Sunday, 25 January 2009

the shopper's dilemma


Even before Mamasita sent the Envirosax bag for xmas, S and I were in the habit of bringing our own bags to the supermarket. But an unexpected side effect has led to a dilemma. Previously, we saved the plastic carrier bags and used them as bin liners (that's garbage bags, for you American readers.) We used up the last of the carrier bags a few months ago, and we are rapidly depleting our remaining stock of plastic department store bags as well.

So what is a green couple to do? Buying bin liners seems to defeat the point - we might as well just use the carrier bags provided by Sainsburys. At least we wouldn't have to pay extra for bags that have no other real use. But that's not very politically correct. Plus, Sainsburys gives us Nectar loyalty points for bringing our own bags. (Actually, half the time they forget and we have to claim them back, but that's a story for a different rant.)

We're back to square one. And no bin liners.

I suppose we could set up a composter, but even with the amount of rubbish that we can recycle, we would still need to throw certain things away. It seems impossible to avoid the need for plastic bags. So every now and then, we deliberately use the Sainsburys carrier bags just to get some bin liners. It's a messy solution environmentally, but far less messy than not using rubbish bags at all.

I'm still preoccupied by this dilemma, however. What do you do? Any suggestions?


aedredhead said...

we just buy garbage bags at costco. it's bad yes, but also convenient. we save the planet in other ways (carpooling, recycling, turning off lights, etc.) mamasita and yerpa buy green biodegradable bags because they live in that crazy town of theirs and are required to compost. a little more expensive, but much better than plastic. does sainsbury's sell those bags?

Sara said...

can you get compostable trash bags in London? Whole Foods sells something called 'biobags' here. Maybe look for something like that?