Bring back those amazing plastic bags!

In our household with four kids and a zillion pets, a plastic grocery bag was a treasured thing. I don’t think one ever went to waste.

I never understood the plastic bag recycling container at the supermarket. I always wanted to raid it.  How could people relinquish their bags?  We never had enough of them.

And each one usually went through several uses, before it was finally relegated to its final use—usually something pretty rank.

Lining the diaper pail (the old-time cotton diapers, folks.) Lining a trash can. Cat/guinea pig/bird/hamster/gerbil/rat/ferret refuse.

Kids’ muddy clothes, needing to get from Point A to the laundry room without making an ultra-used car’s interior worse than it already was.

The only thing more valuable was a shoe box. They would be tucked away for those inevitable sad days to come.

They would become the final resting home for small pets that, having breathed their last, would be carefully placed in a ziplock, which would be solemnly zipped shut, then put in a carefully saved shoebox (with tearstained letters), then sealed with duct tape.

Then Steve would dig the latest grave, in the presence of weeping. Once he had carefully laid the box to rest, I would urge him to say some words of comfort. He always gave me That Look…then sighed and proceeded with his latest eulogy.

Big families, tight budgets

We represented that entity that, long ago, used to be the standard bearer of American life and culture.

A large, messy, rowdy, cluttered, busy family—somehow making it work on a budget.

Knowing that you could always throw an extra handful of noodles and another splash of water into the soup pot.

Always wondering what robbed us of the other socks and the extra batteries.

Never having enough fridgie magnets on the outside—or enough refrigerator space inside.

If something could be used and re-used, we’d use and re-use it.  Like those wonderful, amazing plastic grocery bags with the handles that could loop over just about anything.

It figures that the Powers-That-Be would want to ban a freebie that had so many practical uses to an ordinary family.  And leave so many ridiculously wasteful things unscathed.

Have you noticed how product packaging has increased its size and weight? Particularly at oh-so politically correct Costco?

Why not go after mega-superpower product packaging?

I don’t understand why practically every non-food item has to come in enormous, heavyweight plastic packaging that I can never figure out how to open.   I end up having to use heavy-duty shears to get to the face cream or batteries.

Our non-burnable trash is mostly this heavyweight plastic packaging that is completely unnecessary, and has no practical re-use.  And if you want to buy similar products without all that packaging, you usually end up having to pay a lot more.

Why not pressure the big guns to stop wasting so much plastic on monster-packaging? I’m sure dolphins wind up swallowing those things, too. And stop picking on useful things for ordinary families.

The plastic bags bans have already hurt the most vulnerable businesses—mom and pop stores, farmers market vendors, anyone who isn’t a big store with lots of departments, where you can pack a lot of items into a single bag.

So keep your great ideas coming, greenies. And keep them targeted to hurt small businesses and large families. Those symbols of good old Americana tend to grate on your nerves, anyway.

Remember the returnable soft drink bottles of the baby boomer years? They didn’t even need to be recycled. Just washed and re-used, over and over again.refillable coke bottles

Why don’t we do things like that anymore?


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