Saturday, July 23, 2011

Plastic bag world

I've written before about how I hardly ever buy plastic bags -- I can "precycyle" by reusing the ones that come into my house "naturally", if that word even makes sense.  Even so, I always feel we're overflowing with bags, and so I try hard to reduce the number that are coming into my home.  To me, this is so obvious a way to live that I forget sometimes that there is another world out there.

There's the time I went to the store and the clerk started pulling out a plastic bag to put my small item in.  "I don't need the bag," I said, "I've brought my own."  The clerk looked confused, said, "Oh, okay", and promptly put his unused bag in the trash.

Our newspaper comes in plastic bags.  I wrote to the customer service center, asking
Here's my question:  is there a way to get our paper delivered WITHOUT those plastic bags?  I'd be happy to do a little less damage to the environment, and have a little less trash to throw away.
They wrote back:
I'm sorry, but the carriers are instructed to use the bags to protect the papers from bad weather and rough surfaces. Maybe if the bags are in decent shape you can collect them and offer then to your carrier for reuse.
So I called my delivery guy to ask if he wanted the bags back, and he said,
No, don't worry at all about that.  They give me those bags for free, so I don't need any more!
 I don't want to create hassles for a guy who makes his money delivering papers, so I'm not going to try to bother him about giant floating islands of plastic.  But I'm still wondering whether I can convince him to defy his bosses and toss me an un-plastic-ed paper every morning.


  1. In regards to the newspaper bags, I have found that they are absolutely wonderful for walking the dog. They are arm shaped and very tough. You don't need to worry about any of the standard problems like getting the dogs dooky on your hands or having it fall out of the little holes in the bags that are often found in regular store bags.

  2. I agree -- and my sons do, too! The bags are long enough that we tie one or two to the leash, ready to go along for the walk. We don't need as many newspaper bags as we get, but at least we make good (?) use of some of our existing bags.