I watched "Bag It: Is your life too plastic?" a documentary on plastic bags hosted by CAFNEC, Cairns Climate Action Network and the Australian Conservation Foundation. I give it 10+ out of five stars. Very worth watching and reflecting upon as a life changing movie. Many thanks to the above environmental movements for bringing this movie to Cairns.
I was familiar with most of the recycling and climate and health change information but I found the plastic bag usage statistics particularly interesting (disturbing). Did you know that the colloquial and humorous floral emblem of New York is the plastic bag? How very sad yet truly representative of how many plastic bags float around and graft themselves to our tree branches.
One piece of recycling information shamed me to my socks: the USA sells post-consumer waste to India or China where families (including children) hand-pick through it looking for the most recyclable material to process. These families get very low wages, work under extremely poor conditions and are exposed to constant health threats.
This has stimulated a growling and sustainable dissonance within my soul. Many US citizens try to eat and buy fair trade products so that no children are harmed in their choices. Yet, as avid recyclers and child protectors, are they exposing children to something they don't want; something sinister?
My muse has awoken and she is screaming at me to write my thoughts. I sense a research paper developing here.....and a change to my workshops and daily habits of recycling if Australia also ships plastic waste off-shore (Australia: Plastic bag facts).
Do you know what happens to the post consumer waste you responsibly place in your recycling bins?
Watch, The Story of Bottled Water (USA), and see if what you think happens to your plastic bottle recycling is correct.
Say NO to Plastic bags in Australia (plastic bottles to).
Here's a pattern and instructions to turn all your existing plastic bags into plarn (plastic yarn) to crochet into a beautiful new shopping bag: How to reuse plastic bags: make plarn to knit or crochet.