Are Plastic Bag Bans Garbage?
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  1. #1
    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    Default Are Plastic Bag Bans Garbage?

    "New York recently became the second U.S. state to ban them. But these bans may be hurting the environment more than helping it."

    https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2...g-bans-garbage
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    Registered User josantoro's Avatar
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    many years ago, they came out with a single use plastic bag made from a corn product, that would decay over time. I wonder what happened to that?
    Make America Kind Again.

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    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    That was enlightening.

    I'm still sticking with canvas bags. Some of mine are at least 20 yrs old and not even close to being worn out. The main reason I prefer them is because we can't put anything heavy in plastic bags. We have bags that can easily handle 3 gallons of milk or water, or 3 12-packs of pop with no worries about breaking. If a sharp pointy plastic package gets put into them, canvas won't get sliced open. We can carry a case of canned foods in them, no problem. They just work better all around.

    We have a little bag dispenser built into our trash bag hanger in a kitchen cabinet. It's about the size of an oatmeal container. We use our canvas bags till that little storage area runs low on bags, then get plastic for a little while to reload.

    We use a double locker hook in the pantry to store our cloth bags, and take at least some of them almost every time we leave home.
    Are Plastic Bag Bans Garbage?-20190629_163302_1561844295059.jpg

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    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    Whoops, forgot to rotate the camera.

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    I'm all in favor of less plastic bag usage.
    Our community provides free biodegradable dog bags at dispensers. I try to cram the plastic garbage bags full before trash day. Actually our county incinerates all trash so biodegradable doesn't matter in-county. For yard waste county prefers the large paper bags since everything gets shredded and then placed back at various community sites for free yard use.
    The article seems to assume resources to grow the cotton to make a "new" grocery bag "from scratch" outweighs the resources to make comparable number of plastic disposable bags. If in fact you are re-using/recycling fabric then the cost is practically nothing. WASHING the cloth bags does take resources but if you're doing laundry anyway the extra cost is also practically nothing.

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    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    I believe that recycling fabric and textiles also takes quite a bit of energy. The bags don't take themselves apart and reform into new bags. There's electric, water, other resources, and ultimately carbon emissions and other trash at the end. It might even take more resources to reprocess the fiber to the point it can be used, compared to starting with raw cotton or similar materials. The "savings" is supposedly in not putting the old material into landfills, and not needing to grow/harvest new plant material (ie saving the forests). Really, it's an awkward dilemma.
    Stop trying to organize all of your family’s crap. If organization worked for you, you’d have rocked it by now. It’s time to ditch stuff and de-crapify your world.

    If you're not using the stuff in your home, get rid of it. You're not going to start using it more by shoving it into a closet.

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    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    It IS an awkward dilemma. So is ethanol. It takes a lot to grow and process the corn into ethanol, which is sold for the same price as gas, but we get fewer mpg burning it. Hard to know if it's worth it. Plus corn grown for fuel means millions of acres not being harvested for food. Everything is a trade off.

    There aren't any easy answers to any of this stuff. Putting aside the science deniers, even if everyone agreed on the necessity of reducing carbon, when there are so many +/- ways to look at things, people can't agree on what changes are best to make.

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    The vast majority of my bags are the polypropylene kind. According to the article, they only need to be used 11 times to match plastic bags. I use mine far more than 11 times, even more than the 131 times required for cotton. If I do damage one of the PP kinds, they can still have holes and tears sewn back together for more uses. Beyond the wastefulness, I find these bags to have more capacity, more strength, and I can carry more at one time than plastic or paper. I use them for more things than just groceries, too. Any time I'm needing a bag to haul things that aren't messy, I generally use the PP bags. Tossing them into a load of laundry isn't using up much in the way of water or energy that I wouldn't have been using otherwise. We don't use plastic bags in bins at home, and the kitty litter is kept in a plastic container until the trash is emptied once a week. One kitchen-sized trash can a week is all we use.

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    We use our cloth bags for lots more than groceries, too. I especially appreciate them at places like Menards, where we're likely to put heavy sharp things in them, like tools. We use them around home, too, for hauling stuff back and forth between the cabin, house, garage, camper, and cars. Even the dock. They're great for carrying tools and parts. Couldn't keep house without good bags. I even picked up a giant bag at a thrift that's big enough to hold all the others. We use that for out of town shopping when we typically have many stops and a long shopping list.

    I closed my canvas business in the mid 90s. The bags I'm using from that time have been used at least weekly ever since. The rest were either bought secondhand or I made them from plastic feed bags. Except 2 we bought as souvenirs at Yellowstone. They've all served us well.

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    Registered User KathyB's Avatar
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    I have had bad luck with the polypropylene reusable bags. They tend to get holes if you have something with edges. And in the winter, I have had one break brushing against icy snowbanks. They just seem very flimsy to me.

    We have our groceries delivered. I am not sure how that would work without plastic bags.
    KathyB

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    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    I have a mix of bags. Quite a few of the cheap polypropylene bags because we get them at events, usually full of promotional swag, and then if we go shopping at the vendor stalls we have a handy bag to put purchases in. Given that these can be bought by the thousands for pennies I don't see them going away soon. I can tell by looking at the calendar we'll be adding 4-6 more to the collection this summer. I have a couple of canvas bags from years ago before the PP bags got popular, but they are too small to take grocery shopping. I use them more for carrying stuff with me to Dr visits, any place I need to take a book or papers, or on the airplane. I have one black canvas bag I have taken all over the world with me. I have a couple heavy plastic bags with some kind of (maybe?) fiber lining. Tough as nails, those. Whole Foods was giving them away. And my Ikea bag, we got that free, too. I think I have a 2nd one in the car. I guess I should be asking myself why I still use plastic sacks, because I certainly don't need to.

    We have our groceries delivered. I am not sure how that would work without plastic bags.
    I'm sure the grocery store has more empty product boxes than it knows what to do with at the end of the day. Ever been in the store when they are doing stocking? Boxes everywhere. When I was working retail we had a trash compactor out back that had to be run several times a day to deal with boxes.
    Stop trying to organize all of your family’s crap. If organization worked for you, you’d have rocked it by now. It’s time to ditch stuff and de-crapify your world.

    If you're not using the stuff in your home, get rid of it. You're not going to start using it more by shoving it into a closet.

    Use it up, Wear it out,
    Make it do, Or do without. ~unknown

    A clean house is a sign of a wasted life. ~unknown

  13. #12
    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    Because google tracks everything, this article appeared in my news feed. Warning, if you are surfing from work there are NSFW words in the header. https://popula.com/2019/04/02/plastic-bags/ It's an interesting look at the effects of bag banning.

    "On 14 March 2017, Kenya abruptly banned plastic bags. The ban was to take effect six months from the date of the gazette notice announced by Kenya’s cabinet secretary for Environment and Natural Resources, Judi W. Wakuhungu. "
    Stop trying to organize all of your family’s crap. If organization worked for you, you’d have rocked it by now. It’s time to ditch stuff and de-crapify your world.

    If you're not using the stuff in your home, get rid of it. You're not going to start using it more by shoving it into a closet.

    Use it up, Wear it out,
    Make it do, Or do without. ~unknown

    A clean house is a sign of a wasted life. ~unknown

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