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August 08, 2008

Disposable bags are ‘evil’

I was disgusted to read John Tierney’s “10 things to scratch from your worry list” (8/5, FYI) and see “evil plastic bags” on the list. Tierney implies that we should surrender to plastic, the lesser of two evils. However, both paper and plastic are “evil.” Everyone in our society should be using reusable cloth bags.

To mockingly allege that plastic bag concerns are exaggerated is ignorant. China alone will save 37 million barrels of oil each year by banning free plastic bags. Is that something to scoff at?

Andrea Ways Newman
Kansas City



kate: You are always a candle in the darkness. Thanx.


jack, iron them? That sounds like a lot of work. Maybe I'll just take them to the dry cleaners, and shop in a wig and sunglasses til they come back.

JJ, I've been washing the milk bottles out by hand before returning them, but now I'm worried that falls below standard, and maybe we should run them through the dishwasher. . . :)


Kate - sorry to add to your neurosis. ;-)


Exactly. And it was Tierney who used the word "evil" to make light of our usage of plastic bags.


Language matters. When you lable a thing as evil you let the humans using it off the hook.

Responsibility. I realize it is a term to be avoided. But there it is. If a person makes a decision to use or not use a thing, that person is responsible for all outcomes.

HyVee recently gave away bunches of cloth bags. Could this be the much touted capitalism at work? Wanna bet HyVee thinks they will save money in the long run by giving people cloth bags?

Originally the plastic bags were all labled as biodegradable. If you read the bag, they were only biodegradable in direct sunlight. When buried in a landfill they were just another lump of plastic. So, the environmentally responsible thing to do with them was to lay them out carefully around your front yard. That way they could degrade properly.

Kate: Don't forget to iron your bags. Sharp creases on sparkling clean bags will shut those checkers up!


Jack, I think by using the term "evil" he was referencing the original article, which made light of the need to move away from our dependence on disposable plastics -- plastics which are produced largely from, what else, petroleum.

It's all about that stupid and curable addiction on foreign oil.


JJ, we’ve been using cloth bags for quite a while, and they usually bag the meat in an evil white plastic bag before putting it inside the virtuous cloth bag, so I think our bags are pretty clean. Anyway, I’ve never washed them. But now after reading your post, I’m afraid the sackers are all talking about us and our filthy ways behind our backs, and I’ll have to launder the bags and start shopping a new store. Great, one more thing to worry about.


What about all runoff from the chemicals and solvents used to wash those cloth bags? Shouldn't they be washed and disinfected after every use? Otherwise I would think that meat juices and other liquids could seep into the cloth and contaminate later purchases.

Plastic bags can be reused for other purposes - or reused at the grocery store. Besides that - aren't many of them made from biodegradable material these days?

Bottom line - there's a lot more things to worry about.


A plastic bag is "evil"? Gimmieabreak.

A plastic bag is a thing. It is neither good or bad. It is just a thing.

If we suffocate ourselves under layers of plastic, it is not the fault of the plastic. It is the fault of the idiots who bury themselves under it.

And you know what? Momma earth will shrug her shoulders, take a shower (this may very well take a couple million years) and go on without us.

Momma earth has until the sun dies. Humans don't. Humans are making and will make the choices on whether the species continues. Not plastic. Not plutonium. Nothing other than ourselves.

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