Single-Use Plastic Bags & Bottles Destructive to Our Oceans, Our World

There was a time, not that long ago when you would see countless cigarette butts littering the landscape. Then, something happened ever so slowly, the ugly disgusting cigarette butts began disappearing from bars and restaurants, parking lots, sidewalks, beaches, ashtrays in public and private buildings.

People finally got the message that smoking was not cool but was detrimental to health of everyone surrounded by the smoker.

Can the same thing happen with single-use plastic bags and bottles? I think it can … with YOUR help.  Imagine a world without plastic debris and SAY NO TO PLASTICS

Plastics Industry Fights Against Reusable Bags


The Canadian Plastics Industry conducted a  commission to study reusable bags and found problems with them.  Hmmm … anyone really surprised?  No? Me neither.

Here’s a portion of what the plastics industry in Canada found:

The Canadian Press (May 20,  2009)

TORONTO — The growing popularity of reusable grocery bags could pose a health risk to Canadians by increasing their exposure to dangerous bacteria, says a study commissioned by the plastics industry released Wednesday.

The Canadian Plastics Industry Association hired two independent labs to conduct what it said was the first study of so-called eco-friendly grocery bags in North America, and found 64 per cent of them were contaminated with some level of bacteria.

Forty per cent of the reusable bags tested had yeast or mould, and some had detectable levels of coliforms and fecal intestinal bacteria when there should have been none, said Dr. Richard Summerbell, who was commissioned to evaluate the lab findings.

Need I say that findings paid for by the Canadian Plastics Industry and used to discredit reusable bags is suspect at best?  Want more?


The study also warned of other potential health problems if the reusable bags are used to carry gym clothes or diapers in addition to groceries,  (say what?) which could lead to exposure to the superbug called community-acquired MRSA (methycillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus).

I don’t know about you, but it never occurred to me to use or consider using that same reusuable bag for groceries, dirty diapers, nasty gym shoes, or other nefarious and germ laden items.

This boys ‘n girls is junk science at its best … its paid for best.


The other day I sent out an email blast to members of the church I belong to and where I sing on Sundays.  It concerned my activism and concern for the ocean and our environment because of our use/misuse of plastic.

One of the replies I received was very pointed and shall I say skeptical of the consequences of all this plastic in the oceans and in our environment.  That’s OK.

In fact, it seems to me since we can no longer trust the MSM to provide citizens with unbiased information it should be de rigeur to search, seek, and verify the information we are receiving, regardless of the source.

Essentially, the questions were, “Where do all these stats come from?  Are they made up? Can they be believed?”  Good questions all because if we’re going to ask people to change their life styles, stop using a particular product or service, we need to provide accurate information.

Some of the stats you see quoted most often can be viewed at Clean Air Council, hardly a radical group.  The group has been around since 1987.  A visit to their site is well worth it.  There is a wealth of information contained on the site and it concerns all kinds of types of pollution and waste reduction data.

Here are a few stats from the site that you may not have seen:

  • Only about one-tenth of all solid garbage in the United States gets recycled.
  • Every year we fill enough garbage trucks to form a line that would stretch from the earth, halfway to the moon.
  • Each day the United States throws away enough trash to fill 63,000 garbage trucks.
  • Almost 1/3 of the waste generated the U.S. is packaging
  • The amount of glass bottles Americans throw away every two weeks would have filled both World Trade Center towers.
  • Americans throw away enough aluminum cans to rebuild our commercial air fleet every three months, and enough iron and steel to supply all our nation’s automakers every day.
  • Throwing away one aluminum can wastes as much energy as if that can were 1/2 full of gasoline.
  • In the U.S., an additional 5 million tons of waste is generated during the holidays. Four million tons of this is wrapping paper and shopping bags

I found this video on You Tube last week.  It is very good… enjoy!


Wondering what the connection between Oprah’s weight gain, using less plastic in your life, and those pesky New Year’s resolutions could possibly be?


First, for those who are new to this site . . . a brief introduction. Our world is drowning in unnecessary plastic usage. It is an immense ecological disaster that few people are aware of and that every one contributes to.

Our Raison d’etre is information and transformation. For example did you know that:

  • Americans use 2.5 million plastic bottles every HOUR.

  • Plastic bags and other plastic garbage thrown into the ocean kill as many as 1 million sea creatures every year.

