Plastic shopping bags are good for you – and for industry!

Why do I feel like a slightly dull-witted school child when browsing the consumer websites run by the oh-so-clever American Chemical Council Inc., a trade and lobby group for the chemical industry? Come to think of it, I spent 20 years of my life living with a chemistry geek – and I often felt that same way then, too. It always seemed that if only I were better able to pay attention to what chemists were telling me, they would somehow all make perfect sense.  Trouble is, they don’t. Still.

It’s been said that the American Chemical Council Inc. (ACC) has never met a chemical it didn’t like. This is a powerful advocacy group for a chemical industry dream team whose membership includes heavy hitters like Monsanto, Exxon, Bayer, Merck, Chevron, DuPont and many more.

Their collective power extends much farther than you might imagine.  For example, the ACC has even convinced the entire California Department of Education to rewrite the state’s environmental textbooks and teachers’ guides to include positive statements about plastic grocery bags.  Continue reading

The life cycle of the ‘urban tumbleweed’

Plastic shopping bags are derived from crude oil. And billions of our plastic bags every year are not recycled, which means they end up in landfills or, worse, as urban tumbleweeds. They take centuries to decompose and as they slowly break down, they disintegrate into tiny plastic pellets called nurdles, which are ingested by many animals with deadly results.  Watch this 4-minute mini-mockumentary from Heal The Bay, narrated by Academy Award-winner Jeremy Irons. This video, called The Majestic Plastic Bag, hammers home the stark reality of plastic bag pollution. And here’s how to kick the plastic bag habit.