On Midway Atoll, halfway between North America and Japan, 40 percent of albatross chicks die from eating plastic, according to International Bird Rescue—just one of countless statistics about the adverse effects of plastic. Reusable Non-biodegradable plastic bags end up everywhere from beaches to the stomachs of sea turtles, whales, and sea birds.
Less than two months remain before large stores in Corvallis stop carrying the single-use plastic bags that are the bane of environmentalists. With this goal in sight, residents are beginning to focus on the need for reusable bags. A collection of several local concerned groups, the Bring Your Bag Coalition is holding a contest to design reusable bags using new and recycled materials, along with a logo for the bags, with prizes up to $200.
Large stores will implement the ban on Jan. 1, 2013; smaller stores start on July 1, 2013. If you don’t yet own enough reusable bags, join the Bring Your Bag Coalition for one of its bag-making sessions. The group welcomes the community to come turn T-shirts into reusable bags on Thursday, Nov. 15 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the community room at the First Alternative Co-op’s South Store, 1007 SE 3rd Street, and on Tuesday, Nov. 27 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Market of Choice, 922 NW Circle Boulevard. Bring a T-shirt that you want to repurpose, or buy a reusable bag kit for $5. You can also help sew bags that will be distributed by local non-profits.
Remember to wash your reusable bags from time to time to make life a little more pleasant for cashiers—plus, you probably want your food in a clean bag anyway.
For more information on the bag-making sessions or the contest, call 541-554-6979, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the website www.bringyourbagcoalition.com for an entry form.
by Jen Matteis