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Old 02-14-2008, 01:52 PM   #1
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Paper or Plastic?

The thread about bagging your own groceries reminded me of News story about plastic bags Heard that they will be taken off the "market" for obvious reasons. I do most of my food shopping on line (groceries delivered), & still notice plastic bags are still around.

When asked, in the past, which I prefer "Paper or Plastic?" I say "Both" - as I don't want anything leaking through the paper, & makes toting several bags easier. I wouldn't mind giving up the plastic if it helped the environment.

What do you prefer & what is your input? Anyone know when the plastic ban will take effect?

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Old 02-14-2008, 01:58 PM   #2
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When I have a choice I request paper....
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Old 02-14-2008, 02:12 PM   #3
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When you have 2 dogs, you like the plastic bags. Mine are always recycled in that manner. And paper is used to bundle my newspapers together for the recycling truck.
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Old 02-14-2008, 02:20 PM   #4
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Plastic bags should be banned everywhere. I'm happy SF recently did this.

I bring my recycled paper bags, but I also bring my huge backpack. When I order groceries online, I opt for no bags.
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Old 02-14-2008, 02:22 PM   #5
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we ask for plastic, then re-use them much as jenny does, but with litter boxes and diapers.

i remember we used to buy special plastic bags for diapers, to fit into the top of a diaper pail to be dispensed. but they're relatively expensive, and we had a ton of plastic bags from the supermarket, so it was a no-brainer. since we emptied out kitchen garbage almost as much as we had to empty the diaper pail, there were no foul odors around from using the cheaper plastic.
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Old 02-14-2008, 02:39 PM   #6
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I am like Jenny and Bucky. I get plastic and they get re-used for litter and diapers. We also used to use them as trash bags for the kitchen trash.
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Old 02-14-2008, 02:40 PM   #7
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Neither, as much as possible. DH goes to 2-3 conferences per year and brings home tote bags from most, if not all, of them, so I have a few canvas bags in the car and try to remember to bring them into the store with me. The real challenge is remembering to take them back out to the car after unloading in the kitchen. DH brings home plastic bags from his own shopping, which keeps us stocked with doggie-dropping bags.
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Old 02-14-2008, 02:44 PM   #8
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Neither, as much as possible. DH goes to 2-3 conferences per year and brings home tote bags from most, if not all, of them, so I have a few canvas bags in the car and try to remember to bring them into the store with me. The real challenge is remembering to take them back out to the car after unloading in the kitchen. DH brings home plastic bags from his own shopping, which keeps us stocked with doggie-dropping bags.
Me, too. But when I go to Target, I use the plastic bags because those bags are really good! A little thicker than most and don't generally have any holes at the seams. They get used for cat litter and to line our smaller trash cans in the house. They really got a work out when we all had the flu and every kid had a small trash can next to the bed in case they didn't make it to the bathroom quick enough to throw up!
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Old 02-14-2008, 02:49 PM   #9
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I use canvas tote bags at the grocery store. I just feel kinda weird toting them into Target or Wal-Mart! Plus, I reuse the plastic bags I get in those places for the dirty kitty litter and lining wastebaskets.
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Old 02-14-2008, 02:53 PM   #10
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I use canvas bags for most all things I purchase from the store. (Some places like Kroger will give you 5 cents for each canvas bag your bring off your bill.) If I forget my bags which has happened on occasion, I opt for paper if I can't carry it out with my hands. The paper bags are then used to bundle up paper/cardboard for recycling.

What few plastic bags I end up with go back to the recycle bin at the store.
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Old 02-14-2008, 03:22 PM   #11
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Plastic. We re-use them for garbage bags, dog waste disposal, used to use em for diaper disposal. When we go to ALDI we take them with and re-use them there. If we end up with a lot more than we are currently in need of or using (I can't remember the last time that happened), we take them back to Jewel for recycling.
If they do away with plastic, then I guess I will have to start buying actual garbage bags for the house, so not sure how well that will impact the environment in my case. Ideal would be to use canvas for shopping and no garbage bags at all. Just dump into a lidded garbage can, straight into the garbage truck, then into sorting and then off to its final destination.
First thing they do around here is rip the garbage bags open to sort the garbage anyway, now doesn't that sound like a complete waste?
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Old 02-14-2008, 03:34 PM   #12
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I use both. Plastic bags can be brought back to the store . The store has a barrel there for bringing the plastic bags back for recyling.
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Old 02-14-2008, 04:45 PM   #13
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In all the truth plastic is much easier to recycle. The land fields are full of paper, more so than plastic.

If I have to choose I go by what goes in the bags, if it is something that may leak - plastic, if its a loaf of bread - paper.
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Old 02-14-2008, 05:01 PM   #14
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When I was a kid, there were only paper bags. If you had heavy items, like gallons of milk or lots of cans, they'd double bag. At some point, about 15 years ago, about the time they decreased customer service, they started with the plastic bags. All of a sudden, you had the choice of paper or plastic, and lots of people were taking both. You'd get the security of double bagging, plus handles! What a renovation, people loved it. Plus, you had a bunch of free plastic bags that could be reused over and over and over....

