Connect With Us

23. Worldwide Movement To Ban or Charge Fees For Plastic Bags

Shoppers worldwide are using 500 billion to one trillion single-use plastic bags per year. The average use time of a plastic bag is 12 minutes. Plastic bags pollute our waters, smother wetlands and entangle and kill animals. This eventually affects our health because larger animals eat small, plastic-laden creatures and plastics work their way up the food chain until eventually, humans consume animals that have eaten some form of plastic. Plastic is non-biodegradable and is made from a non-renewable resource: oil.  An estimated 3 million barrels of oil are required to produce the 19 billion plastic bags used annually in California.

As of this writing, 35 countries have already banned the use of plastic bags, 9 countries have passed levies and fees on use, 12 countries are considering bans or fees and 26 states in the
US have introduced a form of legislation concerning plastic bag use. Most plastic contains harmful chemicals like BPA and phthalates, which can be unsafe for human consumption or use. These can be avoided by substituting plastic materials and products with other alternative materials like reusable cloth bags, stainless steel water bottles and other wooden, glass and metal substitutes. With the preservation of our environment becoming increasingly critical, what steps will you take to reduce plastic use?

Sources:

“Got Plastic???” Jim Ries, One More Generation, November 29, 2010. http://onemoregeneration.org/2010/11/29/got-plastic

“Plastic Rap: Here Are 10 Ways to Reduce Plastics in Your Home,” Lisa Davis, The Southern.com, McClatchy-Tribune News, January 31, 2010. http://thesouthern.com/lifestyles/leisure/article_2e25cb1c-0e21-11df-8b25-001cc4c002e0.html

“The Retail Bags Report Maps and Related Detailed Lists Page | Division of Waste Management | Florida DEP,” Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Web Update: 28 Jan. 2011. http://www.dep.state.fl.us/waste/retailbags/pages/mapsandlists.htm

Save The Bay – San Francisco Bay’s Leading Champion since 1961. http://www.savesfbay.org/about-campaign

Student Researcher: Robert Usher, San Francisco State University

Faculty Evaluator: Kenn Burrows, San Francisco State University

  • Nate Bonham October 18, 2011

    Plastic bags sit in landfills, not moving, not biodegrading.  But that’s not actually a bad thing.  True, oil can’t be renewed.  But the plastic bags themselves can be efficiently burned as a fuel source.  Most incinerators used currently aren’t designed for this, but it can be (and on a small scale IS) done.
    Paper bags kill trees, plastic ones don’t.  And paper bags weight more than 10 times as much, meaning the fossil fuel costs to ship them is exorbitantly higher.  My Plastics and Materials professor argues that plastic bags are, in the long term, possibly BETTER for the environment.

    • Kip Eller November 3, 2011

      Here’s an Idea, instead of paper or plastic we could just use bags… you know ones we don’t have to throw away or burn? Why does everything need to be disposable?

      • Ohgodacrux December 21, 2011

        Well what will I use for my garbage bags?  Those need to be disposable. 

        • Toadchick January 7, 2012

          Or you could revert to the 50’s and store everything is old paper grocery bags, or simply put everything in the trashcan outside without the bag. The concept of a trashcan in the kitchen is simply convenience. The gross organic stuff can be composted (including coffee grinds) and the metal and plastics can be washed and recycled. People have been disposing of their trash for millions of years just fine without their plastic bags. 

          • Wh666 January 20, 2012

            If you do that in my area, they will not remove your trash (even though I pay over £25 per month in tax for them to do so).

            All trash in my area and across nearly all of the UK, as well as many other developed countries Ive stayed in, requires trash to be self contained in individual trash bags when placed in a trash can.

