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EPA Wants to Know What You Think

By July 21, 2008

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Have you ever wanted to give the EPA a piece of your mind, or just tell the agency what you think about some environmental topic? Well, now you have the chance to do just that by adding your comments to the EPA blog: Greenversations. Every week, the EPA posts a new question and invites all comers to share their thoughts, and to read what others have to say on the subject.

This week's question: What do you use: paper, plastic, or reusable bags?

Paper or plastic? We take shopping bags for granted, especially at the grocery store, and itís easy to fill up several bags per trip. Both paper and plastic bags use resources, multiplied by the billions of bags used annually worldwide. You can reuse and recycle both paper and plastic types, which delays their being thrown away, or you can reduce waste with permanent bags.

For more information on this topic, see:


July 21, 2008 at 3:35 pm
(1) Linda says:

I’ve recently started shopping at a low-price no-frills grocery chain (quarter ‘rental’ fee for the carts, no-name brands, etc.) where you’re expected to bring your own bags. People seem to find it hard to do so, so they are charged for ‘buying’ plastic bags to carry their groceries.
When I’m standing in line with my reusable bags, I get a lot of smiles and comments. “I always forget mine at home or in the car,” is what I typically hear. My response? “Once you make it a habit, it becomes automatic…and easy. You just have to be conscious and deliberate about carrying a bag with you.” Old habits are hard to break, but we do them for our health and well-being. I’m an old dog who doesn’t take well to new tricks, so if I can do it, anyone can. After all, it’s the health and well-being of the planet at stake.

July 21, 2008 at 4:10 pm
(2) Ellen says:

People still think it’s “cute” when I talk about doing sustainable things like recycling, using re-usable bags, etc. They smile and say things like “I’m glad you’re doing this for us.” I’ve heard this for 38 years – since Earth Day 1970. I’m wondering when it will stop being cute and mildly amuzing to protect the environment. When I forget my re-usable bags, I have decided to buy more re-usable bags instead of plastic ones – it makes me not forget the ones I have, and then I give away my extra re-usable bags to people who don’t have them.

July 21, 2008 at 11:49 pm
(3) Cynthia says:

That’s like asking someone if they’ve stopped beating their wife yet. If you say “paper” it makes you look as if you don’t care about our diminishing forest supplies. If you answer “plastic” it’s proof positive you don’t care about the glut in our landfills.

I say “Neither, thank you.” For over 5 years I have used premium, made in the USA, thermal insulated shopping bags that utilize space age technology to be compact and highly efficient.

My 12 year old granddaughter has just started her own business called “Kool Bags Sold by a Kool Kid.” You can check out her earth friendly solution that helps consumers with safely transporting their groceries, protecting the environment, and helps save on gas – YouthBusiness.us

Hopefully, there is going to be a ground swell of “Green Teens” in our immediate future.

July 22, 2008 at 4:27 pm
(4) guidoLaMoto says:

-I’m chagrinned to see how many plastic bags wave like a flag, 40 ft up a tree, out in the woods, three miles from the nearest road. At least they’re doing R&D on degradable plastic for these now.
-Paper bags are recyclable, naturally. To say they waste trees is anachronistic. We haven’t abused forests in almost a century now, thanks to guys like T.Roosevelt.
-I carry a reusable linen bag. You can’t entrust a heavy half gallon of Jack Daniels to a flimsy plastic one.
-Look up “The Prisoners Dilemma” to see why so many people allow us to worry about reusing bags when they don’t. Game theory proves only the cheaters survive.

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