The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

People forget a green lifestyle

Staff writer Tom Rizza (The Inquirer)

In The Inquirer’s last issue, we covered DVC’s container switch to using biodegradable containers. But what about my ecosystem-killing enemy, single-use plastic bags?

I was in a drugstore recently buying nothing more than a can of shaving cream. The cashier, without saying a word, put the can in a plastic bag.

“Oh I don’t need a bag, thanks,” I said before I paid for the Barbasol and left.

After, I pondered the ridiculous routine bred into many cashiers: bag anything that comes across the scanner. I’m not blaming the clerks, but a single can of shaving cream?

It’s obvious that anyone with at least one hand would be able to walk somewhere without the single can of shaving cream getting in the way.

That got me to thinking how many people walk around with an extraneous plastic bag, filled with a single stick of deodorant or candy bar, only to throw it away or stow it away to pick up pet droppings and then sent to a landfill?

Plastic bags are the second-most common type of ocean refuse behind cigarette butts; every square mile of ocean has about 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in it.

A single plastic bag degrades between 20 and 1,000 years, when in a landfill where, big surprise, most bags reside.

With America alone producing 100 billion bags per year, the once revered plastic bag has turned into a pandemic. What must be done?

Leave it up to our progressive San Francisco neighbors to become the first American city to pass a plastic bag ban back in 2007.

It’s not a complete ban, in that it only includes large supermarkets, but it was an unprecedented step.

I don’t agree with it because both the recycled paper bags and the oh-my-God-it’s-a-miracle biodegradable bags do not address the consumption of single-use products.

Recycling and development of biodegradable materials for single-use utilizes the same amount of resources as the production of plastic.

Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods have promoted the sale of reusable fabric bags while the larger grocers have followed.  

But in the end, it’s on the consumer to purchase these bags while, now this is the hard part, remembering to bring them to the store.

It’s the AM/PM stations, the 7-11’s and the Walgreens stores that haven’t adopted this policy. This is where average students find themselves awaiting to buy their energy drink or bag of Doritos.

It is in that moment that you must stop the clerk and remember you don’t need a plastic bag, because you have a big one strapped to your back. Oh, and don’t even get me started on fast food receipts.


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About the Contributor
Tom Rizza
Tom Rizza, Sports editor
Sports editor.

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People forget a green lifestyle