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Sustainable Springfield Inc. (SSI) is an environmental grass roots organization that promotes responsible planning efforts by our local governments and encourages the Springfield area citizen and business community to live and operate more sustainably. We are an information sharing network and closely ally our organization with other environmental groups in Springfield to promote their activities as well as our own.

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Better than Plastic = Better Bags Project

On December 6th, Dr. Joan Barenfanger, who heads the Better Bag project of Springfield, spoke to the Citizen’s Club on the reuse of shopping bags at the MCL Cafeteria. Roughly 45 people attended and there was considerable participation from those who wholeheartedly support the use of reusable bags, to those who embrace the convenience of plastic. The point was made that any consistent level to increase reusable bag use is a step in the right direction. Dr. Barenfanger’s message touched on the issues of:

Plastics in our food chain – (Dr. Barenfanger is a Clinical Pathologist)

Environmental consequences – ( landfill overcrowding, increased use of fossil fuels, harm to marine life – plastics form a garbage patch in Pacific Ocean 2x the size of Texas)

Illinois SB 3442 – (a win for the Environmental)

Oil’s relationship to plastic bags – (4% of production to make all these bags)

What plastic bags cost Schnuck’s each week – (monies could be better used support economic growth???)

Alternatives – (reusable bags, biodegradable plastics, composting, etc.),

Besides, they are just an ugly nuisance that blight our landscape. So, please support Joan’s Better Bag Project. She can be contacted at

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