minute. Billions end up as litter each year.
According to the EPA, over 380 billion plastic bags, sacks and wraps are consumed in the U.S. each year.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. goes through 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually. (Estimated cost to retailers is $4 billion)
According to the industry publication Modern Plastics, Taiwan consumes 20 billion bags a year—900 per person.
According to Australia’s Department of Environment, Australians consume 6.9 billion plastic bags each year—326 per person. An estimated .7% or 49,600,000 end up as litter each year.
Top Facts - Environmental Impact
Hundreds of thousands of sea turtles, whales and other marine mammals die every year from eating discarded plastic bags mistaken for food.
Plastic bags don’t biodegrade, they photodegrade—breaking down into smaller and smaller toxic bits contaminating soil and waterways and entering the food web when animals accidentally ingest.
As part of Clean Up Australia Day, in one day nearly 500,000 plastic bags were collected.
Windblown plastic bags are so prevalent in Africa that a cottage industry has sprung up harvesting bags and using them to weave hats, and even bags. According to the BBC, one group harvests 30,000 per month.
According to David Barnes, a marine scientist with the British Antarctic Survey, plastic bags have gone "from being rare in the late 80s and early 90s to being almost everywhere from Spitsbergen 78° North [latitude] to Falklands 51° South [latitude].
Plastic bags are among the 12 items of debris most often found in coastal cleanups, according to the nonprofit Center for Marine Conservation.
Top Facts - Solutions
In 2001, Ireland consumed 1.2 billion plastic bags, or 316 per person. An extremely successful plastic bag consumption tax, or PlasTax, introduced in 2002 reduced consumption by 90%. Approximately 18,000,000 liters of oil have been saved due to this reduced production. Governments around the world are considering implementing similar measures.
July 2003, ReusableBags.com goes live, advancing the mainstream adoption of reusable shopping bags.
Each high quality reusable shopping bag you use has the potential to eliminate hundreds, if not thousands, of plastic bags over its lifetime.