A Bag Is For Life
A Bag Is For Life
It seems that a bag, like a puppy, is for life, and not just for Christmas. Every time I visit my local Waitrose (which is often) I am offered a “Bag For Life”. No, this is not some promotional idea of a charity raising funds for poor children in Africa or for a new scanner of some kind at a local hospital. No, these are eco-friendlier bags; stronger so they last longer, and, presumably more bio-degradable than your typical supermarket carrier bag which is destined to clog up some landfill site for a couple of millennia. On the news this morning there were a bunch of eco-warriors of uncertain sexuality and various degrees of cleanliness, intelligence, and sowing ability who had taken the idea one step further. They had made shopping bags out of old clothes. Nice. Would you want to bring your groceries home in someone else’s granddad’s Y-fronts?
Now don’t get me wrong. I am all for saving the planet and avoiding climate change. But, this Bag For Life thing just doesn’t seem to work for me. I think I have about six of the damn things already. Perhaps they are breeding. But for sure, I think I will be stuck with them for a very, very long time simply because I forget to take them with me to the supermarket. I now have to go through that whole routine where they ask me if I would like a Bag For Life; I say, “no thank you because I have several at home already”; and they reluctantly hand me two old-style carrier bags when I clearly need five or six for my many purchases, and they scowl at me in a way which is clearly intended to make me feel as if I am uniquely and personally responsible for imminent climactic chaos on an unprecedented scale.
And in any case, I recycle/reuse the carrier bags. We put our rubbish in them. Our non-recyclable rubbish that is. I am a frequent visitor to the paper bank, the bottle bank, and the plastic recycling place. But we use the old-style supermarket carrier bags to put our non-recyclables in. And, incidentally, our non-recyclables consist mostly of unnecessary supermarket packaging! Let he who is without sin…….
And, why do we need plastic bags at all? Why can’t we use paper bags like they do in America? Surely that would be much better for the planet. It would encourage the planting of more forests, and paper is much more easily recyclable than plastic. And, just think how many of us could have met our soulmates in one of those everything-falling-through-the-bottom-of-a-wet-paper-bag movie moments……
And, while I think about it, why can’t we have those nice carton things that Americans eat their Chinese takeaway out of using chopsticks, instead of those silver carton things and the plastic forks that we have over here? They may not have signed up to Kyoto, but they do seem to have a thing or two to tell us about packaging. No, it seems that I am destined to feel the full weight of my own carbon footprint in the form of the growing number of Bags For Life that are to be crammed into kitchen cupboards and the millions of wire coat hangers that seem to be taking over the wardrobes upstairs. Every shirt that comes back from the laundry returns with its own hanger. If only I was creative and talented enough to recycle the hangers into children’s mobiles or sci-fi statues, or anything that I could make my fortune doing.
And, while I think about it, the real purveyors of global warming and climate change are those little bastards who keep nicking our recycling bins. This happens far too often. We have already had one brown bin for compostable (is that a word?) stuff (weeds, leftover grub, etc.), and one blue box (for paper) stolen. Our neighbours have all been hit as well. We presume it is just kids doing it for fun, as there is not a lot else to do in sleepy Bradwall, rather than eco-terrorists. But it does seem crazy that I have to burn more CO2 by driving to the recycling place myself as a consequence of some childish prank. Perhaps the council can use those tracker things that they are putting into bins these days to find mine and return it to me.
PS.Incidentally, on the subject of poor children in Africa and elsewhere, I would wholeheartedly recommend World Vision to you. C and I sponsor a little five year old Tanzanian girl called Sesilia. Her mom and dad are only young themselves and are subsistence farmers. We like to think that our contribution will make a real difference to Sesilia’s life. Hopefully, we will be able to pay for her education. And, hopefully, this will enable her to find her own place in the world. We dream one day of visiting her in her village and saying hello properly. In the meantime, we enjoy sending her the occasional photograph and letter and receiving letters from her, translated into English by one of the charity workers.