Plastic bags + animals = heartbreak

Some of the first things everyone says to do in a “mission to go green” is to switch to CFLs, or eat organic, or switch all of your products to eco-friendly formulas, or buy a reusable water bottle. To these things I say: yes, yes, yes and yes.

But I STILL cannot get over how many of us haven’t switched to reusable bagsI… hate… plastic… bags. And when it’s obvious that you can buy a reusable bag just about anywhere (for 99 cents, I might add), I wonder why so many of us hesitate to use them.

I ran across some images that, although they show only a portion of the problem, to me this problem is heartbreaking.

Some you may have seen before, some may be new. But I think they speak for themselves…

plastic bag & sea turtle

plastic bag & bird

plastic & sea turtle

ottr w bag

(Sea otter mother & baby photo by photographer, Terry McCormac)

dolph w bg

(The archipelago of Fernando de Noronha, Brazil is considered a wildlife sanctuary but today, even in this isolated archipelago, dolphins are victims of the bad habits of consumption. Photo and caption by João Vianna)

If you don’t already use them (and after seeing these images), would you please consider buying (and using) some reusable bags instead?

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"Going green" has always been a part of my daily life. It began, as a little girl, when I helped my mom gather the recyclables and deliver them to a recycling center. It continues today, as a mom myself, when I teach my own children those same responsible virtues.

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6 thoughts on “Plastic bags + animals = heartbreak

  1. i know! every time i go to the grocery store and see customer after customer with carts full of plastic, i cringe! i think people need to make the time to develop the habit of bringing in bags. another thought is for stores to start charging 5-10 cents per bag… that will quickly get people in the habit of remembering :)

  2. faith – You got it! THAT is the idea! Some cities (San Francisco) and entire countries (Australia) have banned plastic bags entirely. Australia’s ban was voluntary, but 90% of retailers signed up… and there was no uprising from consumers, I might add. We truly don’t need them…

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  4. Well folks when the average person can’t be bothered to deposit trash and recycling in the proper place, On our local public side walks the cans are side by side. What do you expect? Ask your fairly aware friends and family why they didn’t open thier car trunk or reach behind the seat in thier minivan, SUV or pickup for thier reusable shopping bags. They say they forgot, or that they were “just making a quick stop”. I’ve repaired and retired a few reusable bags in the last year. We don’t sew so what we do is save broken bags untill another one is broken differntly and place them together with that glue seam maker stuff. The new franken bags are tougher when they are repaired like this. Some bags are less repair friendly and see retirement. I use public transportation and carry my bags when I plan to shop, simple planning.

    Would love to see even the whole foods/ organic places to stop having plastic bags at all in the US. Think of the shock when the poser green folks ask why the merchant isn’t bagging thier purchase. With a face deserved by the ignorant patron the cashier tells them that the customer has to supply thier own bags or boxes. But to try to save the day the store sells hemp or other kind of bags for $5.00 a piece, or higher markup. Would love to see that how about you?

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  6. I think the problem here is that the used plastic bags got into the water way.

    Hence, raising awareness of proper garbage disposal and discouraging littering would help.

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