A Whale's Tail: 100 % Cotton
I decided to add cotton bags to my Sea Bound Goods' shop because I knew that they would be the perfect way to help people use less plastic. These bags are 100% organic cotton and stamped with high quality ink in the design of a whale's tale emerging from traditional Japanese waves, capturing the grace and heart of these ancient creatures.
Each of our bags are hand-stamped and laid to dry for a minimum of 24 hours before they are heat-pressed for 1-2 minutes. The lino block used to stamp all of the bags was hand-carved by Liam, then sent across the ocean from the UK to the US. Before this, I had never used a lino block before and practiced many times on paper before stamping the first bag! It was a trial and error effort until I figured out the right ratio to ink on the roller and the ring pressure to apply to the stamp to make sure all the ink came off onto the cotton. But finally I got the results I was hoping for!
A 100% cotton bag featuring our unique vintage-style gorgeous whale tail pring is now available in our shop!
History of the Plastic Bag
Plastics are non-biodegradable, which means that every piece of plastic that humans have ever created still exists. It is just floating out there breaking down into smaller and smaller pieces - in the oceans, rivers, buried in the ground and growing beneath trees - but never truly breaking down.
And plastic bags are one of the largest parts of this problem.
In 1862 humans developed parkesine (aka plastic). It was developed by a man named Alexander Parkes - he accidentally created it while trying to find an artificial alternative to shellac for waterproofing. It wasn't until the 1960s that plastic started to gain in popularity. A company located in Sweden was trying to patent a plastic tubing for packaging purposes.
Plastic in the Ocean
The sea turtle's main diet are jellyfish. In the ocean, plastic bags closely resemble the wavy, sinuous movements of jellyfish. Sea turtles attempt to eat them, believing they are their prey. This offers a not-so-tasty meal for our shelly friends. An estimated 1,000 sea turtles die each year due to ingesting plastic. This is only one example of the impact of plastic in our oceans. On a larger scale, a conservative estimate is that about 1 million marine animals, including mammals, fish, sharks, and birds, die each year due to plastic related causes.
Let's keep plastic bags out of our ocean!
But When is Trash "Good"?
Should we pick up all trash? Is there any that serve a purpose?
Plastic should always be recycled. As I said before, it will never biodegrade on its own. As for other trash - such as ceramic and glass - sometimes the answer is a little harder.
If you look at some of my photographs, you may "trash" being used by sea creatures. Often, such as in the case of this photograph, glass bottles and ceramic pieces have been embedded in the ocean for so long that they have become part of the habit for ocean creatures to hide, breed, and live in. Unlike plastic, ceramics and glass items do biodegrade (though glass can take up to 1 million years). Despite this, and though some trash has been repurposed, we should still all do our part to keep the rest our of our oceans.
The simplest answer is: don't litter.