          • Luke Sanchez April 22, 2013

            I use to put the trash in the trash can and just rinse it out every day after throwing in away and dump the water on my lawn.
            As for grocery bags well I saved them up and tried to make a ghetto glider but the force of the wind always caused tears but essentially you could save them for bathroom and car trash bags even replace garbage bags essential because in theory it should be able to hold all of your used grocery products… but it does mean repetitive trips.although should make everyone happy. by reuse and reduce of plastics bags(if you consider garbage bags too)

    • Wh666 January 20, 2012

      Actually they do degrade.  Manufacturers for supermarkets, have developed plastic bags to such a degree in the past two decades, that Tesco, Asda and many other chains of supermarkets now have bags that have been tested and shown to fully degrade within six months once buried.

      Technology has progressed and you would know that if you bothered doing some research.

    • James_Carroll February 4, 2012

      You are partially correct, and your professor is correct.

  • Nate Bonham October 18, 2011

    Plastic bags sit in landfills, not moving, not biodegrading.  But that’s not actually a bad thing.  True, oil can’t be renewed.  But the plastic bags themselves can be efficiently burned as a fuel source.  Most incinerators used currently aren’t designed for this, but it can be (and on a small scale IS) done.
    Paper bags kill trees, plastic ones don’t.  And paper bags weight more than 10 times as much, meaning the fossil fuel costs to ship them is exorbitantly higher.  My Plastics and Materials professor argues that plastic bags are, in the long term, possibly BETTER for the environment.

    • Kip Eller November 3, 2011

      Here’s an Idea, instead of paper or plastic we could just use bags… you know ones we don’t have to throw away or burn? Why does everything need to be disposable?

      • Ohgodacrux December 21, 2011

        Well what will I use for my garbage bags?  Those need to be disposable. 

        • Toadchick January 7, 2012

          Or you could revert to the 50’s and store everything is old paper grocery bags, or simply put everything in the trashcan outside without the bag. The concept of a trashcan in the kitchen is simply convenience. The gross organic stuff can be composted (including coffee grinds) and the metal and plastics can be washed and recycled. People have been disposing of their trash for millions of years just fine without their plastic bags. 

          • Wh666 January 20, 2012

            If you do that in my area, they will not remove your trash (even though I pay over £25 per month in tax for them to do so).

            All trash in my area and across nearly all of the UK, as well as many other developed countries Ive stayed in, requires trash to be self contained in individual trash bags when placed in a trash can.

          • Luke Sanchez April 22, 2013

            I use to put the trash in the trash can and just rinse it out every day after throwing in away and dump the water on my lawn.
            As for grocery bags well I saved them up and tried to make a ghetto glider but the force of the wind always caused tears but essentially you could save them for bathroom and car trash bags even replace garbage bags essential because in theory it should be able to hold all of your used grocery products… but it does mean repetitive trips.although should make everyone happy. by reuse and reduce of plastics bags(if you consider garbage bags too)

      • Ohgodacrux December 21, 2011

        Well what will I use for my garbage bags?  Those need to be disposable. 

    • Wh666 January 20, 2012

      Actually they do degrade.  Manufacturers for supermarkets, have developed plastic bags to such a degree in the past two decades, that Tesco, Asda and many other chains of supermarkets now have bags that have been tested and shown to fully degrade within six months once buried.

      Technology has progressed and you would know that if you bothered doing some research.

    • James Carroll February 4, 2012

      You are partially correct, and your professor is correct.

  • Tom Shelley October 20, 2011

    The big problem is oil… and embodied energy.  Burning plastic instead of recycling it is a terrible waste and very polluting.  Tom

  • Tom Shelley October 20, 2011

    The big problem is oil… and embodied energy.  Burning plastic instead of recycling it is a terrible waste and very polluting.  Tom

  • Tom Shelley October 20, 2011

    The big problem is oil… and embodied energy.  Burning plastic instead of recycling it is a terrible waste and very polluting.  Tom

  • Sephiroth November 22, 2011

    I like to take my plastic bags and scoop up as many fish as possible, then tie it up and drop it back in the water.

