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The average time a person uses a plastic grocery bag is about 12 minutes.

After being tossed in the garbage, it makes its way to a dump or possibly the ocean, where it will slowly bio degrade for 500 years.

But the plastic never really goes away. It breaks down into tiny fragments called microplastics that can carry toxins and enter our bloodstreams.


If the world fails reduce its plastic consumption our oceans are in danger of degrading into a toxic plastic soup.

Kroger, America’s second-largest retailer, just took a huge step to reduce the country's plastic consumption.

On Thursday, August 23, the company announced it would stop providing plastic checkout bags to its customers by 2025.

“The plastic shopping bag’s days are numbered,” its CEO, Rodney McMullen, wrote in a USA Today op-ed.

Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for New York Times.

The company’s goal is to transition its customers over to using reusable shopping bags.

Kroger owns nearly 2,800 stores in 35 states and the District of Columbia, including: Cala Foods, City FoodsCo, Fred Meyer Stores, Fry's, Metro Market, Pick 'n Save, Ralphs, Food 4 Less, and Smith's Food and Drug.

According to Kroger, the ban would eliminate 123 million pounds of garbage sent to landfills each year. This would quadruple the amount it currently saves through recycling.

“Our customers have told us it makes no sense to have so much plastic only to be used once before being discarded – And they’re exactly right,” McMullen wrote.

[rebelmouse-image 19346097 dam="1" original_size="1024x465" caption="Kate Ter Haar/Flickr" expand=1]Kate Ter Haar/Flickr

Kroger’s announcement comes at a time when state and local governments are considering legislation to either ban or protect plastic grocery bags.

California and Hawaii have banned single-use plastic grocery bags, while Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, and Wisconsin have enacted laws to prevent local governments from enacting bans.

Plastic bag facts:

  • 100 billion plastic bags are used by Americans every year which require 12 million barrels of oil to manufacture. Tied together, they would reach around the Earth’s equator 773 times!
  • Nearly 2 million single-use plastic bags are distributed worldwide every minute.
  • The average American family takes home almost 1,500 plastic shopping bags a year.
  • 100,000 marine animals are killed by plastic bags annually.

Plastic bag bans have been proven to reduce plastic litter and ocean pollution.

A plastic bag tax levied in Ireland in 2002 has reportedly led to a 95% percent reduction in plastic bag litter in the country. In 2011, San Jose, California banned plastic bags, resulting in 89% percent reduction in bags found in the storm drains, 60% in the creeks and rivers, and 59% in city streets and neighborhoods.

The California ban, which took effect in late 2016, is already yielding positive results. According to the Los Angeles Times, “Plastic bags (both the banned and the legal variety) accounted for 3.1% of the litter collected from the state's beaches during the 2017 Coastal Cleanup Day, down from to 7.4% in 2010."

How you can help

Even if your local grocery store still hands out bags, you can reduce your own plastic consumption by bringing your own reusable one. Not only will you reduce your own waste, but you’ll be a good example to fellow shoppers and may cause them to rethink habits.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Hold on, Frankie! Mama's coming!

How do you explain motherhood in a nutshell? Thanks to Cait Oakley, who stopped a preying bald eagle from capturing her pet goose as she breastfed her daughter, we have it summed up in one gloriously hilarious TikTok.

The now viral video shows the family’s pet goose, Frankie, frantically squawking as it gets dragged off the porch by a bald eagle—likely another mom taking care of her own kiddos.

Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”

The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.

Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.

As for how she feels about running around topless in her underwear on camera, Oakley declared, “I could have been naked and I’m like, ‘whatever, I’m feeding my baby.’”

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