Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Environmental Wednesday: Trash Vortex

Have you heard of the trash vortex? "A trash carpet the size of Texas" that lies North East of Hawaii? You know what is mostly in that vortex? plastic bags.

This disturbing little slideshow says that world wide we use between 500 billion and a trillion plastic bags per year and that only one per cent of those bags are recycled because it costs more to recycle them than create them.

Many nations have put a plastic bag ban in place or tax them.

I hear a lot of people in my family saying, "Yeah, we have cloth bags that we use for shopping, but I always forget to bring them to the car or bring them into the store." Stop. Forgetting. My mom gave me a bag that scrunches up to be smaller than an umbrella I carry it with me everywhere. It's a reisenthel.*

This doesn't have to be about climate change (although, the bags are made from oil); this doesn't even have to be about the animals who die (but they do); this doesn't even have to be about making the world a prettier place (although South Africa now calls plastic bags "their national flower" because of the litter); it probably should be all those things.

Stop forgetting.

*I wasn't paid to pimp them out.


  1. You should be paid to pimp them out! Pretty pictures, of you I mean (not the reisenthel:).

  2. hah! Thanks! I should be :) haha

  3. Nothing like a pretty sales girl to sell us something...we're buying...#;-)

  4. I've actually become more impressed with the U.S.'s environmental efforts after spending time in Europe. People in a lot of countries here are regulated to not use plastic bags by the government. So the fact that many people simply choose not to use plastic bags even though nobody is regulating them in the U.S. kind of amazes me. That being said, clearly we all have a long way to go!

  5. Anon - Thanks. I am glad someone is buying it :)

    Kyle - There are millions in the US doing their part. It is pretty amazing.

  6. I have a couple big reusable bags I keep in my car. I agree, people are not taking our environmental issues nearly serious enough. : (