Talking Trash II: Kill the Plastic Bag

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I saw a short film once of a plastic bag dancing on wind currents through a city street. The videographer followed the graceful motions of the white willowy butterfly so patiently and for so long that, though I was at first mesmerized, I finally lost interest in following the bag until the end of the film. I think that was a good thing though, because now I can imagine that the bag’s certain death was a slow painful one that ripped it violently to shreds so miniscule that the form was left totally unrecognizable.

The plastic supermarket bags meant to be disposable are the worst sort of useless waste ever inflicted on this country. Our dependence on the plastic bag would be as easy to curb on a national scale as a simple advertising campaign, like the incredibly effective TV commercial we all remember where the Native American on horseback overlooking a gorgeous valley, has a tear streaming down his cheek as he witnesses all the litter. That was the most brilliant and effective social service announcement EVER! Why can’t that Native man make a comeback now and save us from this totally useless, totally avoidable, not even indulgent, indulgence.

Please tell me how hard it is to carry reusable bags? And why do I not do it here either?! Like my addiction to paper products mentioned previously, I am one of US, and shamefully so, because I’m sittin here bitchin’ about it!

As with the paper products, I was for some time able to survive without these “disposable” bags, when I was living abroad. Now back at home, I fall right back into those bad old habits reinforced by everyone around me.

My own hypocrisy is not a new concern of mine. Neither is my addiction to the plastic bag. It was one of my most difficult lessons when I traveled actually, but it only took me a handful of times to forget and have to spend the precious coins to buy a new one each time, before I was able to finally get it.

Charge for it! Then the plastic bag will have an entirely new role in this country, as it should.

And furthermore, we need to stop calling plastic “disposable” in the first place.