I know what you mean. I too have mixed feelings about using plastic bags for releasing BC books. But books do need protection if left outside.
I have exactly these mixed feelings. I would prefer not to sell people plastic bags, but they are a very popular product and BC needs to sell things in order to survive. And they ARE a nice and useful product too. I use them myself... and hope people use them more than once.
I think about these issues a lot as I do my best to plot a course for the Supply Store that makes sense. Much of the packing material that I use for shipping is re-used: any cardboard and packing foam has always been used before.
The envelopes are not, and they're plastic... but we need to make sure our materials reach the other side of the world in good shape and don't go to waste. It's a conundrum. I don't use bubble envelopes because they, too, contain plastic and it's harder to separate and recycle properly. I use envelopes that are very thin and strong: very little material goes into them and I don't ship a bunch of useless weight around the globe. Strong packaging that is plastic-free, lightweight and cheap: I would love it but I haven't found it yet.
On the other hand, I do recycle plastic and paper that's left over after packing. Even the little plastic strips that are removed from the sticky part of the envelope are gathered and recycled. It's something.
And this is exactly why the pens that are now in the Supply Store are not the cheapest ones around, but decent ones that are made from metal, and refillable. Plastic pens would be a lot cheaper, I know. But these are made to last and I don't want to sell cheap rubbish if I can avoid it.
Sorry for writing a novel but it's a topic that I think about a lot!