After seeing bans in Hawaii and LA, as well as many other places, its evident that plastic bags are under attack. Bill Hickman from the Surfrider Foundation was quoted here as saying: “Anything, single use, at the end of the day has negative effects on our environment.” There’s probably some truth to that, but it’s the single use part of the statement that really bothers me. As seen in my custom-made work stand bag hook seen to the right, these bags can serve many more purposes than just carrying bags home and trashing them. For example:
- As a hanging trash can for your pallet workbench
- As a trash can liner
- Disposal of dog “stuff”
- Bringing lunch to work/school
- Traditional recycling
And certainly as many uses as can be thought of. Sure, paper bags are more biodegradable, but they seem to have more mass per bag, and quite a few of them end up in the trash anyway. My wife and I get many plastic bags from the grocery store, but very few of them end up in the trash without being used again. The most ironic thing about these bag bans is that when free bags are taken away, many people just end up buying truly single use plastic bags anyway to do many of the things listed above.
As for the bag holder that I build into my pallet workstand (which is itself recycled), all I did was notch an end of the supporting lumber to hold the handle portions. It works extremely well, and gives me a place to store trash rather than carrying it into my house. I suppose I could have bought an actual plastic trash can, but I can only imagine how many plastic bags worth of plastic that would add up to by itself!