In the recent years, we have experienced major increases in awareness of the damage done to the planet and the consequences of our actions. Unfortunately, old habits and convenience makes the struggle to take care of the Earth more difficult. A prime example is the use of plastic grocery bags, many using them simply for their handiness. The downside, however, outweighs any benefits gained through convenience, particularly when these plastic bags not only litter the land and oceans but endanger animals. There is a safe alternative, a new form of recycling offering a perfect way to put good use to old trash.

The Dangers
Few people see plastic bags for the serious danger they represent to the environment. However, the truth is plastic grocery bags endanger thousands of animals, including turtles, whales, seals and birds. In some cases, animals become trapped and helpless. In others, the animals mistake plastic bags as food and eat them, leading to the animal’s tragic death. Worse yet, long after the animal is gone the bag remains, plastic taking as long as 1,000 years to disintegrate. Simply put, plastic bags dumped today will be around long after the people who used them.

A New Recycling Process
Plastic bags don’t seem to have much purpose beyond carrying groceries, most ending up in landfills, littering roadsides or floating in oceans. Ironically, plastic bags not only serve another purpose but help battle rising energy problems. In fact, there is a process that allows plastic bags to be turned into diesel fuel as well as gasoline, lubricating oils, natural gas and even waxes. Although still very new, turning plastic bags into fuels and other products, this is far better alternative to 100 billion plastic shopping bags a year littering the land and oceans across the world.

The Process Benefits
There is no denying the process needs some fine tuning and no one can be sure how much this will impact the problems plastic grocery bags create. However, the benefits speak for themselves. Consider this, though. The diesel fuel created from plastic bags can be added to regular diesel without any further process or compatibility issues. More to the point, this recycled form of diesel meets the national standards set for such fuels as biodiesel and ultra-low-sulfur diesel. In short, plastic grocery bags can become a part of the solution rather than a part of the problem.