“And Man created the plastic bag and the tin and aluminum can and the cellophane wrapper and the paper plate, and this was good because Man could then take his automobile and buy all his food in one place and He could save that which was good to eat in the refrigerator and throw away that which had no further use. And soon the earth was covered with plastic bags and aluminum cans and paper plates and disposable bottles and there was nowhere to sit down or walk, and Man shook his head and cried: Look at this Godawful mess” (Art Buchwald, 1970).
There is one simple action we can all take that will have an enormous impact on the health of our planet and its inhabitants: Don’t leave the stalls, sari-sari store, and malls, carrying a plastic bag the next time you shop. Just so we know plastic bags are the most lethal polluters created. Our response will sure help reduce and, eventually, remove plastic bag in circulation.
I had started curtailing my “polyethylene consumption” when I was in college (2001) upon stumbling upon a post by our school’s mountaineering association which talked up Reducing Plastic Usage. Just like what I said in my blog entry, The Struggling Servant of Mother Nature, last 15 April 2011, living up to the practice did not happen in a day nor a week. We were used to these plastic bags and have lived with it for years so acquiring the practice is just like trying to quit smoking. The development towards fulfillment is gradual.
After seven years of practice, I started my campaign at home or last March 2009 only. To date, my major accomplishment is I had my mother, wife, and siblings refrain from collecting plastic bags each time they go to a public market. We have been using basketa, or sometimes bigger plastic bags as a way of reusing, to take those foodstuffs and small household supplies in. Honestly, the realization that it took that long for me to magnify this advocacy is saddening; nevertheless, I am proud I am pushing on.
For the last three years of my stay in Quezon City, I have not yet seen signs that the No Plastic Bags Policy would reach the corners of the city anytime soon more so at the public market in our area. I must say that the efforts of the EcoWaste Coalition and Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) in staging a campaign against plastic bags in the country at Commonwealth Market, Quezon City was futile because up to now, I have not yet heard nor read any development ensuing said campaign last 03 July 2010.
It has been a practice for market vendors, sidewalk and stall hucksters in particular, to put a single item bought in a plastic bag — may it be a carrot, a mango, fascicle of horse radish tree, or a pile of calamondin. People should know that carrying those and their equivalents through the hands whenever possible, instead of putting them into a plastic bag, can create a ripple effect on the reduction of plastic bags usage, which is undeniably a real and BIG problem now. That proves how less informed most of the people are on the issues encircling this problem in our place. Hence, I am forced to go to market from time to time with a basket to perform that ceremony of returning their plastic bags. Because of the vendors’ ignorance and reluctance on the matter, I must admit that I sometimes hesitate to pour the sentiment out right away especially if the person’s face “looks” acerbic. However it may be, I am hopeful that these little acts will contribute to the triumph of the policy.
Days before I drafted this post, I researched on possible references via Google. The most important information that I have learned is that, currently, there are only five (5) cities, four (4) towns, and 10 malls across the country who are implementing the No Plastic Bags Policy. (Correct me if I’m wrong.) I thought of quoting more text from those articles but I left off considering that their titles speak for the same cause anyway: providing updates on how far the policy have gone in the country. And here they are in chronological order:
11. Malls To Charge Fee for Plastic Bags Once A Week (Ayala Malls, Ever Malls, Hi-Top Supermarket, Isetann Malls, Makro, Robinson’s Supermart, Savemore, SM Hypermart and SM Supermarkets), September 23, 2010
For further reading, the following links are recommended:
Let us do our part in helping Mother Nature. “There is hope if people will begin to awaken that spiritual part of themselves, that heartfelt knowledge that we are caretakers of this planet” Brooke Medicine Eagle.
Spread the word, please!
- Plastic Bag Ban (coastalpromise.wordpress.com)
- No More Plastic In Paradise. (veggiefitness.wordpress.com)
- Americans Use Approximately 102 Billion Plastic Shopping Bags Each Year (politicore.wordpress.com)
- Go Green – Say no to Plastic (deepikanagabushanam.wordpress.com)
- Plastic Bag Act (hed320.wordpress.com)
- Join Me and Make Singapore A Greener Country! (method86.wordpress.com)
- Plastic Bagless Bellingham! (stephaniegetsridofhercrap.wordpress.com)
- How the Plastic Bag is Suffocating the Planet [Infographic] (urbantimes.co)