Friday, May 1, 2009

Why ban plastic bags when we are the problem?

Okay, so every weekend before I come back to Davis from Oakland, I would go grocery shopping with my grandmother because she pays for the snacks! I'm always excited to going to the Korean market on Telegraph because there are always one or two attracting girls there, not to mention the big selection of 59 cents snacks. But everytime when my grandmother and I are at the cashier paying for the groceries, my grandma would ask the bagger "Will you please double bag the groceries because it might break through?" So the baggers are nice enough to do so. But seriously grandma? It is just a bag of snacks that weigh no more than a roll of toilet paper. You think that's bad enough right? Nope. After paying the cashier, she would walk over to the bagger and check on the bags of groceries. And then.. fast and swift as if she's a professional- professional at snatching bags that is- reaches her hand out and snatches 1-2 inch of plastic bags. By then, I'm already out the door and sitting in the car wondering if anyone nobody saw that or did they just didn't say anything? Hmm.. who knows.

The consumption of plastic bags is a problematic crisis. People are lazy and we love it when things are convenient. Using plastic bags is the number one answer to our satisfactory of convenience for our everyday life. I too, am a lover of convenience and plastic bags definitely satisfies my laziness. But plastic bags can be used in a good way.
1) Used as trash bags, so that trash won't be littered everywhere.
2) Organize things at home, work, etc.
3) Clean and easy way to put stuff in to give to others.

Here is a youtube video of how someone put plastic bag to use! Even though some of the things he do with the plastic bags seem like a joke, some are actually quite creative.

People want the ban the consumption of plastic bags now because:
1) Endangering environment such as landscapes, oceans, and forests.
2) Can harm human health due to possibility of some plastic bags containing lead.
3) Can choke drains causing floods when raining.
4) Endangering many species of creatures.

Hilton, the author of the article The Dangers of Plastic Bags, mentioned an experience that he had. "My son, Cooper and I, fished more than 10 plastic bags out of the bay, 8 piles of dog waste of the beach along with cigarette butts, candy wrappers and a soccer ball." So yes, there are many plastic bags and trash in the water, but how does it get there? Also, "Research suggests that more than a million birds and 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles die every year from plastic encounters. There are 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in every square mile of ocean." Oh no, who to blame for this destruction of wildlife? Plastic Bags? No. "Americans throw away 100 billion plastic bags each year wasting nearly 12 million barrels of oil. Only 1 percent of plastic bags are recycled worldwide -- about 2 percent in the U.S. -- and the rest persist for centuries." We are the problem.

Also, a quick thought relating to the readings from class. We read that through fashion, we can assume what class different individuals are in (Kawamura). For example, furry coats and high heels can be seen as high class, while people wearing plain t-shirts can be assumed as middle or low class. But plastic bags can be seen from the same point of view as well. In Oakland, I see many friends and alot of "brothas" holding a small black plastic bag in the streets. I quickly assume they either bought some kind of snack, packs of cigarettes, or alcohol from a liquor store. Then in Chinatown, everyone is holding a pink "thank you" plastic bag. Without a second thought, I assume they are buying grocery. Then there are the fancy plastic bags from malls, and I will see people of middle or higher class. All in all, plastic bags can be a way for us to assume what others are up to and be convenient for us. People cause pollution and destruction to mother Earth, not plastic bags.

-Ivan Lee (Blog #1)


Hilton, Johnathan. The Dangers of Plastic Bags. Ezine Articles. 1 May 2009.



be green 101 said...

Ivan, you countered my first blog! Damn you!!! You hate me, don’t you? Hahaha… I am just kidding!!! I read your blog, and it was good. Although I realized this in the middle of my first week into the Compact Challenge, I will admit it here that I agree with the majority of what you have said about plastic bags. I am not changing my first blog though because it took me forever to write. Plus it shows my original sentiments. I don’t believe in erasing the past as if I never said what I said. Rather, I’ll take what I have said and use it to rethink things over and possibly learn.

In my first blog I said I would try to use eco-friendly bags when I shopped. But that challenge was a like a calculus tests for me--- hard and a complete failure! So I now decided that I will continue to use plastics bags the same way as I have before. (I used plastics bags to hold my trash.) I just wanted to point out, however, that it doesn’t mean that I am totally giving up on the idea of eco-friendly bags. I realized that my choice in diction and syntax didn’t exactly illustrate the overall point I wanted to make. Whether we properly dispose them or not, the fact is that we consume too many plastics bags a year. (I don’t remember the figures. But it’s in my blog, I believe.) Although they cost, eco-friendly bags serve as a way to counter our excessive consumption of plastic bags.


armouris said...

info on plastic here - Dangers of Plastic