    • $1909711 February 11, 2012

      A skilled troll is a subtle troll…

  • Sephiroth November 22, 2011

    I like to take my plastic bags and scoop up as many fish as possible, then tie it up and drop it back in the water.

    • Anonymous February 11, 2012

      A skilled troll is a subtle troll…

  • Gary December 5, 2011

    So don’t use them, but don’t try to keep me from using them. 

    • James December 9, 2011

      This is why problems don’t get solved.

      • Michael Stump December 28, 2011

        Gary, sounds like a situation where you’re claiming that banning plastic bags is intruding on your freedom of choice. I think you need to abandon your god complex, because in terms of using raw materials and the planets resources, if its destructive to the planet and it’s clearly something that could be remedied, I don’t think you have the choice that you think you’re entitled to. 

        What bill of rights constitutes otherwise? Feel free to speak freely about it. That is protected by the constitution. 

        • James_Carroll February 4, 2012

          Don’t try to keep me from using them either.

  • Gary December 5, 2011

    So don’t use them, but don’t try to keep me from using them. 

    • James December 9, 2011

      This is why problems don’t get solved.

      • Michael Stump December 28, 2011

        Gary, sounds like a situation where you’re claiming that banning plastic bags is intruding on your freedom of choice. I think you need to abandon your god complex, because in terms of using raw materials and the planets resources, if its destructive to the planet and it’s clearly something that could be remedied, I don’t think you have the choice that you think you’re entitled to. 

        What bill of rights constitutes otherwise? Feel free to speak freely about it. That is protected by the constitution. 

        • James Carroll February 4, 2012

          Don’t try to keep me from using them either.

  • $1909711 December 7, 2011

    A ban on plastic bags isn’t a ban on plastic. Plastic is incredibly useful, particularly in medical fields, however it’s nothing but irresponsible to surround ourselves with it.

    Think of it this way: litter wouldn’t be a problem (as in contributing to our continent of plastic soup building in the pacific and making our communities appear neglected) if it was biodegradable. There really isn’t any decent excuse for it (it takes a helluva lot more processing to make a plastic bag than it does to make a bag out of paper, hemp, tweed, or another plant fiber that hasn’t been rotting under the earth for millions of years).

    Laziness isn’t going to get the human species anything but dead in half a dozen generations–it’s time to step up and concentrate on things that actually need done, for the betterment of all.

    • James_Carroll February 6, 2012

      This is a bit necrotic, but it needs rebutted, even if two months later:

      Plastic BAGS are also a PART of modern medicine, and that’s WHY they are decidedly useful and inexpensive in general use in our societies.

      If the government banned plastic bags or required merchants to charge obscene amounts for them, the problems you just described would be exactly the same, only, the costs of ordinary goods and services would be much higher; either (1) out of reach of ordinary wage earners, or (2) made worse by unjust fines or criminalizing this use after the fact (and that would include re-use), and that too, you will note, includes Health care use.

      Liberalism kills. Obama’s expanded Bush-Doctrine is proof, militarily, and then there are the people who want us all to be “equal”… equally impoverished, equally powerless, and equally hopeless, socially.

      No, thank you.

      Kindly re-read “Animal Farm” by ‘George Orwell’… also, corrections for your factual errors and misgivings about plastics and petroleum and biodegradability are easily found at a site like wikipedia.

      • $1909711 February 6, 2012

        Oh, you researched it all on wikipedia–it must be true. I’ll just disregard all those studies so-called ‘scientists’ keep putting out and pretend I don’t see America’s cities brimming with garbage and waste. We don’t have to worry about it now since someone put an article on wikipedia saying it’s all just part of the matrix.

        But seriously though, it’s not as if I’m saying if we ban plastic blags everything will be just peachy. It’s all about stepping stones, my friend, and I’m sick of only hearing responses based in fear and laziness as an excuse to undermine the sustainability and integrity of our society.

        • James_Carroll February 6, 2012

          You simply haven’t any idea what you are writing about, still, and it shows.

