Re:[GRRN] Plastic shopping bags

Brown, Rebecca (
Thu, 03 Dec 1998 10:00:00 -0800

Dear Jeff,

Though this doesn't answer the question of recycling plastic bags, I would
second the reply of Steve Schell. The more people who use reusable bags, the
less plastic and paper use/discard problems there will be. Have you contacted
the manufacturer of the plastic bags and discussed the problem with them?

I keep a bunch of bags in my car, of a couple of sizes. Every time I go to a
store, I pop the trunk, pull out the number of bags I think I might need, and
shopping. I get a nickel for each bag, too, from grocery stores, but not from
other stores. Nothing to get rich from, but I think that adds to the
on folks around me about the value of using your own bags. This also works
for those times when you need little bags for fruits or vegies. A net bag
that's see-through, but reusable, works good at the grocers. I also find it
easier to use these bags than paper, or those plastic ones that flop over, or
cut your hands. Plus, I don't have to figure out what to do with the plastic
bags.There's a lot of us out here frustrated by the same problem with all kinds
of plastic products!

Good luck,
Rebecca Brown
City of Woodland

____________________Reply Separator____________________
Subject: [GRRN] Plastic shopping bags
Author: "Jeff Surfus" <>
Date: 12/2/98 6:58 AM

From: Jeff Surfus
Date: Wed, Dec 2, 1998 6:58 AM
Subject: [GRRN] Plastic shopping bags
To: greenyes; multiple recipients of
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

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