Saturday, May 23, 2009

Bags in trees

Inevitably, one of those glaringly white plastic bags is going to find itself up in a tree where it might remain for a year or two. The bags are built to catch the wind and my main surprise is that in my three years of incessant picture-taking, I've only caught the three shown in this post.

It has been my observation that the chief reason white plastic bags and their cousins, fast food take-out paraphernalia, are so objectionable on the landscape is that they literally gleam white. Such white is a rarity in Nature, therefore the trash shouts at our eyeballs. Consider what the plastic replaces: the kraft paper bag, whose color is about the same as the seed balls on that sycamore tree above. When a kraft paper bag or cardboard box is tossed out the car window, it melds into the scenery and, of course, also rapidly biodegrades. The latter is mere frosting on the cake.

Now, as I am old, I find it preferable to grocery shop once a month or thereabouts. That means a lot of bags. I like the plastic; they are lighter in weight and more flexible in use as compared to the currently de rigueur tote bag or yesterday's kraft paper bag. I find many re-uses for the bags I collect. However, there is absolutely no reason on God's green earth that they need to be WHITE. Why can't they (and their fast food cousins) be colored the same subdued tan as kraft paper products? They would disappear into the landscape when the inevitable slobs tossed them out the car window. I know, I know: white is the national emblem of purity and sanitation, while tan suggests grunge -- a bad subliminal for food we put in our mouths. Nonetheless....

9 comments:

Karen of Scottsdale said...

I saw a white plastic bag blowing down my street the other day while the wind was whipping up a storm. It looked so lonely out there all by itself with no on chasing after it.

Warren said...

if you tilt your 2nd picture 90 degrees you will see it is actually a tree-challenged snow goose preening itself... *smile*

worldphotos4 said...

My thoughts are that people should toss their trash in their living rooms. Sometimes things fall out of a trash can, but when people litter without a thought, something is wrong with them. Perhaps it's their upbringing.

meggie said...

I love the way you think of the white as 'shouting'. I also know you love red, but it is not my favourite colour, & I really hate that 'shreiking' red of old fashioned lipsticks!
We have grey plastic bags, some light green ones, & blue is used for vegetables, here in supermarkets. They still choke seabirds & murder fish & turtles.

Jan said...

~therefore the trash shouts at our eyeballs.~

Granny J..you have such a way with words,which is only one of the reasons that I love you! :)

Granny J said...

karen -- your comment is the most sympathetic I've ever seen about the fate of a white plastic bag! You ar a person of enormous heart!

warren -- that snow goose has been in the sycamore forsuch a long time I'm surprised it's got any feathers left.

steve -- I suspect that some people are only half conscious when they toss their garbage. Then there are the true vandals who deliberately trash every thing they see.

maggie -- imagine if those bags were lipstick R.E.D. Yet, very unfortunately, they'd still choke birds and kill other critters. That's one thing about our hot sun in AZ -- those plastics actually disintegrate in a surprisingly short time.

jan -- thank you, kind lady.

Melanie A. said...

This is how bad the white plastic bag plague is: one day I looked upon a stand of marsh reeds, and tsk-tsk'd the inevitable eyesore of a white plastic bag hanging on those reeds--until I realized I was looking at a snowy egret.

It's sad how low our expectations can get with litter and pollution.

Granny J said...

melanie -- oh, dear!

David SB said...

Is the color really so important when the more fundamental question is why do we need plastic bags at all? As you mention, paper bags at least biodegrade in a reasonable time frame. Nevertheless, reusable canvas or nylon bags are better than either plastic or paper.

 
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