          • $1909711 February 6, 2012

            Wow that was an excellent deconstruction of my comment. You’re a super awesome debater–are you thinking of running for president some day?

          • James_Carroll February 8, 2012

            And you have yet to demonstrate that you have considered the points made to you previously; how plastics are beneficial and that even ‘bags’ are an integral part of medicine, and that the curtailing of their use is harmful and unjust, and that your factual errors about plastics, especially biodegradability, are easily dismissed as willful ignorance.

            If all you have are logical fallacies, personal contempt and ad hominem in place of supporting your misguided views, then you are empty handed, and do little here but represent yourself and statist liberalism poorly.

            Feel free to “deconstruct” the facts you have wrong, and the points which you’ve  reacted to, allergically,  with the temperament of a badly behaved child.

            (1) Litter would still exist
            (2) Plastics do “degrade”
            (3) Medicine is the best “excuse” and Santitation is another
            (4) Plastic is far “greener’ than Paper for bags
            (5) Textile bags are an option for shopping, but more expensive
            (6) Petroleum formation has two tested theories, not just one
            (7) “Laziness” is a relative personal characteristic, and  has been with “us” alot longer than “six generations” and will endure, no matter how you choose to define it, or the value you place on it
            (8) “Homo” is our Genus, our Species is H. Sapiens; “we” show no signs of becoming extinct ([sic] dead) within any few generations
            (9) What “needs done” is subjective, and you give no indication of being in a position to decide anything for yourself or anyone else, since you are unencumbered with a basic knowledge of the facts
            (10) Your insinuation that a fact must not be a fact because it is published in a community peer-reviewed cyclopedia is stupid; very stupid, and cynical
            (11) “All those studies” which you failed to cite a single one of…
            (12) Whatever delusion you have about anyone else’s “Matrix” is purely projectionary; not only in the Cinematic sense, either
            (13) Our “society” is inherently “sustainable” since “we” have “made it this far” as things are; and whether or not it has any “integrity” in the personal sense, is itself a personal relative assessment
            (14) The modern so-called  “sustainability” movement is arguably DRIVEN by fear and laziness; the fear of the Lazy, by the Wealthy
            (15) Your factual errors have been corrected publicly against your preference to remain undisciplined and uninformed
            (16) No future president would take the time to correct the idiotic ramblings of children smart enough to turn on a computer, but dumb enough to believe the propaganda displayed on it

            Your education is your responsibility, and I’ve wasted enough time your way- to gladly give you the final volley; support any of your errors or accept their corrections; show any sign of the humility, humanity, or integrity you demand of others; or even just be a bit less snide or condescending.

            That is possible, however unlikely.

            Good day.

