Tuesday night was the monthly Salem Recycles meeting. Part of the meeting involves time to select a message and target a particular recycling issue that we will communicate over and over during the month. We selected “plastic bags” as an area on which to focus this June. Plastic bags are part of the the whole problem known as “single use.”
They are ubiquitous, yet transitory. Plastic bags save us the trouble of remembering cloth or reusable bags, and in general are flimsier and contain only one or two items.
Although I’ve seen plenty of different statistics regarding the length of use, a range of 5-12 minutes of use is cited. Yet, they can take as long as 500 to 1000 years to disintegrate. Again, regarding how many people accumulate, numbers can range from the low 100s to 400/ year or more.
Furthermore – plastic bags, at least in Salem, MA. absolutely CAN’T be recycling in your recycling bin at the curbside. Doing so contaminates the load of recyclables at the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) It’s the equivalent of making a healthy salad for lunch, and then topping it with blue cheese dressing, cheese, meat, and croutons.
Be smart about plastic bags! #nobagsinbins.
Salem Recycles will have plenty more info this month in their newsletter, on facebook, and on the website.