Friday, May 14, 2010

Can I eliminate plastic garbage bags?

Ask Ida


Dear Ida B. Green,

Now that I've stopped using plastic grocery bags and always remember my reusable bag, I feel pretty guilty about buying brand new garbage bags for my garbage. Any thoughts?

Signed,

Bagless

Dear Bagless,

Thank you for giving me one more chance to get on my soap box about the alternatives to plastics and non-recyclables. You're right to question the logic of refusing "free" plastic grocery bags while continuing to buy costly (and generally less eco-friendly) trash liners and drawstring garbage bags. Here are some things to consider.

· Eliminate liners from your wastebaskets and, when you have something wet or sticky to throw away, give a second purpose to some of your existing trash by dropping the 'goo' in cereal box liners, bread bags, non-recyclable plastic containers, etc. before putting it in the wastebasket.

· Neither Ohio Gulch nor your garbage company need you to wrap home garbage or grass clippings in plastic bags before you put it inside their plastic garbage cans. The mechanized pickup system eliminates loose spillage, so you don't have to worry about litter as long as you don't overfill your can.

· If you typically fill your can to overflowing, take a serious look at what you're throwing away that should be going into your recycling. And, pre-cycle by buying products that last longer and have the least unrecyclable packaging.

Easy To Be Green,

Ida

—Elizabeth Jeffery




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