          • $1909711 February 13, 2012

            1. I didn’t say it wouldn’t ‘exist,’ I said it wouldn’t be a problem (c’mon now, I know you couldn’t have misheard me).
            2. I said they don’t BIOdegrade.
            3. What’s your point here? Plastics are a key component in hospital routine and maintenance. If you don’t think that’s true, visit one and look around.
            4. Cite your source.
            5. They are only more expensive if you don’t REUSE them.
            6. Two tested hypotheses, only one of which has scores of evidence and data to back it up making it a theory.
            7. Duh. So instead of hoping people will quit being lazy and littering, we need to make packaging that doesn’t take thousands of years to decompose. Then it doesn’t matter if they’re littering: it would even help to more evenly redistribute used resources back to local ecosystems instead of building mountains of garbage.
            8. No, we don’t. But with thousands of other species going extinct every day, it’s not that much of a stretch to say we could be in a real tight spot in the near future, especially with what’s happening in our oceans. Healthy ecosystems are vital to our future. Period.
            9. Well you’re certainly pretentious enough to decide things for everyone, aren’t you?
            10. Any person can change any article at any time to say anything. Wikipedia is good for getting a basic introduction to subjects, but since it requires no expertise or even for you to leave your name on your article of alleged ‘facts’ and biography, it cannot be used as a reliable source. Pretty much anyone on a University campus can tell you that. You clearly have the capacity to read beyond what Wikipedia has to offer you on important topics in today’s society.
            11. Fair enough. I get most of my information from various University websites and ones like the BBC, Smithsonian and Nasa. Still, I’m not going to bother with hunting down some old articles you probably wouldn’t even read or take seriously.
            12. I’m sorry, your sarcasm meter seems to be experiencing difficulties, perhaps you should get it looked at? In the meantime, I’ll try to be as accommodating as possible…
            13. Oh? It’s sustainable since ‘we made it this far,’ huh? Well that’s a flawless argument if I ever heard one. << That was sarcasm just then (hope you get that meter fixed soon, dude). We're an incredibly young species and our technology is developing faster than our maturity. We can either strive to be more mature and build for the future of life on our planet, or we can rush on blindly and likely destroy ourselves in the process. We're like a child driving a car: we can take it slow and learn as much as we can about our situation and how we can proceed to our highest advantage, or can just start pushing buttons and stepping on pedals and crash into a rendezvous with premature death all because we were too excited to put a seat belt on.
            14. Yeah, I can see how it's driven by fear. Concern is definitely derived from fear. But laziness? Really? You know that the tendency of those who are lazy is more to keep things the same than try to change them, I'm sure. But perhaps I'm wrong, in which case the lazy people you know sure sound motivated, I wonder how they feel being paradoxes?
            15. Oh god, I'm just so embarrassed. You got me. I'm never going on the internet again! I might as well kill myself since James Carroll publicly humiliated me. lolz
            16. That's a shame, James. You would've fit right in. You're really good at using words as misdirection.

  • Anonymous December 7, 2011

    A ban on plastic bags isn’t a ban on plastic. Plastic is incredible useful, particularly in medical fields, however it’s nothing but irresponsible to surround ourselves with it. Think of it this way: litter wouldn’t be a problem (as in contributing to our continent of plastic soup building in the pacific and making our communities appear neglected) if it was biodegradable. There really isn’t any decent excuse for it (it takes a helluva lot more processing to make a plastic bag than it does to make a bag out of paper, hemp, tweed, or another plant fiber that hasn’t been rotting under the earth for millions of years). Laziness isn’t going to get the human species anything but dead in half a dozen generations–it’s time to step up and concentrate on things that actually need done, for the betterment of all.

  • Anonymous December 7, 2011

    A ban on plastic bags isn’t a ban on plastic. Plastic is incredible useful, particularly in medical fields, however it’s nothing but irresponsible to surround ourselves with it. Think of it this way: litter wouldn’t be a problem (as in contributing to our continent of plastic soup building in the pacific and making our communities appear neglected) if it was biodegradable. There really isn’t any decent excuse for it (it takes a helluva lot more processing to make a plastic bag than it does to make a bag out of paper, hemp, tweed, or another plant fiber that hasn’t been rotting under the earth for millions of years). Laziness isn’t going to get the human species anything but dead in half a dozen generations–it’s time to step up and concentrate on things that actually need done, for the betterment of all.

    • James Carroll February 6, 2012

      This is a bit necrotic, but it needs rebutted, even if two months later:

      Plastic BAGS are also a PART of modern medicine, and that’s WHY they are decidedly useful and inexpensive in general use in our societies.

      If the government banned plastic bags or required merchants to charge obscene amounts for them, the problems you just described would be exactly the same, only, the costs of ordinary goods and services would be much higher; either (1) out of reach of ordinary wage earners, or (2) made worse by unjust fines or criminalizing this use after the fact (and that would include re-use), and that too, you will note, includes Health care use.

      Liberalism kills. Obama’s expanded Bush-Doctrine is proof, militarily, and then there are the people who want us all to be “equal”… equally impoverished, equally powerless, and equally hopeless, socially.

