Canadians should be proud of some of the life changing inventions they have pioneered. However, Canadians have also invented a number of items that have wreaked havoc to the planet. The familiar green garbage bag was a Canadian invention. Canadians also pioneered the idea of selling milk in plastic bags.
In other parts of the world, milk is sold in plastic jugs, cartons or glass bottles. The rational for selling milk in plastic bags is that there is less packaging waste and that the milk lasts longer.
The average Canadian consumes approximately 20 bags of the 4-litre milk bags a year. The average size of a Canadian household is 3 people, so in one year, that family will be throwing out 60 plastic milk bags.
In Halton Region, plastic bags cannot be recycled in the Blue Box. Therefore, the majority of these plastic bags end up in a landfill.
There are a number of ways people have reused plastic milk bags.
And, there is also a program where plastic milk bags are collected and diverted from landfill for a good cause. There are a number of charities throughout Ontario that collect the outer plastic milk bags to be used into the creation of bed mats for people in less developed regions of the world. Plastic (not biodegradable plastic) milk bags are cut into strips to be woven (crocheted) into mats. It takes about 500 to 600 plastic bags to create one adult size bed mat. These woven mats last up to 20 years, are waterproof and the plastic is a natural insect replant.
A number of local elementary school eco clubs take the plastic bags and also make bed mats. Halton residents can check with their local school to see if they are collecting and crocheting plastic milk bags.
Or better yet, start a plastic milk bag collection and crocheting group for donation to one of the many charitable organizations donating bed mats.