Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Disposing Disposable bags

Years ago, as an undergrad, I wrote a rather lengthy paper about the merits of disposing of disposable bags. The research for this paper yielded all kinds of fun facts that I routinely reiterated to friends, family, colleagues and cohorts alike. Things like, plastic shopping bags are called the national flower of South Africa because they are so abundant, and are "harvested" and woven into more durable shopping bags that are then sold at markets. Or how in one South American Country, I think it was Argentina, so many plastic bags accumulated in the sewer system that the underground drainage became clogged thus causing an unnatural natural disaster.

Several years later some progress has been made. Many stores now sell reusable shopping bags and even give a store credit to those who use them. But plastic continues to be a problem. Today it flew right in front of me, or at least tried to.

I came across this bird on my way to work. At first I thought maybe the bag was just attached to its foot, but then I saw that the bag was tangled inside its wing. For a moment I contemplated trying to capture it to untangle the wing, but decided I didn't want to risk injuring the bird further, or allowing the bird to injure me. So I did what I could. I took this picture as a reminder to us all that the plastic we use has to end up somewhere. And sometimes, this is where it ends up.

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