      No, thank you.

      Kindly re-read “Animal Farm” by ‘George Orwell’… also, your factual errors and misgivings about plastics and petroleum and biodegradability are easily found at a site like wikipedia.

      • Anonymous February 6, 2012

        Oh, you researched it all on wikipedia–it must be true. I’ll just disregard all those studies these so-called ‘scientists’ keep putting out and pretend I don’t see America’s cities brimming with garbage and waste, since someone put an article on wikipedia saying it’s all just part of the matrix.

        But seriously though, it’s not as if I’m saying if we ban plastic blags everything will be just peachy. It’s all about stepping stones, my friend, and I’m sick of only hearing responses based in fear and laziness as an excuse to undermine the sustainability and integrity of our society.

        • James Carroll February 6, 2012

          You simply haven’t any idea what you are writing about, still, and it shows.

          • Anonymous February 6, 2012

            Wow that was an excellent deconstruction of my comment. You’re a super awesome debater–are you thinking of running for president some day?

          • James Carroll February 8, 2012

             And you have yet to demonstrate that you have considered the points made to you previously; how plastics are beneficial and that even ‘bags’ are an integral part of medicine, and that the curtailing of their use is harmful and unjust, and that your factual errors about plastics, especially biodegradability are easily dismissed as willful ignorance.

            If all you have are logical fallacies, personal contempt and ad hominem in place of supporting your misguided views, then you are empty handed, and do little here but represent yourself and statist liberalism poorly.

            Feel free to “deconstruct” the facts you have wrong, and the points which you’ve  reacted to, allergically,  with the temperament of a badly behaved child.

            (1) Litter would still exist
            (2) Plastics do “degrade”
            (3) Medicine is the best “excuse” and Santitation is another
            (4) Plastic is far “greener’ than Paper for bags
            (5) Textile bags are an option for shopping, but more expensive
            (6) Petroleum formation has two tested theories, not just one
            (7) “Laziness” is a relative personal characteristic, and  has been with “us” alot longer than “six generations” and will endure, no matter how you choose to define it, or the value you place on it
            (8) “Homo” is our Genus, our Species is H. Sapiens; “we” show no signs of becoming extinct ([sic] dead) within any few generations
            (9) What “needs done” is subjective, and you give no indication of being in a position to decide anything for yourself or anyone else, since you are unencumbered with a basic knowledge of the facts
            (10) Your insinuation that a fact must not be a fact because it is published in a community peer-reviewed cyclopedia is stupid; very stupid, and cynical
            (11) “All those studies” which you failed to cite a single one of…
            (12) Whatever delusion you have about anyone else’s “Matrix” is purely projectionary; not only in the Cinematic sense, either
            (13) Our “society” is inherently “sustainable” since “we” have “made it this far” as things are; and whether or not it has any “integrity” in the personal sense, is itself a personal relative assessment
            (14) The modern so-called  “sustainability” movement is arguably DRIVEN by fear and laziness; the fear of the Lazy, by the Wealthy
            (15) Your factual errors have been corrected publicly against your preference to remain undisciplined and uninformed
            (16) No future president would take the time to correct the idiotic ramblings of children smart enough to turn on a computer, but dumb enough to believe the propaganda displayed on it

            Your education is your responsibility, and I’ve wasted enough time your way- to gladly give you the final volley; support any of your errors or accept their corrections; show any sign of the humility, humanity, or integrity you demand of others; or even just be a bit less snide or condescending.

            If that is even possible.

            Good day.

