Green Tip of the Week: don’t use plastic bags

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GALLOWAY – Plastic bag litter is a growing problem. Just look around and you will see plastic bags hanging from trees, stuck in storm drains, nestled in shrubs, and floating in waterways. The bags are responsible for the deaths of many birds, land animals and marine mammals each year.

They can take from 15 to 1,000 years to decompose.  In addition, plastic is petroleum-based, so the more bags that are made the more oil is wasted. The bags are photo-degradable, so, if left out in the open, they break down into smaller, more toxic petro-polymers.

We can all do our part to reduce the plastic bag problem. The easiest solution is to carry reusable bags in your car. These bags have become very prevalent and are available for a small fee at most grocery stores and “big box” stores - Target, Lowes, etc.  These bags are sturdier than plastic bags and hold more. Some stores even offer a discount if you bring your own bags.

Remember to recycle plastic bags. Our ShopRite Supermarket and Smitty’s Foodtown Market have bins for recycling. But the best rule to follow is to reduce first, reuse second and then recycle.

Think about a new R: refuse. Why not refuse to use disposable plastic items altogether?

This tip is courtesy of the Task Force for a Sustainable Galloway.

For information, call the Galloway Township Department of Community Education at (609) 652-3700, ext. 209 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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