Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Acme Responds

I received the following email today:

Good Morning _________:

Thanks for your recent comments
We have passed them on to our buying staff
We appreciate your business
Thanks for shopping at Acme FreshMarket Stores


I had asked why Acme uses brown plastic bags instead of the blue recycle bags that can be used to collect glass, plastic and aluminum recyclables for disposal in Akron's new blue recycle bins.

I also suggested that Acme make a push for re-usable cloth bags and if they won't change to blue bags, consider putting out collection bins for customers to return the plastic ones for recycling.

Rick's response didn't sound very excited by my ideas. He does appreciate my business, so maybe I have to shop elsewhere until Acme wakes up. However, such a tactic will be useless unless I continue to keep the pressure on. And that means asking readers to email Acme to request blue bags and returnable bag options.

Meanwhile, a reader posted a comment steering me to Bring Your Own Bags, a web site with accompanying blog site that contains a heap of information about how important it is for humans to stop using plastic bags.

Here are some statistics snagged from Bring Your Own Bag:
  • 100 million plastic bags a week go to landfill.
  • Plastic bags can take between 15 and 1000 years to break down in the environment.
  • Each year, an estimated 500 billion - 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide. That translates to over one million per minute.
  • North America goes through 110 billion plastic shopping bags annually.
  • Plastic bags don’t biodegrade, they photodegrade—breaking down into smaller and smaller toxic bits contaminating soil and waterways polluting our soil, rivers, lakes and oceans.
  • Production of plastic bags requires vast amounts of oil.
  • Hundreds of thousands of sea turtles, whales and other marine mammals die every year from eating discarded plastic bags mistaken for food.
Pity the poor ocean dwellers, not only are they beset by rising temperatures from global warming and acidification from human production of carbon dioxide, they also choke on tons of plastic infesting every body of water on the planet. You can read about the vortex of plastic choking the oceans here.

So everybody -- please Bring Your Own Bags and limit your use of plastics to those that can be recycled. Individually, it seems like such a small action, but collectively it can have enormous positive effects upon this planet.

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