Unfortunately, the cashiers also got in the habit of just putting one or two items in a plastic bag. The double roll of paper towels in a plastic bag all by itself makes me scream. Or the dozen eggs that simply cannot be neighbours with anything else in a bag. And bleach, which actually has a handle and can be 'gasp' carried by the handle is placed into a bag, a plastic bag... Yes, way way too much plastic being bandied about in a supermarket.

Remember when the deli actually wrapped your cold cuts in butcher's paper? Now, it's wrapped in plastic and then placed in a little plastic bag with the weight and price. Produce was placed in little brown paper bags instead of people placing one lemon in a plastic bag. If you wanted a quarter pound of cherries, you simply put them in a paper bag and weighed them on the scale that is always in the produce department. Now, you have to take the size they offer you on a styrofoam tray that is hermetically sealed in plastic wrap. Suspiciously, they do the same thing to the chicken breasts and the sausages. Is butcher paper extinct? Is it on the endangered list? And what's with that little plastic gadget they insist on sticking in those overgrown chickens?

Hey, where was I...?

I invested a buck each in a dozen canvas/cloth bags. They have handles and can hold an inordinate amount of weight. I launder them every now and then, especially the ones I use in the produce market and at the butcher's shop. I put them in the trunk of my car as soon as I finish unpacking my groceries (or whatever else I used them for). That way, whenever I find myself at a store, I have the bags with me. In the extremely rare occasion that I don't have the bags with me, I'll only take paper bags, and prefer little paid stickers on big items like milk, bleach, detergent, toilet paper.
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Old 02-14-2008, 05:01 PM   #15
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Also, I was at my local Whole Foods recently and they have a sign at the check out saying they will be doing away with all bags as soon as they use up their current supply. You have to bring your own bags from then on.

I recently read the book "The World Without Us" (which was fascinating btw) and he told of an experiment where scientists tied a plastic grocery bag onto the pier in Boston Harbor. One year later, it had not changed at all, and you could still carry groceries in it!! I thought that was amazing, after a year in salt water.
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Old 02-14-2008, 05:04 PM   #16
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When you have 2 dogs, you like the plastic bags. Mine are always recycled in that manner. And paper is used to bundle my newspapers together for the recycling truck.
All my newspapers and periodicals and unimportant mail go into the paper grocery bags when I have them, too. If I don't, I tie with twine. As far as the dogs and the use of those bags go....I don't know if you can actually call that recycling, unless you pour the contents down the toilet and wash out the bag. Not trying to be a smart alec, but visions of huge garbage piles filled with little yellow bags holding puppy poopy always comes to mind...
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Old 02-14-2008, 05:06 PM   #17
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Neither, as much as possible. DH goes to 2-3 conferences per year and brings home tote bags from most, if not all, of them, so I have a few canvas bags in the car and try to remember to bring them into the store with me. The real challenge is remembering to take them back out to the car after unloading in the kitchen. DH brings home plastic bags from his own shopping, which keeps us stocked with doggie-dropping bags.
Put your car keys in one of them....that way, the next time you go to your car, you'll get your keys and the bags!
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Old 02-14-2008, 05:10 PM   #18
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In all the truth plastic is much easier to recycle. The land fields are full of paper, more so than plastic.

If I have to choose I go by what goes in the bags, if it is something that may leak - plastic, if its a loaf of bread - paper.
Paper bags don't necessarily have to be recycled. The paper will disintegrate faster without recycling naturally. Just put a bag outside for a week or two and the elements will begin to take care of it.
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Old 02-14-2008, 05:15 PM   #19
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Yeah, one bag will. But not thousands of tons of it.
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Old 02-14-2008, 06:01 PM   #20
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We use both. Whenever my mom goes grocery shopping with me, she'll use one kind of bag and I'll use the other so that we'll know whose groceries are whom.

We also use the plastic bags in the small garbage cans. I bag up our recyclables in both kinds of bags to take to the recycle wagon. We also use the plastic bags in the shredder container. We put about a couple of extras in the bottom. After the bag is filled with shredded paper & junk mail, we take it out, tie the top, and pick one up out of the bottom of the container to pull over the edges.

Our paper bags are used for pop cans & bottle recycling. There's a 5-cent refund on all pop/beer cans & bottles here in Iowa. Some or all of the bottle/can redemption places require people to bring their stuff in in paper bags. Our paper bags set on the floor in our utilityroom where our 3 small dogs sleep during the night and stay whenever we're not home. The 2 boys pee on the bags. LOL It's a royal pain to empty a paper bag every few days but at least they're peeing on them than on something else. LOL

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