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March 20, 2009


Megyn, a few weeks ago I heard you talking on America’s Newsroom when you voiced genuine surprise that people are choosing to use reusable clothe bags over plastic bags when shopping. My guess is, that if you knew the consequences of our “use a plastic bag for 10 minutes & then throw it away” mentality that you’d be at the head of line encouraging people to dump the plastic bags and begin using alternatives. It is clear that you are smart & savvy enough to know using plastic bags is so yesterday!

What most people don’t know is that our careless use of plastic (in all forms) combined with our almost non existent re-cycling has produced a ecological disaster of our own making. Our prodigious use of the humble plastic bag & tossing it instead of re-cycling it is turning large segments of our environment into plastic wastelands and our oceans and streams into little more than cesspools unfit for birds, man, and marine life.

The amount of plastic that is used for the equivalent of nanoseconds and then tossed away on a global scale is mind-numbing … almost impossible to grasp . . . the equivalent of understanding what $trillion dollar deficits mean to our economy. Here are a couple of quick facts:

  • Americans use 2.5 million plastic bottles every HOUR.
  • Plastic bags and other plastic garbage thrown into the ocean kill as many as 1 million sea creatures every year.
  • Today, Americans generate 10.5 million tons of plastic waste a year but recycle only 1 or 2 % of it.

To see the consequences of what this means please view these two videos. One was produced by VBS TV and the other is from a Nightline segment. Both videos tell a compelling story. had to see it with their own eyes, so they sailed for two days in the Pacific before reaching their destination. But it wasn’t like they expected: “What people don’t get is that it’s not really a patch and it’s not really an island, both of which you might be able to contain and control. No, what we found is much worse. It’s like a gigantic toxic stew and it’s a big big problem that we need to pay attention to now.”

and this one . . .

For some people, if they haven’t seen it (whatever it is) it doesn’t exist. Now you have seen it and I don’t know how you can turn away. Please spend some time check out the numerous resources that are out there and then please join us. Please pledge to use less plastic where possible and to use re-usable bags when shopping. Once you see the devastation our use of plastic is causing the enviornment and all forms of birds and marine life, I don’t know how you can turn your back on this problem.

There’s a PS here. The hardest thing to do, in the first few weeks of trying to use less plastic is remembering to bring your own bags! BTW, there are numerous grocery chains and drug stores that are offering re-usables for sale. They are very inexpensive . . . maybe not so pretty, but we’re working on that. You can also count on needing at least 3 or 4 re-usable bags when shopping.

My next post will offer tips on integrating re-usable bags into our busy life styles. Good luck Megyn, we’re counting on you!


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