I was in my house taking out the devil, that is, cleaning; and in one of many activities to do I found plastic bags completely filled with other bags, and it made me think a lot. It occurred to me that I should write about it, why? Because I am one of those people who can never have its mind blank and all the time I’m imagining a thousand things and more when I care about something.
Going into detail, it appears that I spent a long time just folding each of the bags that were there to the rhythm of my questions, such as: How did my partner and I accumulate so many plastic bags?, Why do not the different shops stop delivery these bags?, What will I do with all those bags?, among many other thoughts that sprang to my mind. Actually I was surprised to see them, there were of all colors, sizes, brands and materials; we become unconsciously collectors of bags.
Maybe you have someone in your family like your mother, grandmother, grandfather or dad who used to save all the bags with the idea that they are useful, they can be good for something, are nice, etc. I do have one, my grandmother, who used to save all the bags behind the kitchen door, including the ones where the meat was packed, then will feel the stench as if the dead cow was in the kitchen. My point is, why do this ?, I’ve been a long time with my partner trying to avoid being packaged in bags at the different places we go, we loaded carton boxes, our backpack, and yet, we are a vile example of the double standard that most people have, because we still have a collection of them in our house.
While I was folding each of the bags I dedicated myself to read different environmental messages stamping on them, and I thought -It’s a kind of mockery or joke in bad taste-. I came across phrases like: “If the planet want to take care, fewer bags have to use”, “For a Green World,” “Because we care about the planet, this bag is recyclable,” “Do not let this bag get away, re use it”, “Recycle each bag, use it to pack the garbage”,” bag made from 30% recycled raw material”. I do not know if I’m right, but how can they think that by reducing by 30% polyethylene in its manufacture are already providing solutions to this major problem? Also invited us to use fewer bags and from the internal policies of each store will not take their consumers to do so, but instead they will go farther and will put each kind of product in separate bags.
The most common type of plastic bag is made of polyethylene, a polymer derived from petroleum which microorganisms do not recognize as food and as such cannot “biodegrade”. Among my very basic knowledge on the subject of biodegradation, I know that a plastic bag takes about 150 years to degrade and that we are talking about a process of decomposition being exposed to the sun, consider those that are not. Moreover, it is proven that the polymer chains of polyethylene fail to reach a 100% decomposition and its environmental legacy can last forever.
Bearing in mind that there are 150 years of degradation for common bags, now I tell you that I found 105 bags while organizing my room. Can you believe it? I was always aware that I gathered the bags, but never actually how many were there. Many of them along with their messages very environmentalists also said that exposed to the sun and the air were degraded over a period of three years, how true is it? I do not know, I just thought I was going to disappear first from this earth that all those colorful bags in front of me.
Most people who get endless amounts of bags just in supermarkets, do not reuse them because the vast majority are useless since they get holes when put the different products purchased, and the people who “recycle” as says the message in one of them, the use that give to them is to put the garbage; then finally also become a waste.
Where will go my 105 bags if today I throw them away with my other waste, they could be in the stomach of an animal, a river and surely the beautiful seas. There are so many places where they would arrive, that I prefer to keep it and leave here saved in my house, and I will do my best so that this number does not increase further.
Versión en Español: COLECCIONANDO BOLSAS DE PLÁSTICO INCONSCIENTEMENTE