The problem is that when plastic is not disposed of properly, or disposed of at all, it will ensure harmful environmental consequences. A plastic bag can take anywhere from 100 to 500 years to disintegrate! Plastic is a huge environmental threat, killing animals and clogging up rivers worldwide. The average usage time of a plastic bag is around 25 minutes, which is funny because they can be used for multiple things (i.e. picking up your dog’s waste, trash bags.) When a plastic bag is not disposed of it can harm the life of animals and of the entire ecosystem, making them a serious environmental threat. There are ways to use plastic bags without harming nature in the process.

First of all, a plastic bag does NOT have to be recycled, and in fact, it is preferred in some places to not be thrown in the recycling bin because they screw up the machinery that produces recycled goods. If you are going to use a plastic bag at least have the decency to throw it away in the trash can if you are not going to reuse it! The worst thing that you can do with a plastic bag is to throw it to the wind. Please try and make an effort to dispose of your trash – and I’m not just talking plastic – in proper bins, if not for the environment’s sake, then for the sake of sightliness, because there is nothing worse than going to the beach and stumbling upon the remains of picnics past.

The largest ‘landfill’ in the world is in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. There is such thing as the ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch‘, a place with high concentrations of chemical sludge and other broken down remnants of waste. The patch is reported to be ‘twice the size of the continental United States,” and if that doesn’t gross you out then I don’t know what could. This implies that our waste production is too high, and if that is true, what is to happen when this ‘Garbage Patch’ grows? We are already swimming in our own litter half of the time, will this make it a natural thing? Will we be forced to swim in a sea of broken down, toxic particles and various other kinds of waste?

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There are efforts going on globally to reduce the incline of plastic waste, one of them being a program run by Trex, which is collecting plastic from local schools in order to create their faux wood panels, the winning school gets a handy prize. In Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and Chesapeake, among other districts, there are numerous schools competing in this competition to eliminate plastic waste. The Organic Comfort Zone is doing its part in helping the schools out by donating the plastic waste that we receive everyday to Willoughby Elementary, a local public school that is currently ranked first in this intercity contest. We are proud to be a part of instilling the benefits of  ‘Green’ living into the minds of the youngsters of our nation.

The Trex Plastic Film Recycling Program is helping students throughout Virginia learn of the harm that litter can bring and also of what they might be able to do about it all, which is, to begin with, throwing it away properly! People can get involved by donating to local stores, such as a grocery store, that takes in plastic bags specifically and can send them to places where they can be recycled. If you do not have the time for that, or can not find anywhere around you that is affiliated with recycling, than the easiest step you can take is to throw them out! Another alternative to plastic bags is tote shopping bags that can be reused over and over again, paper bags are not ideal, seeing that they kill trees and are more expensive.

Not only schools, but associations all over the country are giving way to a plastic bag disposal. Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources had partnered with multiple other business’ to form the Wrap Recycling Action Project, or W.R.A.P., which aims to increase the recycling of plastic film in “nearly every business and household.” Much of these bags with the Resin Identification code of #2 and #4 can be disposed of in retail store bins.

The best motto is Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, because it truly is the best thing that you can do with everything that you find in your possession. You can reduce the use of plastic film by stuffing more things into one bag, because the capacity of the bag is usually more than one might expect. Or, instead of doubling your bags for one liter of soda, ask the cashier to only use one bag. Reuse your bags for as long as you can and then when everything is said and done, find a place to recycle them, or throw them away. Save yourself, save some money, save the planet, and enjoy every day as it comes. Enjoy the world without the clutter of plastic bags and filthy waste lying about and do your part in protecting the environment that you live in so that the grass can grow greener everyday and everywhere.

 

 

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