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Paper Or Plastic? How Bout' bring your own bag....

submitted on April 13, 2010 by midget in "Member's Lounge"
There are proposals all over the states to ban paper and plastic bags. Some want to ban just plastic while others want to ban both.

The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to ban plastic shopping bags from stores beginning July 1, 2010. Shoppers can either bring their own bags or pay 25 cents for a paper bag.

Senator Mark Hass, in Oregon, drafted a bill banning plastic grocery bags. SB 1009 would allow stores to offer only paper and reusable bags for customers.

Florida has backed off it's plan to ban both of them 9for now)

What do you all think of this policy? Should plastic be banned? What about paper? Should consumers be forced to provide their own bags for the goods we all purchase?
 

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  • 58992
    honesta
    master
    Posted by honesta on April 13, 2010
    [reply] 7 0
    Ban plastic for sure. The surcharge for the paper bag seems fair. Much needed.
  • 58997
    WhattaDealBlog
    professor
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    Posted by WhattaDealBlog on April 13, 2010
    [reply] 10 0
    Paper is no winner either. To be "green" you must use the canvas reusable bags. Plastic is better then paper in a few areas.

    http://www.enviroliteracy.org/...../1268.html

    Both paper and plastic bags have to be transported to stores, which requires energy and creates emissions. In this comparison, plastic is preferable because plastic bags are lighter in weight and more compact than paper bags. It would take approximately seven trucks to transport the same number of paper bags as can be transported by a single truck full of plastic bags.

    The disposal of bags entails additional environmental impacts. If landfilled, plastic bags are more environmentally benign than paper, as they require less space; paper occupies approximately half of overall landfill volume. Plastics (not just bags) generate 14 to 28 percent of the volume of trash in general, but because much of it can be compressed, only 9 to 12 percent of the volume of waste in landfills. Although plastics do not biodegrade, modern landfills are designed in such a way that nothing biodegrades, because the waste is isolated from air and water in order to prevent groundwater contamination and air pollution. As manufacturers have continued to make their plastic packaging thinner and lighter to save materials, the percentage of landfill volume taken up by plastics has remained steady since 1970 even as plastics have become more widely used.


    Plastic could be much better if it was readily recycled.

    http://deliciouslivingmag.com/.....ticle_222/

    The process of producing plastic bags is "very, very efficient," says Horne-Brine. "The yield from the raw material is more than 90 percent. When you make paper products, the total yield of the finished product compared to the raw materials is closer to 75 percent. So production of plastic is more efficient in terms of yield from raw materials."

    Overall, about 45 percent of all paper products are recycled, while only 5 percent of plastics get recycled. Plastic bag manufacturing, however, releases 92 percent fewer emissions into the air than paper bag production.
  • 59000
    MrCheap
    professor
    2
    1 1 1
    Posted by MrCheap on April 13, 2010
    [reply] 11 0
    Most large grocery stores have a recycling program for plastic bags, just remember to collect yours and bring them back to the store
  • 59003
    busant20
    professor
    1
    Posted by busant20 on April 13, 2010
    [reply] 9 0
    In my area, you have to pay 5 cents for each plastic/paper bag you want if you shop at grocery store. It started on January 1st 2010.
  • 59012
    midget
    professor
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    10 6 2
    Posted by midget on April 13, 2010
    [reply] 5 0
    See, now I don't think all this is fair. I admit, I'm not very green. We don't even have recycling where I live. (By this, I mean we're not provided with recycling bins and no recycling truck comes by ever to pick up our recyclables) We are provided trash cans and the trash man comes once a week at the crack of dawn to haul away our trash.
    I do save my aluminum cans though to take to the can recycling centers.

    they haven't banned anything where I live and don't charge us separately for the use of paper or plastic yet.

    Now, I thought we already paid for the bags we use in the grocery stores by way of taxes and/or the cost of the bags is reflected in the price of the goods we buy. (not sure)

    I think if a store bans one or both of these bags than they should provide customers with the bags to take their merchandise home and not force us to provide our own or charge us extra for the use of the bags we have to have to get those items out of the store.
  • 59014
    tammy987
    professor
    5 1 1
    Posted by tammy987 on April 13, 2010
    [reply] 9 0
    Been recycling in my area so long, it's just routine now. About 25% of people here use their own bags for groceries. Most stores carry them and I don't remember them being expensive, just a couple bucks. Anything to prevent the overload in landfills. Smile
      59028
    • WhattaDealBlog
      professor
      1
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      Posted by WhattaDealBlog on April 13, 2010
      [reply] 7 0
      I get what both you and midget are saying. Recycling is a good thing, and it could help save the environment. However honestly there is debate so to if recycling really does much good in the long haul.

      I do see recycling as a personal choice, and its great when a community offers services for it. However I do not think that people should be forced to recycle. It shouldn't fall onto the consumers to take care of poor packing choices of the manufacturers. If anything I believe laws should be enacted the other way.

      Forcing the proliferation of containers which are more environmentally stable and self-degradable. So that if you choose to recycle or not the product will not do long term harm to the environment. This I see as the best option for longer term, plus costs I would like to say would not be directly footed by the consumers, but we all know it would be in terms of higher prices. Consumers just can't win. Confused
    • 59039
    • midget
      professor
      5 3 2
      10 6 2
      Posted by midget on April 13, 2010
      [reply] 7 0
      I do see recycling as a personal choice, and its great when a community offers services for it.


      I agree. recycling should be a personal choice. As far as the community providing services, I think it boils down to the city and how much they care about their city.

      Before I moved to what I like to call "the ghetto", I lived in a very affluent city in Cali that dropped a lot of money into city maintenance. We were provided with recycling bins as well as trash cans and both trucks came by simultaneously to pick-up. There were all kinds of ordinances/laws to make sure the city was a place people wanted to live and come to.

      Where i live now, the city is run down in my opinion and the city doesn't seem to care.

      I wish I could go back to where I was but housing costs there are outrageous!
  • 59052
    tammy987
    professor
    5 1 1
    Posted by tammy987 on April 13, 2010
    [reply] 7 0
    Maybe the cities themselves should be fined for not encouraging recycling by providing recycling centers. When it hurts their pockets, might change the way things are done.We have recycling centers around here that are privately owned, and I know they make quite a bit of money, so I don't see why it can't be done on a larger scale and with more states doing it. I understand it being a personal choice, and I grumbled quite a bit when it was first done here, cause it seemed like a lot of work.But, you're right midget, the cities need to start caring more and putting less on the individual.
      59118
    • midget
      professor
      5 3 2
      10 6 2
      Posted by midget on April 14, 2010
      [reply] 1 0
      Just to give you an example of the lack of care/concern this city I live in right now has:

      I've been here for almost 2 years now . when i got here i noticed a building on a major street that had apparently caught on fire. It was boarded up and you could see the black from the fire/smoke on the outside of the building. It's still there. There are lots of businesses/buildings here that are boarded up and by looking at them you can tell they've been abandoned for years but the city nor the property owners have done anything with them. they stare out at you like a sore thumb.
  • 59056
    deathbynosleep
    teacher
    7 1 1
    Posted by deathbynosleep on April 13, 2010
    [reply] 7 0
    I do not see stores banning both. If there are no bags, people like me(who forget to bring a bag with them) will just shop elsewhere or buy less at said store.
      59101
    • honesta
      master
      Posted by honesta on April 13, 2010
      [reply] 5 0
      I think most stores would have the $0.50 or $1 re-usable bags right next to the checkout counter.

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