Saturday, 10 October 2009

An Eye Opener

My seaside swap partner (and swap organiser) Rachel has a great blog over here at Contented. (She's also just had a birthday - HAPPY BIRTHDAY RACHEL).

She also runs another blog with her friend Emma called "That Little Bit Greener" which aims to share information and ideas amongst the blogland community about what we can all do to make our lives that little bit greener, to lessen the impact we have on our environment and to reduce our carbon footprint a little.

This last Wednesday over at TLBG where was a post about a project called "Morsbags". Set up by a lady in London (Claire Morsman), it's a project that aims to get people sewing resuable shopping bags from recycled sources (old duvet covers, curtains, clothing etc) and handing them to out free to people (in front of supermarkets, in shopping centres etc) in an effort to get them to use the resuable bag instead of plastic bags.

Now, I have to confess at this point that whilst I have quite a few shop bought resuable bags I am AWFUL at remembering to use them. Shockingly bad infact. I almost never remember to take them with me, or if I do they end up getting left in the boot while I do the shopping so I end up with another pile of plastic bags (which lets face it are crappy whichever way you look at them).

After I'd read the post on TLBG on Wednesday I wandered over to for a peek. Oh my. What an eye opener that was. Obviously I was aware that plastic bags had a detrimental impact on the environment, but some of the information on there just blew me away.

This film particularly:

struck a chord with me. Just awful.

Then I read this article. I've posted a link, but I warn you that the photographs particularly are not for the faint-hearted. One particular photograph (the one of the turtle on the second page if you're brave enough to look - but don't say I didn't warn you) just plain broke my heart.

The core of the issues is this. Plastic bags are made from petroleum based plastic. They aren't biodegradable (at least probably not in our lifetime!). When they get into the sea then marine life mistake them for food and ingest them and can't digest them. When the bags do breakdown they only break into smaller pieces, these microscopic pieces of plastic are swallowed by plankton eating marine life like whales.

On Friday I popped into a local charity shop where I found this rather lovely Cath Kidson-esque duvet cover for the princely sum of £2.50.

Duvet cover for Morsbags

It's destined to be my first round of morsbags. The website encourages people to set up "pods" where people get to gether to sew up bags to make it social event. As I'm just starting out I'm going to be a solopodist - unless any of my blog readers would like to join me in a "cyber-pod".

The whole thing has certainly had an impact on my already. I forgot to take bags to the supermarket again last night (I really need to practice making it a habit!) but I ended up only using one bag (for all the small bits I'd bought) - the rest I put directly into the trolley and then into car one at a time. Not perfect, but a start. Once I have some morsbags on the go hopefully I'll never need to use another plastic bag again.



silverpebble said...

This information about plastics and bags is so tough to read but it could really help - fantastic that you've posted it. We got in the habit of taking our own bags to the supermarket about a year ago. I feel bad that we didn't manage it earlier but everyone was complacent - we all were weren't we? The Coop's bags are now biodegradable. What happened to The Body Shop's BD bags? They were introduced years ago but then disappeared.

Great post ( and yummy duvet cover) x

Rach said...

Will have to check out that website! I'm with you on forgetting the reusable bags - I'm useless. In fact one time, I had the bags WITH me, in the trolley, then for some reason I went to a self-service checkout and completely forgot about my bags! It wasn't until I got to the car that I realised what I'd done!!! There is seriously no hope for me!

Rachel said...

Firstly, thanks for the birthday wishes! But, more importantly, thanks so much for writing a great post about this important issue, and for getting involved. Every little thing we can do will help. I'm pretty good about taking my own bags with me & I try to keep one in my handbag all the time. I'd be very happy to join you in a cyber-pod - maybe you could distribute bags to the students where you work?
Thanks again!
Rachel xx