Cotton Bag Waste
Production and use of cotton bags may be doing more harm than good
It’s the age-old question: paper or plastic. Nowadays, it seems to be reusable bags or plastic… and the answer seems simple. Yet, recent investigations into the environmental impact of reusable (and ever popular) cotton tote bags revealed the bags may be more trendy than effective.
The bags were originally popularized to overtake the plastic bag industry in the retail market. Now, they’re provided and sold by retailers as advertisements, featuring fun and recognizable branding that come as incentives for consumers. The bags sole purpose has been reshaped – and overdone – to a level that may harm the environment rather than help it.
While cotton is biodegradable, the dyes used in decorating these bags are not. According to The New York Times, “And only 15 percent of the 30 million tons of cotton produced every year actually makes its way to textile depositories.”
Bags that make it to a treatment plant to be repurposed have to be torn and can only be used in part. What was thought of as an environmentally friendly solution to carrying your every day goods is now contributing to environmental waste and product overconsumption.
Here’s what you can do:
Next time you’re offered a free disposable bag with your purchase, politely decline – you probably have multiple cotton bags stuffed under your bed or in a cupboard, anyway. Make a point to reuse those bags before purchasing or accepting a new one. Take them to the grocery store, retail shopping, to school, to extracurricular activities… really, any time you need to carry something, throw it in a cotton bag.
Additionally, research textile depositories in your area. See if it’s possible for you to recycle an unwanted or unused bags. Can you use a cotton bag in replacement of something paper? How about wrapping your next gift in a cotton bag rather than a plastic gift bag?
The key here is intentionality. If you need it, buy it. If you don’t, and you have one at home, use it.
Kanye becomes “Ye”
Rapper files to legally change his full name
Kanye West filed court documents Tuesday requesting his legal name – currently Kanye Omari West – be changed to Ye. Just Ye: no middle or last name. West has referred to himself as “Ye” since 2018, including his 2018 self-titled album.
West, of course, is not the first celebrity to prefer a singular name. Stars like Rihanna, Drake, Beyoncé, Lizzo, and many others go professionally by a single name. All, however, are still legally registered under their birth names.
West’s court filing will be reviewed under the Los Angeles Superior Court.
What you should understand about it
Legally changing your name is a big deal. It’s expensive, time consuming, and a multiple step process that varies by state. However, it can be done! Both minors and adults can legally change their name for around $150 once proper procedure has been followed (this includes submitting birth registration information and your social security number).
When someone chooses to change their name — legally or formally — respect their choice! Some may be open to answering questions about their switch in moniker, but others may just want to ease into the new name. Be open and receptive.
‘Good 4 U’ gets an update
Olivia Rodrigo cites Paramore in retroactive credit
What was at once obvious to some fans, “Sour” singer Olivia Rodrigo has credited Paramore band members Hayley Williams and Josh Farro on her 2021 smash hit “Good 4 U.” The song bares resemblance to Paramore’s 2007 song, “Misery Business.” And while Rodrigo was only four when the song came out, the similarities between the two tracks are uncanny. Fans immediately ran to TikTok to compare the two songs.
The retroactive credit is just the second given to the “Sour” album, including credits to Taylor Swift and cowriters on the song, “Déjà Vu.” Courtney Love took issue with the “Sour Prom” album cover for its resemblance to the singer’s 1994 album, “Live Through This.” The claim has since been removed on Instagram.
While the album continues to soar on the charts and skyrockets Rodrigo to pop superstardom, it’s important to recognize those sites and sounds that influenced its creation.
Here’s what you can do:
It’s important to give credit where credit’s due. That lesson can be taken into every work space in your life! Whether it be school, extracurricular or creative endeavors, make sure to own where you found an idea. Oftentimes, recognizing that you’ve taken inspiration from a past work is much simpler than dealing with the consequences of plagiarism.
Review your school’s plagiarism statement. Usually, this can be found within your school’s handbook. Work to incorporate proper citations and credits to any work you looked at while working on a project: whether it be for inspiration or support.