A plastic bag shortage

I’ve been working hard on doing the simple earth-friendly things — taking my own canvas bags to the store and composting our kitchen scraps.

At first, it was hard to get in the rhythm of taking my own bags to the store. Then I read about a challenge to not use any new plastic products for a week and, while that seemed too much for me right now, I did start re-using plastic produce bags. I admit, I do it on the sly, so that people don’t think I’m crazy. I’ve always disliked those flimsy produce bags that people take without thinking. Most of the time, I don’t bag my produce in plastic and, when Kevin shops and everything comes home plastic covered, I take it all out before I put it in the fridge (unless containing the vegetables makes sense, such as green beans).

Now, I have become quite accustomed to grabbing the reusable bags along with the shopping list before I leave the house. And I’ve found a lot of satisfaction in seeing a whole cart load of groceries finding their place in a half-dozen bags, rather than 20+ plastic grocery bags. You can fill resuable bags right up, making it easier to unload the car and get the groceries in the house. And then there are no crinkly bags to deal with. I’ve never liked the sound plastic bags make. It grates on me.

However, I have become so good at this that we are experiencing a dire shortage of plastic bags. We’ve been reusing them in the house for years — mostly as garbage bin liners, but also for cleaning the cat’s litter box and using as lightweight packing materials. I haven’t bought a box of garbage bags in years. But now, apparently, I need to, as we have no grocery bags left!

I’ve decided the thing to do here is not to get plastic grocery bags from the store. The thing to do is to find biodegradable plastic bags and buy those instead. I might have to do some hunting around.

So far, I’ve found BioBags which come in both 3-gallon and tall kitchen bag varieties. That would be great for lining the compost bin so I don’t have to trek out into the cold, snowy backyard every time it’s full. Now I just have to find a local store that carries them — perhaps when I go to pick up our winter shares from the CSA tomorrow or refill our supply of kiddie multivitamins.