Question: Why is it called the Inconvenient Bag? Answer: The convenient bag, on the one hand, is the typical paper or plastic bag given to you at the store, while The Inconvenient Bag is the bag you bring to the store, mall, market, etc. (everywhere) yourself. In other words, you inconvenience yourself by bringing your own bag for the sake of the environment so that you don’t have to use paper or plastic bags. This is an unselfish we out of love for others!Therefore, the bag title/name is not negative, but positive… “I Inconvenience myself for you and you do so for me”.. It"s all about the love!
Another common statement is “I don’t want something inconvenient!" Response: What is inconvenient to the individual is convenient to our environment. We find that people do not mind a little hassle in bringing their own bag to the store and love to use it knowing they are doing something good for all mankind. Also, our bag is COOL! You want to use and show it off, with big words on it… you are making a statement, a fashion statement nonetheless, that says “I’m in, I’m with it, the environment matters, and I’m an inconvenient person!”
There is something about using The Inconvenient Bag… a certain positive energyyou feel when you leave the grocery store or mall with your bags filled knowing that you didn’t need to take any paper or plastic bags home. It's that positive feeling you get and passes to everyone… the store clerk or the next person in line who reacts in a positive manner, thus spreading the environmental cause and awareness. Many times people see what you are doing and say “thank you”… now that’s cool!
We have indisputable evidence of this green positive energy(see pic below)!!!
The "In" Convenient Bag: Finally, many people tell us the bags are not really inconvenient at all. In fact, the bags are convenient to them and are now a part of their lifestyle. They take our bags to the market, to the store, to school, to the bookstore, to the gym, to the beach, to church, to the mall, to the park, to soccer games, to picnics, to travel, to takeout restaurants (to bring food home in), etc. They leave it in their trunk, fill it up, empty it in their place of abode, and place it back in their trunk. Our bags hold more, fills better and will not break when you put in your six-packs! We happen to think these people are really, really cool and have life all figured out! In our world, these people are "In"!
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
When it comes to the environment, we believe that everyone wants to do the right thing. However, many people are not aware that their behavior may be destructive. Ignorance is no longer bliss. Many times it is just more convenient not to know.
In reality, something as trivial as a paper or plastic bag contributes to the destruction, pollution and green house effect of our planet (not just the United States).
“They clutter landfills. They flap from trees. They float in the breeze. They clog roadside drains. They drift on the high seas. They fill sea turtle bellies.”
Similar to candy wrappers, chewing gum, cigarette butts, and thousands of other pieces of junk, millions of the plastic bags end up as litter. Once in the environment, it takes months to hundreds of years for plastic bags to breakdown. As they decompose, tiny toxic bits seep into soils, lakes, rivers, and the oceans.
Conventional plastic bags are not readily biodegradable, they photo degrade – breaking down into smaller toxic bits contaminating soil, waterways and the food supply of many animals including our own. They are commonly made of polyethylene and can take up to 1,000 years to break down in landfills and eventually emit harmful greenhouse gases.
Plastic bags have gone “from being rare in the late 80s and early 90s to being almost everywhere from Spitsbergen 78° North [latitude] to Falklands 51° South [latitude], and will be washing up in Antarctica within the decade.”
Likewise, paper bags are not any better as they take more energy than plastic bags to produce, therefore maintaining and promoting a waste culture while adding to the litter and overfill of our landfills. Beyond enormous energy costs, approximately14 million trees in 1999 alone were cut down to manufacture the 10 billion grocery bags used by Americans (multiply that by 10 for the amount of trees used until 2009).
Nearly 4 billion trees worldwide are cut down each year for paper, representing about 35% of all harvested trees. Many of the trees used for paper come from tree farms which are planted and replenished for that purpose (it only takes 20–30 years for those trees to grow, that’s all!).
Since 2000, the demand for paper worldwide has grown 30% every year in the past 9 years and is projected to grow even more.
According to the U.S. Toxic Release Inventory report published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), pulp and paper mills are among the worst polluters to air, water and land of any industry in the country. The Worldwatch Institute offers similar statistics for the rest of the world. Each year millions of pounds of highly toxic chemicals such as toluene, methanol, chlorine dioxide, hydrochloric acid, and formaldehyde are released into the air and water from paper making plants around the world.
Most paper and plastic bags go un-recycled (less than 3%). These easy convenient bags are inconvenient to our environment – and people, governments and organizations are finally acting. It’s time for a change. Although many countries already have government-mandated policies towards reducing the use of single-use bag consumption, the United States is behind in enacting such legislation.
However, a change is coming soon. For example, on March 27, 2007 the City and County of San Francisco became the first U.S. city to ban common plastic bags. Beginning December 1, 2007, San Francisco will begin their enforcement of this law and fine noncompliant stores. Stores will also be required to offer reusable bags made of canvas or other such materials for sale. Additionally, this ban has now been extended to chain stores and pharmacies, not just grocery stores.
