Monday, January 16th, 2012

A Sense of Humor Helps Spread the Good News About Plastic Bags

Chances are you have found through personal experience that, when it comes to environmental issues, friendly discussions can easily become disagreements and even serious arguments. The proposed bans of plastic bags is one of those issues, which is unfortunate because lack of good communication prevents the facts from becoming better known.

The folks at Bag The Ban, a website sponsored by bag maker and recycler Hilex Poly, have taken a lighter approach to the issue, offering

help to those suffering from Bag Anxiety – the fear, shame or guilt that can result from using plastic grocery bags.

It only takes a few seconds of looking at to know that the site has its  tongue firmly in its cheek, such as when it provides ways for readers to deal with snooty shoppers saying plastic bags are covering the world in garbage, or with a person saying the problem is that plastic bags are not recyclable — not that those aren’t all too probable.

The site’s humorous approach provides a way to supply factual info about plastic bags in a casual, friendly way. For example, it points out that far from covering the world in garbage, plastic bags are less than one percent of the waste stream. And there’s no need to make plastic bags recyclable because, well, they already are, the proof being that Hilex Poly and other firms are reprocessing millions of used bags every day to make new ones.

More than 854 million pounds of post-consumer plastics bags, sacks and wraps were recycled in 2009, and the percentage of bags and other plastics film products that are  recycled is growing year over year. The bags not only are reborn as new plastic bags, but also become decking, playground apparatus, pipes, and a myriad of other useful, durable items.

The Bag Anxiety site provides facts such as those along with many others about plastic bags to a general public that for far too long has been starved for positive information, and does so with a light touch and a smile. It’s an excellent counter-balance to the heavy-handed doom and gloom often used to frighten people about plastic bags, and the approach is bound to be far more productive than shouting matches.

SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association announced in December that the Progressive Bag Affiliates, which had been within the American Chemistry Council (ACC), would transition into SPI as the American Progressive Bag Alliance (APBA) effective January 1, 2012. The group includes America’s largest manufacturers of plastic bags, including Hilex Poly.

What’s Your Plastic Bag IQ?


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