Thread: ban plastic bags? Board: Purgatory / Ship of Fools.

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Posted by no prophet's flag is set so... (# 15560) on :
Kenya has banned plastic bags. The story in the link discusses pollution problems and effects on animals and environment. Very high fines. Jail possible for 4 years.

Plastic single use water bottles maybe should banned be next. If you've been tracking, there are news stories about how much plastic is in the oceans, on beaches, everywhere.

[ 30. September 2017, 00:05: Message edited by: no prophet's flag is set so... ]
Posted by Ohher (# 18607) on :
Yes. Ban them, ban plastic bottles, ban plastic tableware, and rafts of other plastic goods.

There are probably goods made of plastic that really can't be crafted of some other substance. Plastic turns up in various medical devices, I gather;it may be difficult to replace plastic in various industrial applications; my hearing aids are mostly plastic. But I think we should ban as much plastic as possible, and as soon as we practically can. I've been replacing plastic in my household with glass, metal, wood, pottery, cloth, and cork. It's not always easy or convenient. My local food co-op encourages us bring our own containers for bulk goods.

If we could cut our plastic waste by 50%, we'd still be generating vast quantities of this crap. We have to stop.
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
Plastic bags have been banned here in LA for a couple years now. I carry an assortment of cloth shopping bags in the trunk of my car
Posted by Pigwidgeon (# 10192) on :
I carry my Trader Joe's reusable bags wherever I go (even to trader Joe's!). I would love to see the plastic ones banned... but it won't happen in Arizona. Some individual cities have tried, but State law prohibits the ban. [Mad]
Posted by Boogie (# 13538) on :
In the UK it's compulsory to charge for plastic bags.

News report

The charge means all retailers with more than 250 full-time employees are required to charge a minimum of 5p to customers for single-use, plastic carrier bags, but paper bags are exempt.
Posted by Pangolin Guerre (# 18686) on :
A few years ago, Toronto accidentally (yes, you read that correctly - accidentally) tried to put a $0.05 municipal tax on plastic bags, then the council panicked when they realised what they had done, and rapidly reversed this progressive, but hardly radical, step. Because, well, it was progressive. The result? The grocery chains are still collecting $0.05/bag for which they previously charged nothing, the city gets nothing, and everyone is still using plastic bags. All varieties of reason for the reversal were given for the reversal (shouldn't have been done, too difficult to track and collect, no forward planning, bark bark woof woof).

Boneheaded in the extreme.
Posted by Boogie (# 13538) on :
In Germany they have reverse vending machines in supermarkets that give people money for their plastic bottles.

We could have plastic and glass bottles and aluminium can reverse vending machines to provide high-grade recyclable materials for industry, and save councils’ doorstep recycling and rubbish bin costs. If placed on shop floors, they also encourage footfall - it’s not hard to imagine kids collecting bottles and quickly spending their earnings in the shops.
Posted by Ohher (# 18607) on :
As a child, I routinely supplemented my allowance by collecting glass bottles and returning them to stores for the required-by-law 5-cent deposits made by the original purchaser. Made out like a bandit.
Posted by Soror Magna (# 9881) on :
Here in Caprica City, we do all the usual recycling, plus we get pickups of organic waste (compostables and garden trimmings). As time has passed, the contents of my garbage can have dwindled down to two major components: kitty litter and plastic film.

One way or another, we've got to get cracking on this problem. If you didn't care about whales eating plastic bags, well, now we're consuming plastic as well.

Plastic bags are a no-brainer - easy to replace. Plastic film on individual products and multipacks also has to go - however, when you need airtight, water-proof, light, see-through and/or sterile packaging, there are no comparable alternatives. Metal is expensive, wood is heavy, glass is breakable.

I'm a huge fan of the principle that whoever earned a profit making a mess should pay for the cleanup. If manufacturers, distributors and retailers were forced to take responsibility for their packaging from cradle to grave, I'm sure they'd come up with solutions PDQ.
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
Plastic is a problem. Plastic bags very largely are not. The focus on a tiny part of the waste-stream is really unhelpful.

If we could instead focus on other plastics or - please heavens - nappies/diapers, we'd actually have a chance to make a dent in the huge pile of nasty trash we're polluting this planet with.
Posted by Rossweisse (# 2349) on :
I always ask for paper bags instead of plastic at the supermarket; they're biodegradable, and I use them for recycling. Plastic bags can be recycled, but I'd rather not bother with them.
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
Originally posted by Rossweisse:
I always ask for paper bags instead of plastic at the supermarket; they're biodegradable, and I use them for recycling.

And much easier to pack, and they hold more. And are less likely to tip over in the trunk of the car. And easier to carry into the house when you get home.
Posted by LutheranChik (# 9826) on :
I'd love a ban on plastic bags, even though at our house the challenge is remembering to put the cloth bags back in the car.
Posted by Clint Boggis (# 633) on :
A few days ago I saw a short factual film by Laurel and Hardy about plastic! This consisted of the narrator pointing out all the things they had in their luggage or about their persons which were made of plastic, mostly lids of containers, handles etc. It was a surprisingly long list for the era which I think was 1930s or 40s. Though we were told plastic was made from powered wood plus resin, so what we'd call Bakelite.

Here in UK we have heavy duty re-usable plastic bags in supermarkets. They're called something like "Bag For Life", only 10p each and made from recycled plastic. They can be used dozens of times and get replaced free when too worn for use. A good solution, I think.

[ 30. September 2017, 22:20: Message edited by: Clint Boggis ]
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
Originally posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe:
Originally posted by Rossweisse:
I always ask for paper bags instead of plastic at the supermarket; they're biodegradable, and I use them for recycling.

And much easier to pack, and they hold more. And are less likely to tip over in the trunk of the car. And easier to carry into the house when you get home.
Surely, how much a bag holds is a function of size and strength of the material. My experience of paper bags (which are unusual in the UK, I should add) is that they're not as sturdy as plastic bags - and, next to useless to carry stuff home in the rain (which is the default weather) or with chilled/frozen groceries. Plus, basically the same size as plastic bags - so no gain there either.

I have a collection of sturdy plastic bags, and some fabric, plus other bags I just reuse until they're dead. Usually a couple in work for picking up a smallish shop on the walk home, the larger ones in the back of the car for the bigger shops.
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
Though, where paper bags could be useful is instead of the silly bags for loose fruit and veg, which are practically useless and almost un-reusable (certainly for getting more groceries, half the time they split on first use).
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
Agree re the rain thing, but over here plastic bags tend to be smaller than their paper counterpart, and very flimsy. Almost impossible to keep the groceries from falling out unless one ties the handles together. Paper bags, on the other hand, are stiff and hold their shape, and remarkably sturdy especially if you double-bag (put one inside another).

And no one who walks home from the supermarket with groceries would dream of being without one of these. Cover with a bit of plastic and you've solved the rain problem. I keep one in my car -- they make child's play out of getting bags of groceries from the car and into the house.
Posted by Pigwidgeon (# 10192) on :
One Word: Plastics

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