Therefore, it is time for us all to make a slight change in our lifestyle. If the convenient bag is the paper or plastic bag received in the store, “The Inconvenient Bag” is the one people bring to the store – and we believe that the slight inconvenience is worth the hassle. It certainly is an unselfish act, and we do it out of love!
In 2009, many California cities, i.e., Manhattan Beach, will either start charging extra per single-use paper or plastic bag, or will give people a discount for bringing in a bag. Thus, people will save money and also gain the fringe benefit of satisfaction knowing they are doing their part.
At 10 cents to 25 cents per plastic bag, families will be saving over $400.00 per person in their household per year just by bringing their own bags to the store!
It is our goal to make a bag that is fashionable, stylish and “hip” enough that people would want to use it, even if they do not care or do not know of the environmental issues involved (maybe we can drag them into our cause!). We make our bags environmentally friendly, but also design them to have style as well.
We think it can be “eco-cool” and fun to be environmentally-correct, and want consumers to know they do not have to sacrifice their own personal style in their effort to help save our planet (one bag at a time)!
So be inconvenient, which means... no to paper, no to plastic! ... “#24: Just say no to plastic bags.” –Time Magazine, April 9, 2007 The Global Warming Survival Guide,
51 Things You Can Do to Make a Difference
Not only do reality shows begin in foreign countries/markets before they become American Idol, but also fashion, lifestyle and political issues originate abroad before the United States decides such things are worthy of our own society. In Ireland, just about everyone carries around a reusable bag and plastic bags that once blighted the verdant Irish countryside are now merely an occasional eyesore.
From South Africa to France to the tiny island of Zanzibar, plastic bags are now being banned or taxed, mandated by governments or voluntarily done by companies such as IKEA, Trader Joes, Whole Foods, etc. In fact, IKEA UK has decided not to use plastic bags all together, while IKEA USA became the first USA retail company to charge consumers per plastic bag.
Furthermore, domestic cities such as Oakland and San Francisco have already begun to move in the same direction. On March 27, 2007 the City and County of San Francisco became the first U.S. city to ban common plastic bags. With San Francisco being so close and with the positive results the city has seen, it is only inevitable before not only Los Angeles, but all major cities in the United States begin to follow.
Below is a short list of US cities and foreign countries that are taking steps or already have measures in place to ban, reduce or charge for single-use bag consumption. U.S. Cities:
Annapolis, MD: Considering a ban on plastic bags similar to San Francisco's.
Boston, MA: Entertaining the idea of banning plastic bags.
Encinitas, CA: Encinitas is a coastal community in San Diego County and is concerned with their contribution to the high level of plastic pollution the ocean. The entire city of San diego is thinking about passing a similar ordinance as San Francisco's.
Los Angeles, CA: Los Angeles has passed an ordinance to ban plastic bags that will take effect July 1, 2010. While San Francisco has a population of 700,000, what Los Angeles County does, which has 10 million constituents, including four million in the City of Los Angeles, could have a more significant impact on the nation!
Manhattan Beach, CA:Passed a city ban on plastic bags starting on February 28, 2009. There are protests and lawsuits filed against this ban. Hopefully, the ordinance will be upheld in court. Regardless of the outcome, the City of Manhattan Beach and the Inconvenient Bag have teamed up to make bags to give out to residents! The bag has the city's new green logo for all its green causes, events, etc.
Oakland, CA:The City Council passed an plastic ban ordinance that was supposed to take place in January 2009, however, the ban was blocked by a judge because of a lawsuit brought by groups supporting plastic bag usage (many people/businesses make money destroying our environment by creating plastics an bags and disguise themselves as plastic bag recycling supporters).9
Pasadena, CA:Considering a proposal to ban plastic bags city-wide.
Philadelphia, PA:In 2007,IKEA began to charge U.S. customers five cents for disposable plastic shopping bags. Today, as many people already know, IKEA in all US Cities charge for their huge polypropylene bags.
Portland, OR: Portland is next to ban Plastic bags according to Thanh Tan of news Channel KATU. Trellis Earth Products of Portland, Oregon is one of the new manufacturers of corn based Bio bags.
San Diego, CA: Hopefully next in line to pass a similar ordinance as San Francisco's!
San Francisco, CA:The San Francisco Commission on the Environment unanimously approved a proposal (January 25, 2007) asking the city to charge grocery shoppers 17 cents for every paper or plastic bag they take home. On March 27, 2007 the City and County of San Francisco became the first U.S. city to ban common plastic bags. As discussed, this ban now extends beyond only major supermarket to chain stores and pharmacies as well!
Alaska:Plastic shopping bags are banned in at least 30 villages and towns in Alaska, including the towns of Emmonak, Galena, and Kotlik.