  • Today, Americans generate 10.5 million tons of plastic waste a year but recycle only 1 or 2 % of it.

  • An estimated 14 billion pounds of trash, much of it plastic is dumped in the world’s oceans every year.

The truth is that this is a world wide problem!!!

Every year, around 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide. 500,000,000,000. Five hundred followed by nine zeros. That’s a lot of bags. So many that over one million bags are being used every minute and they’re damaging our environment.

OK, back to Oprah’s weight gain and the New Year’s resolutions that never seem to last more than a few weeks.

How this possibly to linked to using less plastic? Here how.

University studies have discovered that it takes approximately 6 to 9 months to change a habit, to change the brain’s pathways. No wonder people give up after a few weeks of trying to quit smoking, or dieting, or (yes!) trying to stop using plastic. No one ever told them that it takes times to change the brain’s pathways!

Our brains have enormous “plasticity,” meaning they can create new cells and pathways. But our brains create strong tendencies to do the same thing over and over.

The brain cells that fire together wire together. Meaning, they have a strong tendency to run the same program the next time. That’s why lasting change takes lots of practice; you’ve got to create a pathway to the new options.

When asked whether to use paper or plastic, I, like many others, have begun bringing reusable bags to shop. I am taking major steps to find ways to re-cycle and use less plastic on a daily basis, but the hardest thing remains remembering to bring my reusable bags to shop the next time. Don’t ask me how many times I’ve put the bags in the car, driven to the market, and walked into the store with the bags still in the car! (Argh!)

What’s the moral of all of this?

So many of us speed through life multi-tasking that we forget that our brains easily go into auto drive before we are even aware it. Whether you are trying to loose weight, stop smoking, or trying to change some other pattern of behavior . . . remember if you slip into the old bad habit you are trying to break, don’t beat up on yourself. Your brain needs to build up new patterns and that, as science is proving, takes time. So, forgive yourself, move on, and try again!

Oprah, you slipped, that’s all. Now, while I’ve got your attention. Remember to dispose of that plastic water bottle properly. Better still, can the bottled water and BYOB!


Think you don’t use a lot of plastic or that plastic is an issue that doesn’t concern you?  Well, think again.

The use of  BPA, or bisphenol A, is back in the news. Don’t know what that is?  It started out as an artificial sex hormone that is used to give plastic added strength!

B.P.A. is  an additive commonly used in the manufacture of plastic water, baby bottles, food and beverage can linings, and dental sealants.

Developmental biologist at the University of Missouri, Dr. Frederick vom Saal, found that B.P.A. mimics naturally occurring estrogen. “These hormones control the development of the brain, the reproductive system and many other systems in the developing fetus,” said vom Saal.

Some critics have concluded that exposure to B.P.A. poisoning increases the risk of the womb to certain cancers, impede on fertility, and may contribute to childhood behavioral problems such as hyperactivity.

It should be noted that as we have increased our use of plastics many times over since the 60’s that there has also been an increase in the risks noted above.  Coincidence?  I think not.  The only studies conducted to find a causal link have been funded by the plastics industry.  It should not come as a surprise then, that the plastics industry which produced 700 billion pounds of the stuff last year, hasn’t been able to find a link.

If you want to make a difference, here are your first two challenges. Both require you to take an inventory of your personal plastic usage.

  • Go into every room of your house and see where you find plastic.  Explore your refrigerator, your kitchen cabinets, the bathrooms, the bedrooms, and garage or storage areas. Look in every room and take note.  Don’t forget your kids notebooks or your office supplies including pens, paper clips.
  • For the next week save every piece of plastic you use.  Be sure you have enough room to store it; and don’t forget include more than your water bottles. If you bought meat, cookies, shampoo, aspirin,  dog food, batteries, there’s a plastic associated with that purchase.  You need to count fast food containers, straws, covers on coffee cups, etc.

Once you take your own inventory, you may be surprised as to how much plastic you really use and never thought about.  Then ask yourself how you dispose of all this plastic.  If you are not recycling and reusing, you are part of the problem.

Next time you put that plastic cup, or bottle to your lips, ask yourself if there isn’t a better way.

This is such an important issue, please pay this message forward and consider a donation of time and talent to the Ocean Keepers cause.  We can do this!