I need to talk about plastic bags.
True confession: About twice a week I take the 16 plastic bags (usually doubled) that they give me at the store to carry home my dozen or so items — and I use them to pick up dog poop and line wastepaper baskets and whatnot — and then I throw them away, feeling pretty righteous that I reused them, if I think about it at all.
As I drove off the Bolivar Ferry on Sunday, I was immediately struck by the cotton field to my left — a vast expanse of stick-like shrubbery with balls of white on thousands and thousands of its tips.
Then I saw the same “cotton balls” stuck to each barb of barbed wire and atop each fencepost and I realized I was looking at an environmental debacle. You see, the wood from the furniture, buildings, and pulverized trees will mulch itself into the ground. But what I was seeing — what I now see everywhere I go — are plastic shopping bags that will NOT mulch, will NOT break down, but will hang there like so many plastic flags until somebody comes along and picks them all up — all 20 million or so of them.
Plastic “cotton balls”Who’s going to do that? A chain gang?
It’s paper for me from here on out. I apologize for being so slow on the uptake.
Copyright © 2009 Alice Melott
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