Yesterday, reader Amy left a comment on the plastic bag mockumentary we posted a few weeks ago (check it out if you haven't seen it). The video and post encouraged folks to support bans on plastic grocery bags and bring reusables instead. Amy asked:
My only problem with using less of these bags is what to use to scoop out the cat litter? I have definitely cut back on getting them all the time - especially at the grocery store, but I need a few of these suckers each week!
Oh, I remember the kitty litter box days of yore. Scoop, sift, dump, tie, toss quickly, wash hands. Plastic bags are definitely the preferred receptacle. Ditto dog waste. But when I look at the vast amount of plastic bags that come into my life, I can't imagine that the average person has any shortage of them. (But bravo if you do!) I use reusable cloth shopping bags, and I seldom ever take those flimsy plastic produce/bulk bags, so it's not about those. It's the bread bags and newspaper bags and tortilla bags and other random plastic packaging bags. Seriously, we eat about three loaves of bread a week and get the newspaper seven days a week, which adds up to a minimum of ten plastic bags per week. (I know, I know, I could bake my own bread and read the paper online, but this isn't really about me now, is it?) It's about the fact that it seems like most people have no shortage of plastic bags in their life because everything is so highly packaged.
Sidebar: I know I've ranted plenty about those 'biodegradable' pet waste bags in the past. In summary: if a product is billed as 'biodegradable' don't fall for that greenwash unless you are composting the item. If it's going to the landfill, the biodegradable qualities don't matter. A tremendous amount of energy and resources went into making that single-use pet poop bag. And if stuff is biodegrading in the landfill, then it is releasing methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Boo. There is no virtue in spending money on biodegradable products that will end up in the landfill.
That said, I'd like to hear what y'all are using to bag your pet poop. Especially you uber-greenies who eschew plastic and avoid those bags like the plague. Have you started a plastic bag co-op? Are you begging for bags on Craigslist? Sneaking bags out of your neighbor's trash? Or just saving every cereal bag liner and getting creative with other types of packaging? Do tell.