Posted by Christopher Johnson | Thursday, February 24th, 2011 | Uncategorized | 10 Comments

A little something for that insufferable greenie friend of yours:

Unpublished Government research suggests the plastic carrier may not be an eco villain after all – but, whisper it, an unsung hero. Hated by environmentalists and shunned by shoppers, the disposable plastic bag is piling up in a shame-filled corner of retail history. But a draft report by the Environment Agency, obtained by the Independent on Sunday, has found that ordinary high density polythene (HDPE) bags used by shops are actually greener than supposedly low impact choices.

HDPE bags are, for each use, almost 200 times less damaging to the climate than cotton hold-alls favoured by environmentalists, and have less than one third of the Co2 emissions than paper bags which are given out by retailers such as Primark.

The findings suggest that, in order to balance out the tiny impact of each lightweight plastic bag, consumers would have to use the same cotton bag every working day for a year, or use paper bags at least thrice rather than sticking them in the bin or recycling.

10 Comments to PAYBACK

Martial Artist
February 24, 2011

Ho Hum…

Just one more thing that “they” know that isn’t so. Why am I not surprised?

Pax et bonum,
Keith Töpfer

February 24, 2011

Well, one thing no one thinks about.. Leave any white (and maybe other colors) out in the sun, they will quickly disintegrate, even those chairs.. But what do they do, bury them quickly, where they’ll probably live forever.. Don’t believe me, just try it..

Paula Loughlin
February 24, 2011

I often remark to hubs on those eco bags “yeah buying cheap crap made by slave labor in a foreign country really shows my environmental cred.”

Don Janousek
February 24, 2011

With the great inflation on the way unless something is done, and done quickly, neither paper nor plastic will work. It will take a wooden wheelbarrow to cart all the funny money to the store to buy bread and the two slices you pay $40 million dollars for can be carried in your front pockets.

Marie Blocher
February 24, 2011

And the plastic ones are handy to use as poop pick up bags when walking the dog.

February 24, 2011

I generally use my reusable bags and, yes, I do wash them), some of which I’ve had for 12 to 15 years. But when I forget them or need more room, I use the plastic bags, then return them to the recycling box at the grocery next trip. And I do not like paper bags because I can’t recycle them, they’re not much use for anything other than being paper bags, (and are of absolutely no use in picking up dog poop!), and they take up too much space if I try to save them “in case” I might need them for something. Sometimes, in fact, particularly at stores other than groceries, I request no bag at all, being perfectly capable of toting my trophies to the car without one. In any case, it comes down to individual choice and individual need, so there!

February 24, 2011

My only objection to the plastic bags is the numbers of people who don’t take them back to the store for recycling, but instead toss them by the side of the road. I particularly hated plastic bags in India. The whole country will soon be coated with a layer of the things, that is, the ones that the people don’t burn every morning with the trash creating probably toxic smoke everywhere.

February 24, 2011

“Co2 emissions”

Apparently the latest environmental issue is toxic heavy metal emissions into the air! Memo to journalists: “Co” is the chemical symbol for cobalt, watch your capitalisation.

(Cobalt is pretty toxic, so if journalists ever write about “Co2 emissions” for real it would be rather bad news.)

February 24, 2011

Also, this is not going to be news for anyone who’s genuinely bothered about carbon emissions; it’s the dilettantes with a surface layer of eco-concern who’ll care more. CO2-wise, plastic bags are as nothing compared to more complex consumer goods, and particularly compared to transport. Take a single plane flight or even a car journey once a week and your plastic bags become, carbon-wise, a total irrelevance.

This is very much like those newspaper articles about how eating a tomato will change your chance of getting stomach cancer by 0.00003%, addressed to an audience which drives everywhere, sits in front of the TV all the time and never get any exercise: it’s waving gnats at an audience of camel-swallowers. Why the camel-swallowers are even remotely interested in this kind of thing has always been a mystery to me. (But at least health articles usually feature some health expert saying “well, if you actually care, why not just get some exercise every now and then?”)

(Which reminds me I should be getting more exercise myself…)

February 25, 2011

I can fit about 3 times the groceries in a Paper bag, though. They are sturdier without doubling up, and I can line my recycle bins with them. I’ve used my reusable tote bags for about 4 years now, so I don’t mind having to use them for years. Mostly I use reusable bags because they don’t break. I get plastic bags at the market once in a while when I need kitty litter bags. But I don’t think plastic is a very good bag. I need about 4-5 paper bags for my groceries, or 4-5 reusable bags. I need about 9-18 plastic bags for the same amount of groceries. I just don’t need that many plastic bags for anything. Why use something I don’t need when I rather use things that work better?

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