So near so plastic – Dec 2007

Many years ago I realised that using plastic bags just the once, does not sit well with an environmental lifestyle.

In many ways they sum up our western culture’s wasteful and destructive effect on our environment. So many of us do not care about the oil used to create them; surely it cannot be much since they are free?! Many don’t care what happens to them when we throw them away. We don’t have a landfill in Wedmore. We don’t see or smell one; so surely it can’t be to bad for the environment?!

I believe it is this remoteness from the effect of our actions that is at the root of the challenge to greening our lifestyles

However, large amounts of oil are used in the production of all plastic including bags and landfills are rapidly filling up, so we must reduce what we throw away. Just because we, in our privileged corner of Somerset, cannot see the oil refinery or smell the landfill doesn’t mean they are not effecting the environment in a different part of the country or abroad.

Switching to a plastic bag free life takes a little initial effort but is really surprisingly easy. Firstly, we made sure that every plastic bag that did come our way got us much use as possible, as compost bin bags and reused at the shop. Secondly we invested a few pence in a bag for life and then made sure we used it. There are so many reusable bags to choose from, string bags to designer jute! Some shops in the village have already started, such as Pisces and Nyland Farm Shop, with some very fetching bags you can buy today.

Why not give it a go for 2008?

The world uses over 1.2 trillion plastic bags a year.

That averages about 300 bags for each adult on the planet.

That comes out to over one million bags being used per minute.
On average we use each plastic bag for approximately 12 minutes before disposing.

It then lasts in the environment for decades