Eagle Market has stinky bags

By Eric Long, News Writer



“Do you want a bag?” is a common question asked when being checked out at the Eagle Express Market, but saying “yes” has its consequence: the smell.

Let’s face it. The grocery bags used in the market stink really bad. The odor, to me, bears a close resemblance to cigarette smoke. It’s not pleasant to the nose. I’m always afraid that by the time I get back to my dorm, whatever I bought will end up smelling like the bag.

Now, it’s definitely not the market workers’ faults; they don’t have control of what bags are used. So what company in their right mind would create and sell such a bad smelling bag? The answer is Trellis Earth Products Inc. They’re the culprit. They make biodegradable, sustainable, plant-based products.

I totally get the whole “being green” idea, and frankly, I support it. This world is getting warmer and we’re only digging ourselves a deeper hole as we deplete our resources. I get the company’s intentions. It is a hope that grocery bags made of recycled materials will make our “footprint” smaller and by doing this our world will one day be saved from our own destruction.

But why do the bags smell? Are they decomposing as I type this? Are they rotting? These are the questions that came to mind, and I wanted to get down to the bottom of it. So I did a little research on the company’s website and contacted a sales representative. What I found out was quite simple.

The bags are 50 percent cornstarch. The cornstarch is used in two ways.

One use is as filler for polyethylene. Reducing the use of polyethylene can, over time, help our environment.

The second use is food for bacteria. When the bags go to the landfill, they are eaten by bacteria and broken down. The cornstarch gives the bacteria something to munch on in their happy, yet disgusting, little world, therefore making the bags biodegradable and eco-friendly.

This is a bittersweet revelation. Considering the fact that bacteria live all around us, it can be concluded, from my viewpoint, that the bags are covered in bacteria poo. It sounds disgusting, I know. But look on the bright side, the bacteria are happy and though the bags stink, EWU picked a company who cares about the earth to supply us with our grocery bags.