A Conversation for Plastic Bags and the Environment

Plastic bags are easy targets - what about other packaging.

Post 1

Bertie

It is quite obvious that the packaging industry has vested interests in maintaining the current usage; but what about other forms of packaging.
Re usable boxes - boxes made of ply or similar shunted back to the originator. We already use puffed maize instead of polystyrene chips - in fact it would generate a complete new industry. Plywood boxes can be made with unsophisticated machinery in small factories.
Other countries re use plastic bottles, Holland and Norway in particular.
Our buzz word is recycling, sooner or later that will have to change to re using so why not now.


Plastic bags are easy targets - what about other packaging.

Post 2

benhenry007

Those darn bags are everywhere in the US. I try and recycle most of them at Wal Mart, where there is a place to deposit them.

I heard a story from an environmentalist friend who visited one of these sea parks in Texas. She said the last exhibit in their space was a warning about how plastic bags were bad for sea turtles and can kill them. She went to the gift shop, bought something and what did they put her trinket in? You guessed it, a plastic bag. After a few calls and letters, the next time she went there, she was given a paper bag at the gift shop.

Litter not. Good article by the way.


Plastic bags are easy targets - what about other packaging.

Post 3

pendine18

There is far more packaging waste that goes into a plastic bag, the famous plastic bag is only the tip of an iceberg just look at the wasteful contents of a plastic bag. The target should be packaging in general not the poor old plastic bag!!


Plastic bags are easy targets - what about other packaging.

Post 4

Bertie

spot on.
As my origional statement went, plastic bags are easy targets.
Here in Norway great concern is taken over keeping the environment clean, recycling is a major issue, but my neighbour is currently clearing about 2,0000 hectares of trees and burning them because it is farming land, the sea here is regurlarily harvested of kelp. The factory now has several ships who do the entire area every 3 years - this place is of major importance to fisheries and other sea animals - well at least the land is clean, at the end of the day what is important is not what is but what we see.????????????


Plastic bags are easy targets - what about other packaging.

Post 5

greenDutchie

I remember Sainsbury's offering money (a penny?) back for each bag you were re-using. Their data on the scheme (why did they start it? Was it a cost-cutting exercise or did they attempt to go green? Why did they end it? Was their insufficient uptake or was the scheme a nuisance logistically?)would make an interesting contribution to this debate.

I live in Holland. We are charged 25 euro cents per heavy-duty plastic bag. Does it stop (particularly young) people from using them just once, then binning them? No. It's education these folk need. The bottle refund scheme does work, however. Nevertheless, I feel the best option is one already widely practised in Holland: the shops make the cardbox boxes in which their products are supplied available to customers at the till. You simply use a box to pack your shopping, take it home and recycle it. A second possibility is to keep a fold-up crate (though made of hard plastic, they last a long time) standard in your car and use that time and time again.

The Dutch government introduced a packaging tax this year, so as to discourage manufacturers from using unnecessary amounts of material. So what do the manufacturers do? Far from changing their behaviour, they simply pass on the tax to their customers - as if the cost of food hasn't risen enough already!

The buzz word ought to be a phrase 'reduce, re-use and recycle'.


Plastic bags are easy targets - what about other packaging.

Post 6

Bertie

Quite right - re use should be the word.
But i think the word education should be used sparingly - what we see is training, not education - people on the whole tend to react mindlessly rather than with thought.
The idea of recycling and reusing and all the other issues are certainly in peoples minds but the power they have is not being used.
I take issue with things like sugar in foods - for me the concept of buying a very good breakfast cereal and not being given the right to add sugar or salt as i please, is belittling.
Thus Tescoes has just one brand without added sugar or salt and its nearly always sold out - my response is to tell the staff how i feel and point it out - sooner or later there will be a staff meeting and suggestions - i dont fool myself into thinking ill ever be personally listened to but as they say - every little helps.
Perhaps if people were to be empowered in other ways then things would change. I dont know about you but i feel very manipulated and its all to easy to give in.
One major factor is the media in particular the television - how much time does the average person spend plugged in to that endless propoganda machine - its all connected.


Plastic bags are easy targets - what about other packaging.

Post 7

Mina

"Why did they end it?"

Because the idea was that people would donate the pennies to a charity designated by Saindsbury, and most people didn't donate it. I never did, cos I didn't realise I was supposed to. smiley - erm

"The buzz word ought to be a phrase 'reduce, re-use and recycle'" It is - although not stated in this entry it does start with charges on bags to reduce the amount taken.


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Plastic bags are easy targets - what about other packaging.

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