Help us in our efforts to support a healthy and sustainable lifestyle in our community.
As more and more communities across the nation are banning plastic shopping bags, we thought we would take a quick look at the history of the plastic bag and why banning it has become a phenomenon.
The plastic shopping bag was first introduced in the US market back in 1977 as a way to save money and reduce the use of lumber. These new bags weighed less than an ounce but could carry as much as 44 pounds, making them an ideal alternative to paper bags.
Plastic bags were an immediate hit and in 1982 Kroger and Safeway introduced plastic bags made from polyethylene. Unfortunately, polyethylene never decomposes and simply builds up in landfills and in our oceans.
Consumers are using 22,000,000 plastic bags every year just in the Coachella Valley alone with only about 5% ever being properly recycled. Besides just shopping, reusable bags also have a number of other purposes around the house. However, each plastic bag is only being used for 12 minutes, and once we toss them in the trash, guess what? They end up in our gutters and then landfills, remaining there for generations into the future, having a huge adverse effect on the beauty, and even tourism in our desert.
Also, every year more and more plastic bags end up along the beaches of our coasts and eventually become part of a massive plastic debris field in the Pacific, known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the size of Texas! That’s simply massive and is causing havoc to our ecosystem as well as the oceanic food chain. This could spell disaster for our children and grandchildren well into the future.
Plastic bags have taken control over our shopping habits and by 2012, 90% of all shopping bags were plastic. Luckily this disturbing trend has begun to change with more and more local municipalities banning the use of polyethylene bags altogether. The statewide ban on plastic bags, which was supposed to kick in this last July is delayed until at least the end of 2016 after opponents of the ban secured enough signatures to put the issue on the ballot. Businesses that reside in Riverside county jurisdiction (like Stater Bros on Washington and Varner) indicate the county will most likely wait for the state vote to make a ruling. At the city level, Palm Desert and Indio have both banned the distribution of single use plastic bags at grocery stores, retail stores, pharmacies, liquor stores, gas stations, and convenience stores as of 10/1/15.
In an effort to support a healthy and sustainable lifestyle in our community, the Jelmberg Team is offering two (2) shopping bags, made from recycled materials, to the first 1,000 people who stop by the office. This is an excellent opportunity to peak into our office at 39575 Washington St. STE #105, meet our team and help the community by reducing the volume of plastic bags in our landfills and oceans!