clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Times Addresses "I'm Not A Plastic Bag" Phenomena

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

"IF you are reading this anytime after dawn on Wednesday, you are probably too late to make a fashion statement and simultaneously keep the world safe from plastic bags." So begins the Times piece on Anya Hindmarch's "I'm Not A Plastic Bag," bags, 20,000 of which went on sale this morning at various Whole Foods locations. By all accounts, the bags are already sold out. Strangely enough, the Times saw fit to run this article in the Dining & Wine section instead of Sunday Styles, where it would have made much more sense, but nitpicking aside, it is an interesting look at how plastic bags are used in various countries. Not surprisingly, the US is lagging behind other nations in addressing the ecological problems that plastic bags present.

Made from polyethylene, a petroleum product, the bags may take as long as 500 years to degrade. Meantime they hang from trees, catch on power lines, float on oceans and lakes and clog storm drains, killing birds, fish, turtles and sea mammals unfortunate enough to ingest them or become entangled in them. Americans throw away 100 billion plastic bags a year, recycling less than 1 percent of them, according to the Worldwatch Institute, an environmental research and advocacy group in Washington.
New York City is beginning initiatives that will push reusable bags, but shouldn't the city work with retailers as well as the public on this? Small things, like cashiers asking you if you wanted a bag instead of automatically giving you one would make a difference. Big changes like banning the bags, a move that other cities and countries have already made, unfortunately won't happen in New York for quite some time.
· Just the Thing to Carry Your Conscience In [NY Times]
· Anya Hindmarch Totebag Frenzy Continues Unabated [Racked]