Plastic bags as gloves

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They don’t recycle polypropilene (PP) plastic in Latvia yet. Most of package however is PP. After use it goes in the forest to fill the emptiness of sand carriers or… if citizens are not alright to pay a few euros to trash company, then it just goes to the forest, from where other or maybe even the same citizens one saturday a year, during the so called “Big Cleanup“, will take the trash away. At least in some places.

I try not to buy things if they are plasticpackaged. But I have a problem with gloves, a very necessary thing for a fragile hand farmer-musician doing tough work, because there are no gloves in the market, that would not contain plastic (synthetic materials). And these gloves, no matter if they are cheap or expensive, start to break as soon as they get wet. Even more eternal stuff for future archaeologists to dig out after a few thousand of years.

I once noticed that shopkeepers often use plastic bags as gloves to take a food to put it in another plastic bag that then goes to the customer. Once I ran out of gloves and I am short on money as well to buy new, and short on time, skill and resources to make me some medieval gloves out of nettle or leather. My hands were cold and grasp was weak without gloves. This was when I remember those shopkeepers and my collection of plastic  stuff which is waiting for “better days”, when Latvian waste management will develop enough to recycle them.

Plastic (PP) bags did not simply work. They were even better than usual gloves made from polyester or other polymer. I even use them in bicycle riding. They supplement any other gloves very nice if it is necessary to touch something wet, icy or snowy. Usually snow makes gloves wet, but if there are these bags on, then it doesn’t happen so quick. When there is no cold, then I need no other gloves but plastic bags. So I give these bags another life and save money and time by avoiding shopping.

They look ugly, of course, but who cares, if cleaner environment is an issue? Bad thing is that they don’t let out moisture from inside, which is uncomfortable when plastic bags are put on bare hands. Woolen gloves helped. Plastic, of course, is toxic. Theoretically PP is safe, but I doubt that PP bags are 100% PP. There still might be some % of other chemicals and they may be toxic, especially if PP is made out of fossil oil. One more bad thing to mention, is colouring – it comes off when you use bags as gloves. My bicycle handles are not original colour anymore.

As far as I googled, I am not the only one, who uses plastic bags as gloves:

http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf13418804.tip.html

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/no-surgical-gloves-so-plastic-bags-state-staff—say-we-aren-t-equipped/261569

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About Pavels Melnis

Independent ecology activist, family farmer, gardener and forestkeeper. Musician: violin, guitar, singing. Hobbies: traveling by bicycle, learning to play different music instruments - accordion, piano, recorder flute, harmonica, drums; languages, theology, prehistory, logbuilding, repairing and recycling. Religious. Ecological. Love all things ethnic and traditional.
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