Today being a Sunday, I am reminded once again of my weekly problem: plastic bags. My sister Virgie and nephew Jessan went to the farmers’ market in Agusan Canyon for our weekly supply of food – mostly fish, fruits and vegetables since we made a decision not to buy pork anymore. These mean an average of 15 plastic bags on a Sunday. That is too much for a household in this Camp where the Material Recovery Facilities are mere decorations.

The Philippine National Grocery Bag

The co-op where we get our groceries has a policy against plastics. Instead you are given choices: a free paper bag, a reusable nylon bag for six pesos, or a reusable sack bag for ten pesos.
But still, I am looking for ways to cut down on packaging whether paper or plastic.

This treehugger article seems the most enlightening study about this issue.

“Paper bags or plastic bags: the conclusionBoth paper and plastic bags require lots and lots of resources and energy, and proper recycling requires due diligence from both consumer and municipal waste collector or private recycling company, so there are a lot of variables that can lead to low recycling rates.
Ultimately, neither paper nor plastic bags are the best choice; we think choosing reusable canvas bags instead is the way to go. From an energy standpoint, according to this Australian study, canvas bags are 14 times better than plastic bags and 39 times better than paper bags, assuming that canvas bags get a good workout and are used 500 times during their life cycle.”

So, starting this week, I will encourage everyone to bring any of the reusable bags – the plastic nylon, the sack bag, or for the wet produce, a tupperware.

Photo from:


2 responses »

  1. Marilou says:

    I too bring my own canvas bags or the good old cane baskets (with newspapers and a cool box for wet produce) when shopping. I really hate it when the vendor wraps every item in thin plastic bags (i.e. one for tomatoes, one for potatoes, one for onions, one for carrots, one for pechay, etc)and then I end up with so many thin useless bags by the time I get home. So I always tell the vendor not to bother with individual plastic bags as I just put the items I buy straight into my own appropriate containers.

  2. Me too. I call these “tinderas” plastic addicts. Every small item is placed in a separate thin plastic. It is good that our co-op eliminated the use of plastic bags but the public market is a fountain of plastic 😦

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