Rome Travel Guide

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Friday, February 22, 2013

Plastic bags in Rome - one woman's story

This is a remembrance of and for my Dad, who died about a year ago, just 10 days short of his 93rd birthday.  He was a loyal follower of the blog (no, he didn't get Facebook, but he did get the blog). Dad's occupation was "manufacturer of flexible films."  He made plastic bags.  Plastic bags put me through Stanford.

So when we saw this sculpture in the atrium of MACRO last  year, we photographed it for him.  It's comprised solely of plastic bags.  And there is stuff in the catalog about how the artist wants to bring attention to the detritus of plastic bags, and this is a good re-use etc.  What would Dad have thought of that?  Hm, probably not a lot.  He didn't like it that I usually asked for "paper" not "plastic".  But that's a generational thing, and I think he got that.

Dad's small company basically invented the roll bag you see in grocery stores everywhere now. His partner and life-long friend had to convince Safeway to buy a few of the roll bags just to try them out in their produce department.  "Customers will not put their own produce in their own bag," said the Safeway exec.  And then came the order for 5 million bags - more than the small company could possibly handle.  But somehow they did, at the right time for me.  So I thought Dad too would like seeing the version of the roll bag we see in "supermarkets" in Rome. The design (at right) could use some help from Dad.


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