Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Old Bag Ain't What She Used To Be

Just a few words about bags.

Paper is a renewal resource. It also takes more energy for a tree to become a paper bag, to transport it, and to recycle it that it does to do the same with a plastic bag.

Oil is not a renewable resource. Plastic bags are made from oil, but are 2/3 thinner than they were in 1977, and there are actually biodegradable plastic bags on the market. Plastic bags are cheaper to recycle than paper. They are also cheaper to transport.

That all being said, it would make sense to assume that plastic would be a better choice.

Not really.

The real reasons?

Animals die from plastic bags. Plastic bags don't go away like paper does in the environment.

They linger. Forever.

So, even though plastic bags are cheaper to manufacture, use, and recycle, and paper is more costly, uses more energy to produce, and is more costly to recycle there is no logical choice between the two.

The only responsible thing to do would be to buy several of those cloth sacks. That would mean remembering to bring with you when you shopped. Keeping one handy in each car for those little store runs, and putting it back after you unloaded it. They don't hold a lot, so you will need five to ten of them. For those of us that are memory challenged, and are lucky enough to remember to take the groceries out of the store to our cars this could be an issue, but well worth the effort in the long run.


  1. Let's see, there was no-bag-spags, BJ's don't have bags. What would happen if Shaw's, Stop & Shop and Wal-Mart didn't offer plastic or paper, guess we would be forced to use the reuseable bags. Could be a win-win for all.

  2. I have about 10 of the reusable bags and love them. I have to disagree Mr. Thinking: the reusable bags hold every bit as much as the plastic.

    Saw WalMart's full page ad in The News yesterday. For the cost of that ad, they could have given away reusable bags to those 200 people who stood in line to sign the petition started at WalMart in opposition of the bag ban.

    How about thinking outside the big box?


    This is an alternative to plastic bags and they are compostable. I think that it could be a win win for all. I tried to post on the T&G web site and it was not posted. I hope that we can all learn to help and learn from our past mistakes.


  4. I have decided to stop shopping at Stop & Shop, WalMart and well, I rarely go into Shaws anyway. I'll spend the extra gas money to go 30-45 minutes out of town to other stores that use paperbags, or re-usable bags.

    When the bigbox stores start to try to influence voters and residents on an issue such as this, it's time to start looking elsewhere to spend my money. Sure the stores are doing other things for the environment, but why is that something special? It's cost saving for them, good PR, and it's also the responsible thing to do for humans, wildlife and the planet. Every single day, I recycle and re-use. It's not so much a choice, but a way of life.

    And since Mr. Scott Garieri has stated that all stores should be treated the same way, it's time I start going out of town for my other shopping needs as well.

    To those residents who are so set in their ways: it's shear laziness to not consider making this change in your lives. The reusable bags hold the same or more, so that's a poor excuse. Go ahead, have your plastic, and put it where the sun don't shine, just like those plastic bags in the landfill.


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