Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Plastic Baggage

Dr Eamonn Butler puts in a good word for the much traduced plastic bag:

Plastic bags use 40% less energy and generate 80% less solid waste than paper ones. Plastic bags are a quarter of the thickness they were when we started using them in the mid-1970s. They use hardly any oil, and recycling a kilo of plastic takes just 10% of the energy used to recycle a kilo of paper. Paper bags produce 50 times more water pollution. Recycling paper uses bleaches and other nasty industrial chemicals, remember.

And yet the humble, useful plastic bag is on the way out because politicians, for the best of intentions but the worst of reasons, are intimidating supermarkets into scrapping them. Now: which is the real rubbish?

Even better news is that a sixteen year old scientist has found a way of reducing the time it takes for plastic to decompose from thousands of years to - three months.


Sue said...

Wow. We really do so much with so many good intentions, and often it's not all that linked to reality, is it?

(PS: I am sorry if I was testy on my blog the other day. I was feeling rather ... dark and I guess I took your words the wrong way.

Still, being able to come up with, "I don't know" is always a good thing to have to do :)

Saintly Ramblings said...

Except .... bio-degradeable plastic bags release thousands of tiny particles of plastic into the air as they degrade ....
wildlife continues to be killed by the plastic bag through swallowing, entanglement etc.

I shall continue to advocate paper over plastic, thanks.