Living a Plastic-Free Life
Common concerns about living a plastic bag free life
- What are the benefits of reusable bags?
- a much lower life cycle impact than any single-use bag
- able to hold around twice as many items as plastic bags
- easier to carry as they have more comfortable handles
- won't burst under the weight of heavy shopping items such as tins or soft drinks
- reduce the number of plastic bags that are produced, recycled and disposed of
- What will I line my trash can with?
- Use other types of bags, such as bread bags, fruit and veggie bags, chip bags, dog food bags and pasta bags or try lining it with old newspaper. If possible, use a compost bin - this can reduce the amount of waste in your rubbish bin by up to 50% and takes out the 'wet' messy waste in your bin.
- If you recycle as much as you can and compost your food waste, there should be no need to line your bin at all.
- Put your trash straight into your household bin and transfer this to your larger council trash bag as required. Give the bin a quick rinse afterwards and re-use the water on your garden.
- While it's good to recycle as many of your old newspapers as possible, you could keep a few sheets aside each week to wrap your trash or line your bin. This helps minimize mess and is a good alternative to plastic liners. (http://www.waitakere.govt.nz/AbtCit/ec/bagsnot/household-tips.asp)
- What happens if I go to the store and don't have my reusable bags?
- Can I bring a box or plastic bags to carry out my groceries?
- Absolutely! Consumers are encouraged to bring their own boxes or bags to carry out their purchases.
- Do I have to clean my bag?
- Clean bags are healthy bags. Throwing your bags in with your regular laundry on a regular basis keeps them from becoming prone to bacteria growth, which can be harmful to you and your family.
- How sanitary are the recycle bags in the long run?
- When kept clean on a regular basis, the bags are safe and sanitary. This is as easy as throwing them in the wash with your regular loads of laundry.
- Should I use biodegradable plastic bags?
- Degradable bags require energy, water and materials in their production and are still used only once, so substituting billions of shopping bags with billions of degradable bags isn't a great environmental outcome.
Using degradable shopping bags may promote littering as people may think the bags will break down in the environment no matter how they are disposed of.
Until degradable products actually break down they still pose the same danger as non-degradable plastic bags and hence have the same short term potential to harm wildlife and create litter problems. (http://www.resourcesmart.vic.gov.au/for_households_2045.html)
- What can I use to collect dog poo when walking my dog?
- there are many other plastic bags that come into our lives that are also suitable for picking up dog poo. Bread bags, fruit and veggie bags, chip bags, dog food bags, pasta bags... the list is almost endless!
- Wrap it up in old newspaper.
- Check your local pet shop for other alternatives - there are biodegradable dog waste bags available for sale on the internet. (http://www.waitakere.govt.nz/AbtCit/ec/bagsnot/household-tips.asp)