California: On July 2007, all large supermarkets in the State of California are required, by law, to take back and recycle plastic shopping bags. As you can see from above that cities such as Manhattan Beach, Encinitas and San Francisco have taken larger steps by banning plastic bags altogether.
New York:New York City entertained the idea of a plastic bag fee in 2005. There is growing pressure building towards such a ban.
Ohio: Is in the petitioning process to ban plastic bags state-wide.
*As discussed, other countries are ahead of the United States in the banning, taxing or curbing the use of plastic bag consumption:
Australia:South Australia and Melbourne are the first regions in Australia to ban plastic bags. Before the law was passed, 9 out of 10 people surveyed (actually 91%) said they were in favor of a ban on plastic bags to help reduce landfill, damage to marine life and greenhouse pollution.
Taiwan: Plastic shopping bags are banned in Taiwan.
Bangladesh:Plastic shopping bags are banned in Bangladesh because they cause flooding during monsoons by clogging drains.
Canada: The northern Manitoba town of Leaf Rapids became the first municipality in Canada to ban plastic shopping bags. Citizens are now petitioning to go country-wide with ban.
China: China has banned plastic bags and has said that by doing so, they will save 37 million barrels of oil per year! The theme of China’s 2007 Earth Day was to cut consumption of plastic bags by 50%. Many stores and universities joined in the effort.
Israel:Mandated an ordinance to charge consumers for plastic bags and is considering a country-wide ban.
Ireland:On March 4, 2002, Ireland introduced a 15 cent levy on every plastic shopping bag. This led to a 95% reduction in use and increased use of reusable bags. The money gathered by the levy was used to raise money for environmental initiatives. Many retailers in Ireland switched to supplying (untaxed) paper bags, or simply stopped supplying bags. The charge was increased to 22 cents on July 1, 2007. Reusable bags are now a way of life in Ireland.
France: Growing awareness of the ecological impact of plastic bags has lead supermarkets (like Carrefour) and retailers to force customers to buy reusable plastic or nonwoven bags. In Paris, a ban on plastic bags will take effect in late 2007; a nationwide ban is scheduled to rake effect on January 1, 2010.
Germany: Cosrsica has been the first region to ban plastic bags. Generally, most German supermarkets charge between 5 and 25 cents per single-use bag, depending on the type of bag. Most shops also offer cloth bags or sturdier, woven plastic bags for about €1, encouraging shoppers to re-use them.
Japan:Similar to the United States, almost any store you visit in Japan, from convenience stores to street vendors, will also net you a free plastic bag for your purchase. Although there are some supermarkets (like Kyoto Co-op) which charge for plastic bags, this is by no means the norm. Many supermarkets (like Izumiya) will give you extra points on your point-card if you bring your own bag.
Pakistan: Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA) Director General Asif Shuja Khan says the situation is “grim”. “We need a mass awareness campaign and cooperation of the people to control the use of polythene bags.”
New Zealand:In recent years cloth bags have been promoted and sold by some supermarkets as an alternative to plastic bags. In August 2006, the Collingwood community in Golden Bay declared itself shopping bag free by a group of local residents who promoted the idea. In early 2007, a nationwide campaign was kicked off with the aim of introducing a shopping bag levy similar to Ireland's. Retailers threaten to oppose any plastic ban.
South Africa:Mohammad Valli Moosa,the Environment and Tourism Minister of South Africa jokingly named plastic bags the "national flower" of that country, and worked to introduce a minimum legal thickness of 30 micrometers to increase their cost, reusability, and recyclability. They may not be legally given away to shoppers, and must instead be sold, however this rule is not always enforced strictly. The South African government collects a 3-cent per shopping bag environmental levy on all shopping bags.
United Kingdom:Growing awareness in the UK of the problems caused by indiscriminate use of plastic bags is encouraging some large retailers to reward customers who bring their own bags or who reuse or recycle existing bags. This has been adopted by Tesco, who call it the ‘Green Bag Scheme’. This scheme gives the customer a “Green Clubcard Point”, which has the monetary value of 1p, for every bag they reuse (or indeed if they use any bag that is not taken from the Tesco bag holders, such as a backpack they own). Retailers in Modbury have voluntarily eliminated usage of plastic bags, the first town in the country to do so.
Zanzibar: The Island of Zanzibar banned the import and use of plastic shopping bags in November of 2006. The bags had been responsible for a significant litter problem, and government officials enacted the ban to protect tourism, an economic mainstay for the island.
Conclusion: This new lifestyle, or The Inconvenient Lifestyle, is coming soon to your neighborhood, city, state, country, etc. It's our hope to make a fun bag that's both environmentally-correct and made with style so that you would want to use our bag instead of feeling forced to use it!
Change is on the way, be inconvenient... it's worth the hassle!
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