Plastic bags, plastic trays, plastic headache!
Plastic bags are filling our landfills, floating in our lakes and lining our highways and fences. Plastic bags could be one of the greatest products ever made, cheap, light weight, strong, compact and durable – too durable! Plastic bags are used everywhere we go – the mall, lumberyard, restaurants, parts store, garden center and of course, the grocery store “paper or plastic”. I must admit, they’re great! From yard bags to sandwich bags, they come in handy for everything and can be re-used for everything requiring a container, well, almost everything. I see the plastic bag being around for quite some time, with one exception… the thin plastic bags used at grocery stores.
Grocery store bags are causing a lot of cities, towns, states and countries to rethink how good they truly are. They seem to be everywhere and everyone has a drawer full of them. I used to use one every day just for scooping out my cats litter box. I used to use them to line the small trash receptacle in the bathroom. I even used them to stuff even more plastic bags in to. So what’s the problem? It’s the quantity and the resources it takes to make them. Oil prices are on the rise once again and with the trouble in the middle east, who knows how high oil prices can go.
It is estimated on the internet in many locations that around 4% of all oil produced is transformed into some form of plastic. Another 4% is used as fuel to power the making of plastic… wow! I would have never guessed it would be 8% of all the oil produced. No wonder countries like Australia, Ireland, South Africa, Italy, Taiwan. Bangladesh, India, Philippines, Kenya, Belgium and parts of China have put a ban on some plastic bags. Many other countries are considering banning plastic bags or imposing a tax on plastic bags, including many areas of the United States. California is considering a ban or tax on the bags and many states will likely follow.
What can be done as an individual to help prepare for this change facing our country? There are many obvious places where we could use paper bags instead of plastic. Or take our own tote bags with us which are made from renewable resources. There are also a lot of areas offering recycling programs which will certainly help. One place where I have made a change is using a recyclable, biodegradable, disposable litter box. I know, it sounds ridiculous! What will they think of next, right? After I read how many pet cats there are in America, I got out my calculator and did some calculating, and here’s what I came up with…
According to the humane society there are over 90 million pet cats in the United States……
Assuming 60% of these cats use plastic litter trays:
If you throw away your plastic litter tray every year like I did, that’s 54,000,000 plastic litter trays going to our landfills every year.
If you clean your litter tray every week using a detergent or disinfectant from a plastic bottle and you get 52 cleanings per bottle - that’s 54,000,000 plastic bottles going to our landfills each year, just cleaning our litter trays.
If each bottle contained 16 ounces, that’s 6,750,000 gallons of chemicals reaching our river systems each year.
If we used a plastic bag for disposing our used litter each week, that would amount to 2,808,000,000 plastic bags reaching our landfills each year. This doesn’t include bags used for scooping during the week.
If it takes 5 minutes to empty and clean a litter box, that’s 4,500,000 hours spent by Americans performing this unpleasant task each year.
That’s a lot of plastic being used to maintain our cats!
Plastic litter trays contain much more plastic than a plastic bag and could take centuries to begin decomposing.
Plastic bags - who really knows.
Chemicals in our rivers - can’t be a good thing.
What if…. 10% changed to disposable litter trays:
Americans would eliminate 5,400,000 plastic litter trays from reaching our landfills every year.
We would eliminate 5,400,000 plastic bottles going to our landfills each year.
We would remove 675,000 gallons of chemicals reaching our river systems each year.
We would eliminate 280,800,000 plastic bags reaching our landfills each year. This doesn’t include bags used for scooping during the week.
Americans would also spend 450,000 less hours avoiding that unpleasant task each year.
It seems like making a small change by one person wouldn’t make any difference but when done by the masses, it could add up to a lot of good. Most of us are concerned about how mankind is managing our planet. We all feel things are out of control and heading in the wrong direction. With all the mayhem and chaos, it feels nice to be in control of my own little part of the planet and at least trying to make a difference.
I found Catsdesire disposable litter boxes have turned my cat litter box maintenance from a weekly headache into a quick change situation, plus my cat loves having a new bathroom each week. I thought it might be a hassle getting him used to the new litter box but he sniffed at it and walked right it. I think the freshness and cleanliness was instantly appealing to him. One thing I like about the Catsdesire disposable litter box is that it is the only disposable litter box which can be used open or enclosed. I can use it like my old open litter tray or I can put one box on top of the other, creating an enclosed litter box. Since adding the top, my litter box area remains almost litter free – making clean up a breeze!
My friends ask me about how durable can a cardboard litter box be… I find it lasts a week just fine and much longer if I'm feeling lazy. It has a food grade moisture barrier coating applied to the inside which gives the litter plenty of time to do what litter was designed for – trapping cat goodies. I throw out the bottom litter box and contents on trash day every week, it collapses down nice and fits in the trash bin just fine. Each week I start out with a germ free environment for my cat and my family, easier on me, better for my cat and healthier for my family. Since each box is interchangeable, I fold up a new section and reuse the top portion for next weeks bottom, just add the new section directly on top…sweeeeet!
Cats desire disposable litter boxes break down fast while in the landfill – just weeks or months. Most litters are mined from clay or clay type soils which occur naturally in the earth - from the earth going back to the earth. What the cat leaves behind is part of natures fertilizing system. It feels like I’m making no impact on the environment at all when it comes to taking care of my cats bathroom needs. This change seems to be the most eco-friendly, environmentally safe and “green” action I can make when it comes to owning a cat.
Cat owners make up a good portion of the households in America. With about one out of three homes owning a cat, and most of them owning multiple cats, cat owners can have a huge impact on the environment. If just some of us can make a change to disposable litter boxes we will all reap the benefits.
If you think someone you know would be interested in reading this article, forward it on. The more people who are aware of how a disposable litter box could make a difference, the better chance we all have in living in a greener world. I’m trying to make a change, how about joining me……..