[GRRN] Plastic shopping bags

Jeff Surfus (jeffsurfus@email.msn.com)
Wed, 2 Dec 1998 09:58:25 -0500

Greenyes readers:

I know this has been discussed before, but I am writing an article about
this problem so I need some info if anyone can provide it.

Recently, the recycling stations here in Southeast Michigan have stopped
accepting any plastic shopping bags. The grocery stores used to have bins
where empties could be dropped off for recycling. All of this has stopped.
When questioned about this, the standard line the grocery stores or
recycling center operators use is that there is no recycling market for
these bags anymore.

My questions are:

Why has the market dried up (or was there ever a market to begin with)?
Once again, have we been sold a bill of goods by the plastics industry as to
the recylability of these bags?

What can be done with these bags, short of throwing them away, or saving and
reusing them over and over?

The bottom line is what can the everyday consumer do with these bags?
Unless it can be made really easy for consumers to recycle (e.g. a drop off
bin right inside the grocery store), they are going to throw the bags away.

Any thoughts or ideas?

Jeff Surfus