Pointless Overthinking over one plastic bag?

Drawing by Adrian Serghie

Provided by Ramon from Zero Waste Dude

   As you guys/gals might know I am in an amazing journey to reduce my personal waste. I took my kid to a local park, the park itself is like a mini reserve in an urban area with heavy traffic, many billboards, and everything else that make a great city great. However, the park itself is peaceful, and it has short nature trails with a small lake. Is truly a great escape from every day to day hassle. While my toddler was counting the turtles that would approach us seeking food (which we didn’t have). I notice with the corner of my eye one shopping plastic bag in the lake. And my pointless overthinking started.

   Who is responsible for this plastic bag ending in the lake?

   Is it, the manufacturer of the plastic bag?

   Is it, the grocery store who provides the plastic bag?

   Is it, the individual that took the plastic bag instead of bringing a reusable bag?

   Is it, the individual that brought it to the park?

   Is it, the park service crew that let the wind take it when they empty out the trash?

   Or Is it me?

   Obviously, I didn’t have anything to do with the plastic bag, but leaving the plastic bag in the lake wouldn’t have improved the habitat of that lake, correct?

    So instead of pointlessly overthinking why the plastic bag was there in the first place, I grab a stick took it out of the lake and place it in the trash can.

   However, the question remained in my mind, how can the issue of having a plastic bag end in a lake be resolved? Let’s do some pointless overthinking together. Who do you think is responsible for this plastic bag?

   Let me know what you think?

19 thoughts on “Pointless Overthinking over one plastic bag?

    1. You are right they should know better by now. I mean the plastic bag is no longer a child, they are like 40 years old, but in the defense of the plastic bag, they get to live up to 1000 years, so a 40-year-old bag has only lived 4% of its life, is like 3 to 4 years old in human years. lol

  1. It will indeed benefit us in the long term to consider deeply all of the parties responsible for the presence of the plastic bag in the lake.

    In the present moment, it is best, as you did, to remove the plastic bag, making you responsible for it now, but in a good way.

    In the short term, it is good to come home and write about the plastic bag, making it all of our responsibilities, again in a good way.

    And because of the experience of reading it, in the longer term, I can remember to carry my cloth bag with me next time I go shopping — no more plastic bags in the lake!

  2. I cannot control the actions of others, but I can do what I can to make the world a better place. Epictetus said, “Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one.” No point in overthinking it.

  3. Good job on taking the initiative and picking it up. I’m usually torn in those situations. I want to pick it up, but resent being expected to clean up after someone who couldn’t be bothered to throw it away themselves.

  4. Maybe it’s like the Good Samaritan story and who is a “neighbor.” The one who is responsible is the one who takes the responsibility. In this case, that was you. Thank you! 🙂

  5. I’d say “All of the above”. However, by taking the bag out of the lake you have ended the cycle of “It’s not my problem” and set a stellar example for your child.
    I live in a city that had a bag ban – for 2 years. Then they decided it wasn’t legal to “force” people to bring their own bags. *insert eye roll here* We still use the cloth bags, or for small purchases, no bag. We don’t need more plastic in out ecosystem.

  6. Hey team, you guys have made my day with your comments, I meant to create awareness of the plastic bag problem at a local level with my park visit, but you guys/gals brought much more value with your comments. Thank you to all of you.

  7. Check out this article and its links:
    “There are only limited changes a person can make to their shopping habits, in a marketplace where packaging is embedded within infrastructures of provision. So responsible waste management is really a responsibility shared between governments, producers, local authorities, waste companies and citizens. In particular, the companies that create the materials that become household waste have huge power to reduce it.”
    Taken from

  8. This one was really good post. Anybody that’s seen a single picture of the Great Pacific Garbage dump has to have some understanding now that plastic is a menace.

    I was in my early teens when environmentalists started pushing plastic bags HARD. They reasoned plastic was needed to save the forests from paper bag induced deforestation. Even at 13 or 14 I saw this was a bad idea. Trees are a renewable resource and paper can be recycled or composted.

    Understand, environmentalism is a good thing. We have to take care of the planet we live on. HOWEVER, environmentalists have to take real looks at the long term implications of the alternatives suggested. If they had, maybe we could have gone straight from paper to cloth bags. We’re making similar mistakes now with solar power and battery technology. Solar panels are full of toxic heavy metals and have a relatively short lifespan. Batteries for electric cars (ALL cars) are full of lead and sulphuric acid. NOT good for the environment.

    These Technologies ARE steps in the right direction, but we need to push them to grow into truly safe alternatives as hard as we push to do away with oil. In the case of batteries, it may be disgustingly simple also. There have been batteries found in ancient digs in India that used citric acid (ie Orange Juice).

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