Friday, 13 March 2009

The Environment and Bags

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek


As many of you know, I am very much into recycling and saving things.
Harry and I have both taken large things to the city tip and smaller unwanted items get taken to Charity shops.

I am still putting out my clippings from my garden shrubs for the Council to pick up weekly and that seems an endless task. By the time the honeysuckle on one side of the garden has been brought under control, it is time to prevent the shrubs on the other side from taking over. Never mind, I do not begrudge the Council from taking my cuttings and turning them into compost to be sold, even though I pay for the bin hire. No I think that is a very good thing to do.
I am still saving all the paper and separating it from card. The aluminium is still going to Church to sponsor a girl in Bangladesh and I still tend to pick up cans in the street for recycling when I see them cluttering up our local area.
I sort out glass and tin for the kerbside collection and I take plastic to recycling points. Now we can take plastic bottles and plastic bags to the same point and also even silver lined milk cartons too.
I've mentioned before that it is all rather time consuming but I don't mind in the least.

I am sometimes concerned when I read that things that have been carefully separated and recycled have been seen to be squashed back together only to be sent to China or another faraway country, in containers for disposal there. Other news bulletins have proclaimed that recycled things do end up in landfill sites either here or in distant lands, but I give the Council the benefit of the doubt, thinking to myself that it is all worthwhile and the majority of recycled stuff does go to where it is supposed to.

The latest thing is to try and get rid of the use of plastic bags. They are horrible things and take years to break down and animals get their heads stuck in them and suffocate or chew them up and die. Many shops are now asking if you can manage without a bag and some even charge for plastic bags and this seems to be a very sensible idea.

I cannot resist the temptation to buy a cheap cotton bag from a charity shop or supermarket to help a cause and to save the planet and have more than the collection in the photograph. So please tell me why I inevitably get to the shops and forget to pick up the bags before I set out? Thus leaving me bag-less!
Might it be better to give out paper carriers with our goods, like they did when I was young, even if there was a small cost? Of course that was in the days before plastic bags were invented.





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30 comments:

Casdok said...

I to have a veriety of cotton bags which i am getting better at remembering to take out.

softinthehead said...

Hear hear to everything Maggie - and yes to our own grocery bags but I always forget too - I think stores should put signs in the carparks "Have you got your bags?" You never know it might help :) Or is it just old age and there is no help for us LOL.

Nessa said...

I find the phenomenon of "green" bags so funny sometimes because we used reusable bags in Europe for ages.

I love all of mine.

Cath said...

I just have to remember to take them with me...

I can remember taking shopping bags as a child because in those days we were charged for carrier bags!
I need to get into the habit again. We are a throwaway society. *sigh*

Wayne said...

you have great point and I belive in recycling also.

lmerie said...

I have this thing about bags (reusable)- I really like them. But I too seem to forget to get them back to the car so I have them on my next trip. Gotta start a new routine!

Indrani said...

That is a great service you are doing to the society. I always fold a cloth bag in my purse to be used to satisfy my sudden urge for shopping.

Reasons to be Cheerful 1,2,3 said...

Sainsburys used to have quite good paper carrier bags I seem to remember. It would be a good idea, Especially for people like me who are hopeless at remembering to take them with me.

I love recycling glass, it's such a good stress buster when it falls and crashes.

aims said...

We recycle over here too Maggie.

In fact - we get money back for our bottles - plastic and glass and for some cartons but not milk. They won't take anything with milk in it. Aluminum yes - cans - money.

We do the carboard and newspaper and also the yard. No money in that but that is quite okay by me.

We have companies devoted to recycling and making new tires and fences and all sorts of things. It's amazing.

I'm proud to be part of it and I don't mind either.

Now - what about making yourself a felted bag for carrying your stuff in? The Man takes our cotton ones out every time and puts them in the car so that he never goes anywhere without them. We even get deductions on our groceries if we use the cotton bags.

the mother of this lot said...

I buy one of those Tesco 'Big Blue Bags' every time I go because I have forgotten to take one with me...

The Finely Tuned Woman said...

I always take a large shopping bag with me to the store and then, of course, there are my bicycle bags. Everything gets stuffed full. I hate plastic bags and try to avoid them. They do terrible things in the ocean where for some reason many of them end up. I am not the top recycler, but I do my best. I draw the line at all that plastic packaging that I think is such a waste of material and adds to the trash pile. I just don't see the need of that.

Mean Mom said...

I often get to the gate and have to return for my shopping bags. It's so annoying, isn't it? I bought a couple of bags from Morrisons. They are great - bright red apples on a dark green background. I love them!

