Monday, March 19

Plastic bags again

Plastic bags are a long running theme of this blog, in fact it was a key reason for starting it in 2007 and unfortunately little has improved since then.

In 2008 I took some photos of plastic bags around Waterlooville and the Asda bag hanging from a tree near the underpass attracted some visits. Now that tree has been felled so that a ramp can be installed as an alternative route into Waterlooville.

Today the BBC has published an article about the plastic bag problem which has an interesting but misleading slide show that allegedly shows the merit of disposable plastic bags. It claims that if you use one of these bags as a bin liner 3 or 4 times, then you would need to use the sturdier plastic bags for life up to 12 times.

Well for a start, I have 3 bags for life that are between 3 and 6 years old, so it seems a bit ridiculous trying to defend the thinner disposable plastic bags because they can be used as bin liners. But even worse is the fact that I suspect the average family would require about 4 disposable bags per week to carry the weekly shopping, all of which would need to be used as a bin liner 3 or 4 times (N number of weeks). Which means that while those are used as bin liners, 4 x N disposable plastic bags would have been accumulated doing the shopping.

I think any sensible person can see where this is going. Ultimately the number of disposable bags is going to accumulate, waiting to become bin liners whilst the first set is being reused. The only option would be to start throwing away the growing pile of disposable plastic bags into one of the bins that is lined by a disposable plastic bag!

The fact is that disposable plastic bags can not be excused when even a plastic 'bag for life' can last for years. Find an alternative for bin liners, or at least radically reduce the number you use.

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