Environmental justice is not only caring about the environment but doing what you can to help preserve it. It seems like a massive undertaking but you would be surprised to see how small things make a big difference. That being said is, one thing that seems to be common across almost all cultures in America is parents bequeathing an almost supernatural ability unto their children: hoarding plastic bags. Maybe you have a small drawer dedicated to them, maybe you subconsciously store them or fold them into little origami triangles you throw at a sibling. All joking aside, it’s easy to forget that the plastic bags people keep are not biodegradable. It takes thousands of years for them to break down. So you might ask yourself; what do I do with all these bags?
I’ve asked myself this question and did a little research to see how plastic bags are recycled. It turned out that the local supermarket has a bin dedicated to collecting plastic bags and waste for the purpose pushing neighborhood wide recycling initiative. With a quick trip I was surprised to see my neighbors had piled up the plastic as if to replicate Mt. Everest. With less than 5% of Americans recycling their plastic bags this came as a surprise. Environmental justice starts not only with you but with talking to your community boards to see what can be made available to you community. Part of the problem of recycling in America is people may be willing but their communities might not have the facilities to help make it happen.
This semester I think it is a manageable goal to a) bring my own reusable bags with me when I shop and b) recycle the bags I’ve already “collected.” This is a manageable goal as it will not only help the environment but save money now that some supermarkets will be charging an additional 5 cents per bag used. A dollar or two towards bags times twelve months a year will depend on how frequently you shop but it’s still nice to save money in the long run. What do you think about recycling plastic bags, is it feasible?
Source: http://atrl.net/forums/showthread.php?t=752183 (picture)