We try very hard with our recycling, too, but well done, Maggie, for being so fastidious!

® ♫ The Brit ♪ ® said...

A very thought-provoking post Maggie!
I also believe that all shops should get rid of the plastic bags... surely they could re-invent the thick paper bag with handles somehow... the ideal item for recycling! Plus most people could 4 or 5 shopping trips out of each bag... X

lisaschaos said...

You have many of those bags! And even more than the photo? I happened to be at Aldi's today and purchased two of theirs - they are 2-3 times the size of Wal-Marts! Yay! I love these bags and am drawn to them too, although hubs doesn't think I need 1 or 3 from every place. :)

Expat mum said...

It's much better to remember your carrier bag if you can. Paper bags still need to be made from something in the first place, so although some of them are recyclable, it uses up energy to make them. Keep them in the car if you drive to the shops, or hang them on the door when you remember about your shopping trip. (And don't think I'm preaching - I'm speaking from experience as I forget mine every time.)

Carrie and Troy Keiser said...

You are very conscience, good for you!
I used to remember to bring my bags when they give you a few cents off for each bag.... incentive! :)

Maggie May said...

The problem seems to happen when I set off on foot, not meaning to go to the shops at all, or going in for only one thing and ending up with twenty!

Now I have bought a little bag that when you turn it inside out and roll it up, it ends up small enough to fit in my handbag (purse as americans call that!)
Thats what happens when you live very near to the shops & can go out & buy what you want without ever going near a car!

imbeingheldhostage said...

I'm a sucker for a bag too-- the boot of my car is being taken over with canvas shopping bags :-)

Suburbia said...

If only I could remember to take them with me!

A Mother's Place is in the Wrong said...

I do so agree with you Maggie, we are all hopefully doing our bit with recycling etc. I'm the same though, often get to the shops having forgotten my bags. I now have a wonderful new shoppinng trolley though, a pull-along job, which saves both energy and bags! M xx

Rose said...

I applaud you, Maggie May! You are being much more diligent than I about recycling everything. The plastic bags really bother me, too, and I bought several of the canvas bags offered at local supermarkets for $1 apiece. I love them, but half the time I forget to take them in! I also saved some of my plastic bags to take in for recycling, then I heard they were really just dumping them somewhere. I wish we knew what to believe.

MarmiteToasty said...

I always put me bags back in me car once I have unloaded the groceries, but often I then forget to take them into the shop LOL

We recycle in a big way in this house, everything thats possible, even all the veggie peelings go in the compost bin and plate scrapings go down for the chickens lol my chickens are quite partial to mexican couscous now :) and you should see them with a plate of pasta lol

I cant remember plastic bags as a child, but then we didnt have big supermarkets just the little corner shop and often I would just take a list and he would send the 'boy' out on a bike to deliver our little order...... a bit like me ordering online from Tescos I suppose lol

x

Akelamalu said...

You have to hire your recycling bins? The council here provide us with three wheelie bins - one for general household waste, one for garden refuse and one for glass, plastic and tins. They also collect paper/card. We have a whole host of canvas bags but, like you, invariably forget them when we go shopping. :(

Wendy said...

Oh we have signs posted in our local IGA food store "did you forget your bag in the car?" Good thing, because I used to forget my bags in the car all the time. Now I don't.

Jules~ said...

Recycling is so important. Good for you.
I too have those canvas bags for my grocery buying and such. It took me forever to remember to actually take them with me. How many times I would be standing at the check out and realise they were still on the washing machine at home. So I put them in my car and that is where they stay. It still took me a bit longer to remember to grab them from my car though.

The Things We Carried said...

I have some fabulous bags I also forget all the time! UGH! Perhaps plastic bags (and good intentions) pave the way to hell ;o!

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

It took us a while to remember to take our bags with us and then to remember to actually take them into the supermarket but we managed it in the end!

We don't pay for our green bin either Maggie.

A x

Cheryl said...

We are big on recycling in our house. I started keeping the cloth bags in my car, so I won't forget them when I go into a store.
The plastic bags are horrible!

Good for you on your efforts. It is worth it.
XXXXX

Working mum said...

Good idea, paper bags for if you forget to take one, then you can recycle them.

I'm getting better at taking bags out with me. Funny thing is, I always have taken my own bag to the greengrocers, always was the done thing, but why just there?

PS Our council now recycles most stuff for us, but we do have four, yes four, large wheelie bins to house it all in!

cheshire wife said...

When I do my weekly supermarket shop I remember to take bags but if I ever go for an odd item or two, I forget. We have got so used to bags being provided. Our rubbish and recycling collection is changing in June but I can't imagine that it is going to take less time to sort things out.