Saturday, May 19, 2007

plastic bags


Blogger Ken said...

Hey truth seeker! Maybe you should look beyond the marketing materials of a company only interested in selling their product. Plastic bags aren't an environmental threat, and the "facts" presented at are misleading at best.

Here's some perspective on the issues they cite.

Oil use: plastics are made from a by-product of refining that would be burned if not converted. Less than 3% of oil goes into ALL plastics. Bags are a tiny percentage of that. Average US per-capita bag consumption is the oil equivalent of about half a gallon of gas. Taking bags, or all plastics for that matter, out of the picture wouldn't reduce oil consumption in the least.

Litter. The solution to garbage floating in the waterways and down the streets is to stop people from littering. In the US, bags are less than 1% of litter. They can't clog storm drains and foul the environment if they are disposed of properly. Look closely at the photos of garbage that purport to demonstrate the evils of plastic bags - hard to even find a single bag in the picture.

Killing of marine wildlife: This is an absurd misreading of a report that stated that plastic fishing nets were entangling marine wildlife. Bags weren't mentioned in the report. Look it up.

Filling up landfills: First off, contrary to popular opinion, we aren't running out of landfill space, and even if we were, removing a product that makes up less than 1% of the trash isn't going to make a difference. Most of the garbage in landfills is paper and construction debris. Look it up.

Bags don't biodegrade: got me there, they don't. But in a landfill, NOTHING degrades. That's how landfills are managed - to keep things from breaking down and releasing chemicals into groundwater and methane into the air. Plastic products are the safest things in a landfill.

Can't be recycled: YES THEY CAN. Most cities in the US have recycling programs. Plastic is easily recycled (using far less energy and resources, and creating less pollution than paper recycling) and recycling rates are increasing all the time. In many developing nations, no recycling programs exist, and most garbage (of all kinds) ends up in the street, blowing around the countryside.

Pictures of bags in trees: Seriously - a company trying to promote the demise of plastic bags showing plastic bags caught in trees. What does this proove? I could still reusable bags in trees and take pictures, but that doesn't mean the wind took them there.

Check the facts.

12:58 PM  

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