Friday, January 13, 2017

My War on Plastic

The Biggest Fail!
Bad news for waterways and roadsides.   Michigan was in the news this month when they joined 6 other stars in passing a law banning cities from banning plastic bags and other plastic containers.   Apparently the restaurant lobby in the state pushed the ban through the legislature.  

There are over 200 forward-thinking U.S. cities 
that have banned single use plastic bags.

 Unfortunately, a state bag ban ban will supersede city laws.

That's not going to stop me from doing what I can!

This was our shopping this week, along with another bag of fresh fruit and vegetables.  

The staples, all from bulk bins, will last at least three weeks and probably a month.  We have to drive about an hour away to access a store like this but if we do it monthly and combine other errands (and some fun) with the shopping, it's worth it.  The bags are paper and we save them to fill over and over.
We bought: 2 kinds of oatmeal, a variety of  dried beans, oat bran, lentils, barley and rice. We also bought olive oil and coconut oil in glass jars (in stores near us we can only get them in plastic bottles).  
We carried all our groceries to the car in cloth bags like the red one.  Not one piece of plastic came home with us with this lot!  
We didn't do as well in the produce department.  Most produce was prewrapped or bagged in plastic.  The fails: no loose carrots, cauliflower, or parsnips and the apples and oranges that were loose were double the price of those prepackaged in plastic (even though they looked exactly the same).  The wins: onions, sweet potatoes, and an avocado. Nope, we didn't buy the ones on the left! 

The Writer bought something we needed from Amazon because we live in an area with limited shopping and sometimes Amazon is the only place we can find what we need. 
 The item itself was in the small box with no other wrapping inside.  However, the small box came inside this giant box (which I could have easily sat in) with plastic packing all around it.  The item itself was not fragile and could just as well have been shipped in the small box alone.


The Writer is 6'1" tall. Easily eighteen feet of unnecessary plastic.

I'm claiming this last one as a win.  We checked all the stores near where we live for a new handheld scrub brush that was not plastic.  This was the best we could do.  It's kind of big for my hands and is meant to be used on a long handle.  But hey, it is made of wood and has natural bristles, and the only other one we could find was from Amazon and would have been shipped from England!


  1. I couldn't believe your opening paragraph. What kind of world do they want to live in! Well done for getting your year off to a climate changing start.

  2. I try to avoid plastic, except for jars, I'm so clumsy I prefer plastic jars. If I drop plastic it doesn't break. We take our own bags to the store, except the commissary. We get plastic bags there, but I use them for about a million other things.

  3. Good for you. Here in Calif. we still have plastic bags in the markets, but the state mandated people have to pay 10 cents a bag. I hate hearing people whine. Just carry your own bags. I have at least 10 bags in my car, some in the house, & sometimes one in my purse. Most are homemade (gifts) which I love. The one dilemma is the cat litter (clumping kind), so I have bought the non-plastic bags that are biodegradable without sunshine. Let's all save our planet's air. Sandy.

  4. We use fabric shopping bags too. We can have paper bags at the store if we need extra, they are sturdy and I can use them again or recycle them. The potatoes outside of plastic bags are more expensive. I hope you come up with more plastic tips for us! :)

  5. Smart customers, like you, are going to have to push through the changes.

  6. You are doing a good job there.
    Tasmania has banned plastic bags, we have recycling with symbols on products telling us what goes in the recycle bin. Our bibs are inspected from time to time, we always pass thank goodness. We buy bags keep them in the car for when we go grocery shopping, often forget to take them in to the shop, so back out to car and get them.
    Many States of Australia have not banned plastic bags yet.

    1. We're looking forward to visiting Tasmania this year - will be coming well prepared with our own carry bags. I wish NZ would do this.

  7. Well done! We use cloth bags but unfortunately many items come in plastic. I can't believe some states don't agree with banning plastic. Ours doesn't ban plastic bags yet but I hope it comes.

  8. It really has worked here in the UK, everyone now carries their own bags, buying bags for life or making their own. A lot of work still needs to be done on the packaging of the food, but it is a work in progress. I have had problems finding boxes for moving as most of the local shops recycle them whilst a little inconvenient for me in the short term is indeed a good thing.

  9. You are doing very well! The plastic bag ban works very good here. You get hardly any plastic bags any more here in the shops. I always take my own shopping bag with me to the supermarket and markets, and I have always a foldable one in my handbag when I go to the city. Everybody is amazed that the plastic bag ban has worked so well here, nodbody had expeceted that!

  10. This is such a good post to read. Even though you had some'fails', you are keeping track and doing what you can where you can. As I read your post, I made mental notes where my obstacles are in the store as well. I have to look at parsnips next time I shop. I don't think I can buy them without plastic either. I'll have to look. I bought a rutabaga this week, though . . . no plastic. Thanks for sharing about the bag ban ban. I hadn't heard of it yet.

  11. I hate anti-environment government policies - but they should just make us more determined than before. What were they thinking packaging an avocado like that? When I get delivered packaging like that overpackaged one, I send them some may do nothing, but then again...

  12. I personally prefer only bio-degradable package, but how get rid of all plastic, I don't know.. :(

  13. Good cause indeed. We choose paper when given a choice.

  14. A ban on a ban what will they come up with next? My shopping is a bit hit and miss like yours living where I do and it's frustrating. I carry my own bags to bring my shopping home in and will catch cashiers trying to put my items in a plastic bag to then put in my reusable bag so I have to be very observant. Amazon deliveries are also hit and miss. I get my toilet paper from them because each roll is wrapped in paper and used to be shipping in just a cardboard box, this last time the rolls were in plastic with no box at all.

  15. Oh Cynthia, you are amazing. Sure wish we had more people like you. I am so sick of picking up plastic drink bottles, plastic bags, empty cigarette pack, and styrofoam cups and plates from the roadsides. Right here on our dirt path too!