Paper or Plastic

November 18, 2013

“Paper or Plastic?

While this may be a phrase we hear often on television that doesn’t tend to be the case in real life. Except for the minority amount of shoppers who shop with their own reusable shopping bags at most grocery stores we are automatically sent home with plastic bags. Now, San Antonio residents and city officials are proposing a Plastic Bag Ban.

San Antonio is responsible for the use of over 1.6 billion plastic bags a year and it’s reported that “at least 80% of those end up in landfills or as litter.” Not only are plastic bags less green than paper but they may be costing the city money. Officials say that making the switch back to paper bags or to reusable shopping bags could save the city and tax paying residents up to 1.3 million, currently spent on pollution control efforts.

A lot of people aren’t aware that plastic bags cannot go in their recycle bins unlike paper bags. This lack of public knowledge also hurts recycling companies that receive them by error. Stores recommend reusing the bags at home or returning them to the store to be reused. Unfortunately this practice tends to be the exception not the rule for most shoppers.

Tell us what you think about the proposed plastic bag ban? Inconvenience or the path to a greener cleaner city?

If paper wasn’t available or you left your reusable bags a home, here are a few ways to get extra use out of plastic bags:

  • Use them as trash bags. Instead of buying more non-recyclable bags to fill smaller waste buckets use old shopping bags. This is a win-win, you save a few bucks and you reduce your carbon print just a little.
  • Use them to pick up pet elimination. Animal lovers rejoice! Instead of purchasing doggy waste bags save your old shopping bags. Once again you save a little and help the environment.
  • Clogged Sink? No gloves? Unless you’re extremely lucky, chances are you will have to reach into a disgusting clogged drain at some point. Well, if your sink is clogged and you don’t have gloves around plastic bags will work great. Put two over your hand and reach in. When you grab the clog simply turn the bag inside out around your closed fist and the clog is bagged and ready for disposal.
  • Shoe covers. May not be fashion forward but placing them around your shoes to walk to your car or into your home during a storm or muddy day could save you on cleaning bills.
  • Use them to charge your credit card. Ever have trouble with the magnet strip on your credit card? Placing the card in a plastic bag and swipe it through the machine, this will normally reactivate the magnet.

More on the Proposed Ban here: Concerned San Antonio Residents Call for Plastic Bag Ban