Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Problem Solved: Bag to Bag

We live in an age of convenience. There is, however, a price to pay for it. Can you imagine a world without plastic bags? And yet, plastic bags, which are so much more common here in Turkey than in the US, are a real environmental problem.

Only 1 percent of plastic bags are recycled worldwide while the remainder can be around for centuries. It costs $4,000 to process and recycle a ton of plastic which can then be sold on the commodities market for… only $32, according to Jared Blumenfeld, director of San Francisco's Department of the Environment. Once they are thrown away, the plastic bags are dumped in landfills or still worse in the seas and oceans.

According to the Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation, more than a million birds and 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles die every year from eating or getting entangled in plastic.

The Environmental Protection Agency in the US released data that shows that somewhere between 500 billion to a trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide each year. Imagine that. Now imagine that these relatively trivial products of convenience will survive you by perhaps a couple thousand years.

So, should we simply throw up our hands and give up? Well, you could or you can decide to be part of the solution. The photos below (provided by http://plasticbagbag.com) show one potential answer.

By using many bags to make one tote and by shopping with this re-usable tote-bag each time you go to the market, you will not be adding to the problem and you will be taking used plastic bags out of circulation.


  1. That's a really good idea if you are good at making things like that...which I'm not. I rarely, if ever accept plastic bags here now in shops or at the market. I have three cotton tote bags that I bought in England which I use for my shopping. It doesn't matter if they get dirty inside or out...from stuff like potatoes etc, because the bags just go in the washing machine.

  2. I'm pretty good with my hands but I never could quite master knitting. Crocheting is something I can do but then all the stitches are uneven, depending on my mood.
    Working with your hands is wonderful therapy and I really need to get back into it. I used to oil paint and I was pretty good if I don't say so myself.
    Now that I have gone over to digital, though, it is doesn't have the same relaxing quality. Also my eyes aren't as good as they were and I feel the strain more now.
    The best thing about this project is that it removes spares bags which would otherwise get chucked in the bin. This project only removes the ones I already have!! Anyway, I find it very sad to see how many jellyfish-like plastic bags I always see floating around the Bay of Izmir.

  3. this is really a good idea, but just like Ayak said, only if you are good at such things.

    and by the way, all this time i thought you are male, Nomad. But somehow, i start to consider the possibility that you are a lady.

  4. There are so many kinds of crafts- and each with different required skills- that I am sure you can find one that appeals to you. And very few people start out being gifted, most people have to spend time developing their skills. But the sense of fulfillment you get when you finish your own "work of art" is something that you can't really get anywhere else.

    Why did this post make you think about gender?
    It always makes me laugh when people think that man cannot be good with handicrafts, that only women can sew or knit or crochet and men could only do woodworking. And then it shouldn't be too creative.
    In fact, I AM pretty sloppy with those things but it doesn't stop me from either trying or enjoying the attempts.
    I grew up in the 60s and 70s when all the ex-hippies were our teachers and back then, there was an idea that men and women could be free to make their own identities, rather than having society dictate them for us.

  5. i said "possibility" Nomad. :)

    well now, while it is very true that everybody is free to choose whatever they want to do in life regardless of what society dictates, the society (and its norms) is not something we can ignore so easily. it is another matter if we judge other people according to social norms or not, and im really not in the judging department, but i think it is rather logical to make assumpitons about a person regarding social behaviours.

  6. Jedilost, why is it important to you? Are you looking for a boyfriend?


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