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I found an online report from the environment agency online. Here's an extract. (Skip it and read the end).
' The environmental impact of all types of carrier bag is dominated by resource use and production stages. Transport, secondary packaging and end-of-life management generally have a minimal influence on their performance. Whatever type of bag is used, the key to reducing the impacts is to reuse it as many times as possible and where reuse for shopping is not practicable, other reuse, e.g. to replace bin liners, is beneficial.The reuse of conventional HDPE and other lightweight carrier bags for shopping and/or as bin-liners is pivotal to their environmental performance and reuse as bin liners produces greater benefits than recycling bags.Starch-polyester blend bags have a higher global warming potential and abiotic depletion than conventional polymer bags, due both to the increased weight of material in a bag and higher material production impacts.The paper, LDPE, non-woven PP and cotton bags should be reused at least 3, 4, 11 and 131 times respectively to ensure that they have lower global warming potential than conventional HDPE carrier bags that are not reused. T. Recycling or composting generally produce only a small reduction in global warming potential and abiotic depletion.'
So, according to the government, it is production, not disposal, of plastic bags that causes pollution and paper bags are no better unless they are used 3 times. Most importantly, recycling makes little difference to global warming!
So what is the recycling initiative about?
Hi GG, while I am not educated enough to be able refute the claims made by your Government Dept' . I used to see a lot of wind blown plastic bags pollute my country side , since my government brought in a plastic bag levy this type of pollution has been greatly reduced , I will ask do you pay for your plastic bags that you get in your local supermarket at the point of sale if you don't then try Ireland , for instance I do a weekly shop in Aldi I will get a shopping trolley and fill it with groceries pay for them and fill the boot of my car my neighbours on the other hand will go to there favourite supermarket and unload there shopping into plastic bags at a cost of € 0.80 each ( rich people ) . Until every shopper asks there store owners to use paper bags for food or clothing , plastic bags will still be a blot on all of our Country's lands and yours.If only a hand full of people per week every week learn to recycle eventually it just might catch on .
Forgive me if I sound condescending
I bought a couple of heavy bags a year ago and still going strong, at one market I get points added for having them, I get mad when the girls reach under their station and throw plastic bags onto the counter they can see my bags why do it.G/G exactly what I have been saying, we mere mortals have no effect what so ever on Global warming but pay throuigh the nose in taxes.
Even though I've a cloth tube under the stairs to store 'old bags' in. I nearly always forget to take bags when shopping.
I realise approaching the till I've forgotten my bags and go round the supermarket again looking for a box knowing the till person will glare at me disapprovingly for not bringing bags and begrudgingly get one from under the till when it's obvious from wants on the counter I'm gonna need at least six or more...
A bonus for shopping at Aldi the bags are on my side of the counter and you can get boxes...which compost down...
Here in Wales, we pay for plastic bags - 5p each. I take my own and wholly agree about abandoned plastic bags blowing about, etc. It feels very strange and wasteful when, in England, I am given them freely. However, I know that a lot of 'recycled' stuff does not get recycled because there is nowhere to process it or it is too expensive to send it. (That extract was from a report by the environment agency, btw.) Our lane is too narow for the recycling lorry, so a van is sent down it and the contents of reycling bins are thrown into the back of the van, unsorted. Three guesses what is going to happen to that!
I think a return to greater simplicity is something that many of us would like. Not easy to get, though, when we live in a consumer society. Recession might solve it, though. There is a much greater interest in growing and making your own now.
I have 3 rather smart cloth bags that I bought at Primark about 8 years ago; they live on a hook on the inside of the front door, so I can't leave the house without being reminded of them. They get washed 2 or 3 times a year and should last another 10 years or so. My pet hate at the checkout, especially when I am only buying about 5 items is; 'do you need help packing?'
Gosh, I love being offered hep. I always say yes and enjoy the pleasure of only having to unpack them at the other end. There was a time when you'd just have had to pack them yourself, but today supermarket assistants are trained to offer extra help. Or is it that they take pity on my age?
Mind you, there are different ways of phrasing it. Some say 'Would you like help with your packing?' It is easy to say yes to that. 'Do you need help?' sound more grudging since, obviously, I don't really and it is harder to say yes.
I feel stuck tween the devil and deep blue sea. I shop online and choose to have my goods in bags. Tried no bag choice but so much easier and convenient in bags. However, where once it was packed 'properly', I now find I can have up to 30 bags on each delivery as many times there is one item, one bag. Have pointed this out to Customer Service on several occasion, but still it continues. Aways recycle them on next delivery, but what a waste. When I do a 'small' shop always take my own bags. Hate plastic bags.
When they were free, I always used mine as bin liners and really missed them when they stopped, because they were strong, a convenient size and had handles. I never understood people who just threw them away.
Hi, If the UK Government were to impose a levy of say £1.00 per plastic bag , do you think that might change the attitude of the supermarkets and the consumer .
In Dordogne supermarkets charge for bags. I rather miss being given bags as I used them for other things such as storage, putting plants to give away in, binbags, putting dirty clothes in when on holiday (so dirties not mixed with clean in suitcase)etc.
Now I use my own shopping bags. I hang them on the trolley then leave the trolley in the main aisle so that OH knows where my trolley is. Then he doesn't get lost and I don't have to spend ages looking for him when I've done my shopping and want to go to the check-out!
clogherhead wrote (see)
Hi, If the UK Government were to impose a levy of say £1.00 per plastic bag , do you think that might change the attitude of the supermarkets and the consumer . Derek
A levy of 5p per bag has worked in Wales, Derek. Most people take their own bags now. Sainsbury's sell really strong ones for this price and they last for a long time.
I agree with Palaisglide that humans have very little effect on global warming - and apparently the earth's temperature, which does go through variations, has actually increased by only half a per cent since the 1950s.
We pay 35p for a strong paper carrier bag like this
which are great as long as the don't get wet! I use the small plastic bags provided for unpacked fruit/veggies to line the bathroom bins and to collect the compost scraps. Parliament is now working on a bill to prohibit plastic bags at the checkouts. Personally we use our own canvas bags which are kept in the boot of the car. Sounds awefully Swiss, doesn't it!
This isn't a rant, but I do enjoy reading all yours, most of which I can identify with.
I even heard someone say that animal f**t has more effect!
My French colleague has to take a car full of plastic bags back to her elderly parents in France every summer; they use them for giving presents of fruit and veg to their friends!
Neighbors i here what your saying and we have decided to move to Norwich for a few reasons such as"" our neighbors back garden Is a tip and is in full view from our bedroom windows, he screams and shouts at his dog daily,why he has one i don't know,hes the noisiest neighbor we've ever ever had so enoughs enough,,So we have written a list of what we want from our new house ,at the top is NO neighbors ever again not ever ever and got to have a nice pub in walking distance everything else is negotiable thats my moan for the day
Hope you feel better, Alan. I do wonder whether you can get your wish of no nieighbours AND a nice pub within walking distance. Presumably they'd need other customers! I definitely sympathise with the principle, though. I think what I'd like is other people's neighbours - the ones I hear about on this forum from people who have absolutely lovely neighbours. But - sobering thought - perhaps my neighbours would be absolutely lovely if they lived next door to somebody else!
Rant, Colour blind drivers.This morning waiting at the end of our lane I watched the lights go green the car in front start to move then his brake lights came on as a car shot across in front of him obviously on full red as ours were green. A foot more it would have been a wipe out, what is the matter with those drivers who just have to beat the lights, a death wish, something stronger than the morning cuppa or just plain suicidal idiots.Saw some lovely snowdrop clumps on my way to Leeming Village and back, will not say where as other idiots will be there digging them up, why?