We have the answer.
“Should I wash out my zip-lock bags?” is what some reader asked Umbra, a “Dear Abby” of sorts, for the popular green web site Grist.org.
The only thing sillier than the question was Umbra’s answer:
Instead of gazing into the darkness and wondering whether you should wash out your zip-lock baggies, you should be chewing your pillow in fury over the fact that a household good could be so bad. The plastics industry, built on the concept of “better living,” could in fact be poisoning us all…
… our primary goal should be to reduce the amount of plastic in our lives.
The question seems to hve arisen from someone “whose coworker is haranguing her for washing zip-lock bags. Umbra says:
Yes, she’s right that you are probably using more water than was used to make the bags in the first place. Yes, you’re right that you are saving on raw materials, shipping impacts, and landfill space. So feel free to keep rinsing if you wish, and consider it a wash.
Another Umbra reader suggested replacing plastic wrap with shower caps. Umbra replied:
I wish I could call your solution harebrained, just for pun, but it’s actually quite creative. However, your husband is right that washing these caps creates its own impact. On the question of whether they are dangerous because they’re not food-grade plastic, I say food-grade plastics are dangerous enough in their own right.
But we think we have the better solution to this green dilemma: Put your brain back in your head first, give the blood a chance to flow back and then, if necessary, ask someone other than Dumbra.
As to Umbra, didn’t you have a Barbie doll? Plastic is fantastic.