As I threw my collection of used plastic bags onto the back seat of my car, with the intention to drop them off at the recycling center of my local supermarket, I vowed to stop using plastic bags altogether.
Of course, the dilemma is how to make purchases in a shop without having it bagged and not look like you’re shoplifting. Apart from this problem, there are other worldwide issues that need to be addressed regarding our dependence on this type of carrier.
Most plastic ends up clogging up our oceans and threatening wildlife, or being an unsightly mess, as Ivory Coast discovered and is trying to address. There, plastic bags are used to hand out water, but then discarded on the ground.
However, a ban on plastic bags in that country has led to protests because thousands of water traders will lose their income.
Ivory Coast citizens need to practice being good stewards of the environment, and learn from their neighbors by picking up and repurposing these bags.
In other African countries people earn a living by creating furniture and other products from used plastic bags.
Their livelihoods are also threatened if production stops.
Yet, as plastic bags take up to 1,000 years to decompose, they shouldn’t run out of supply any day soon.
The only way to stop our addiction to this type of container for transporting goods is to halt production. Most legislation in the West only goes so far, though, or is inadequately slow
Until plastic bags are outlawed, much of the responsibility comes down to you and me.
We have at least got to stop being people with a throw away mentality.
And this applies to other areas of our lives, too.
We use things, do activities, or make friends for a short time, and then move onto something or someone new. All in the hope of finding the one thing that will last.
We need to recover an attitude where we seek that which is durable, both in our possessions and our relationships.
Looking back at the past year, is there anywhere you’ve had a throw away mentality where you could be more responsible? Perhaps, for instance, there are relationships you have given up on, but in which you should invest more time.
One relationship where we will never waste our efforts, is with Jesus. When we seek Jesus we have a long-lasting, worthwhile future:
Going forward into the New Year, where can you adopt healthy practices and be a good steward of what you have around you?
Dear Lord, I want to be responsible in the things I do, the way I think, and the relationships I have. Help me going forward to be a good steward of what you have given me, including your Son, Jesus. Amen.