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originally posted by: DanDanDat
Are Tote Bags Really Good for the Environment? Apparently they are not.
For at least a few decades, Americans have been drilled in the superiority of tote bags. Reusable bags are good, we’re told, because they’re friendly for the environment. Disposable bags, on the other hand, are dangerous. Municipalities across the country have moved to restrict the consumption of plastic shopping bags to avoid waste. Many businesses have stopped offering plastic sacks, or provide them for a modest but punitive price. Bag-recycling programs have been introduced nationwide.
But canvas bags might actually be worse for the environment than the plastic ones they are meant to replace. In 2008, the UK Environment Agency (UKEA) published a study of resource expenditures for various bags: paper, plastic, canvas, and recycled-polypropylene tote bags. Surprisingly, the authors found that in typical patterns of use and disposal, consumers seeking to minimize pollution and carbon emissions should use plastic grocery bags and then reuse those bags at least once—as trash-can liners or for other secondary tasks. Conventional plastic bags made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE, the plastic sacks found at grocery stores) had the smallest per-use environmental impact of all those tested. Cotton tote bags, by contrast, exhibited the highest and most severe global-warming potential by far since they require more resources to produce and distribute.
So for me this is a perfect example of the danger behind global climate change hysteria.
Negating for a moment the argument of whether or not Anthropomorphic Global Climate Change is real and just assuming that it is real; the hysteria behind it is causing us to make ill informed and counterprouctive decisions.
originally posted by: DanDanDat
a reply to: Halfswede
Not according to the article
According to the report, organic cotton bags have to be reused many more times than conventional cotton bags (20,000 versus 7,000 times), based on the assumption that organic cotton has a 30% lower yield rate on average than conventional cotton, and therefore was assumed to require 30% more resources, like water, to grow the same amount.
Even adjusting for the benefits of organic cotton production—like less fertilizer and pesticide use (and therefore less eutrophication and water contamination caused by growing it)—conventional cotton came out on top
originally posted by: Halfswede
The flaw in this, and I am about as conservative as they come, is that the study was based on "typical patterns of use and disposal". The problem isn't that cotton bags are inherently worse. It is that people tend to use them a few times and then toss them in a corner and get another six months later when they decide to be "green" again thus skewing the per use data.
My wife and I have had 4 cotton bags that my mom made 10 years ago. They are super sturdy and can carry as much as you have the strength to carry. While we occasionally forget, they have been used probably a few thousand times and have no end in sight.
Again, this issue isn't that cotton bags are somehow a waste of time and not good for the environment, it is that most people just don't execute their intent and the resources per shopping trip aren't showing the value with "typical patterns of use and disposal".
No amount of skewed BS study is going to convince me that 4 bags that will rot in the earth in months are worse than the several thousand plastic bags I would have gotten.
originally posted by: snowspirit
Another issue, is that the same big chain grocery stores, are charging for plastic bags, and then you go into the produce department and find peeled oranges and peeled garlic, various cut up stuff, all wrapped in more plastic. There’s a large grocery store near me, that cuts up all the watermelon, packs it in plastic, and then charges multiple times what a watermelon would cost. No whole or even quartered melons, just sliced right up.
I get that there’s people who need someone to make their salads for them, they could be disabled, or just lazy, but I hate seeing oranges, peeled, wrapped in plastic balls.
originally posted by: schuyler
It doesn't take into account China, either, which is where the vast majority of "marine plastic" comes from, right down the Yangtse River. When is the last time you or anybody you know threw plastic in the ocean? Never, right? You wanna clean this up you'll have to go to the source. Banning plastic bags in grocery stores is not going to cut it.
Turning bamboo into a silky fabric isn’t possible without highly intensive chemical processes, where approximately 13 different toxic solvents are used. The undertaking is a viscose rayon process, turning a cellulose fiber (plant material) into fabric. Any plant or tree—in this case bamboo—can be used as a cellulose source . . .
There is another type of bamboo fabric, lesser used, called natural Bamboo or Bamboo linen, derived from bamboo culms. The fabric holds the same characteristics of linen in that it wrinkles easily and can be laundered. Production of bamboo linen is confined to just one company in China, so little is known about the manufacturing of natural bamboo. They claim not to use any chemical additives in the production process—but information is limited and these claims can’t be supported.