          • Anonymous February 13, 2012

            1. I didn’t say it wouldn’t ‘exist,’ I said it wouldn’t be a problem (c’mon now, I know you didn’t ‘mishear’ me).
            2. I said they don’t BIOdegrade.
            3. What’s your point here? Plastics are a key component in hospital routine and maintenance. If you don’t think that’s true, visit one and look around.
            4. Cite your source.
            5. They are only more expensive if you don’t REUSE them.
            6. Two tested hypotheses, only one of which has scores of evidence and data to back it up making it a theory.
            7. Duh. So instead of hoping people will quit being lazy and littering, we need to make packaging that doesn’t take thousands of years to decompose. Then it doesn’t matter if they’re littering: it would even help to more even redistribute used resources back to local ecosystems instead of building mountains of garbage.
            8. No, we don’t. But with thousands of other species going extinct every day, it’s not that much of a stretch to say we could be in a real tight spot in the near future, especially with what’s happening in our oceans. Healthy ecosystems are vital to our future. Period.
            9. Well you’re certainly pretentious enough to decide things for everyone, aren’t you?
            10. ANY person can change ANY article at ANY time. Wikipedia is good for getting a basic introduction to subjects, but since it requires no expertise or even for you to leave your name on your article of alleged ‘facts,’ it cannot be used as a reliable source. Pretty much anyone on a University campus can tell you that.
            11. Fair enough. I get most of my information from various University websites and ones like the BBC, Smithsonian and Nasa. Still, I’m not going to bother with hunting down some old articles you probably wouldn’t even read since you’re too full of yourself anyway.
            12. I’m sorry, your sarcasm meter seems to be experiencing difficulties, perhaps you should get it looked at?
            13. Oh? It’s sustainable since ‘we made it this far,’ huh? Well that’s a flawless argument if I ever heard. Oh, sorry I forgot–that was sarcasm just then (hope you get that meter fixed soon, dude).
            14. Yeah, I can see how it’s driven by fear. Concern is definitely derived from fear. But laziness? Really? You know that the tendency of those who are lazy is more to keep things the same than try to change them. The lazy people you know sure sound motivated, I wonder how they feel being paradoxes?
            15. Oh god, I’m just so embarrassed. You got me. I’m never going on the internet again! I might as well kill myself since James Carroll publicly humiliated me. lolz
            16. That’s a shame, James. You would’ve fit right in.

          • Anonymous February 13, 2012

            1. I didn’t say it wouldn’t ‘exist,’ I said it wouldn’t be a problem (c’mon now, I know you didn’t ‘mishear’ me).
            2. I said they don’t BIOdegrade.
            3. What’s your point here? Plastics are a key component in hospital routine and maintenance. If you don’t think that’s true, visit one and look around.
            4. Cite your source.
            5. They are only more expensive if you don’t REUSE them.
            6. Two tested hypotheses, only one of which has scores of evidence and data to back it up making it a theory.
            7. Duh. So instead of hoping people will quit being lazy and littering, we need to make packaging that doesn’t take thousands of years to decompose. Then it doesn’t matter if they’re littering: it would even help to more even redistribute used resources back to local ecosystems instead of building mountains of garbage.
            8. No, we don’t. But with thousands of other species going extinct every day, it’s not that much of a stretch to say we could be in a real tight spot in the near future, especially with what’s happening in our oceans. Healthy ecosystems are vital to our future. Period.
            9. Well you’re certainly pretentious enough to decide things for everyone, aren’t you?
            10. ANY person can change ANY article at ANY time. Wikipedia is good for getting a basic introduction to subjects, but since it requires no expertise or even for you to leave your name on your article of alleged ‘facts,’ it cannot be used as a reliable source. Pretty much anyone on a University campus can tell you that.
            11. Fair enough. I get most of my information from various University websites and ones like the BBC, Smithsonian and Nasa. Still, I’m not going to bother with hunting down some old articles you probably wouldn’t even read since you’re too full of yourself anyway.
            12. I’m sorry, your sarcasm meter seems to be experiencing difficulties, perhaps you should get it looked at?
            13. Oh? It’s sustainable since ‘we made it this far,’ huh? Well that’s a flawless argument if I ever heard. Oh, sorry I forgot–that was sarcasm just then (hope you get that meter fixed soon, dude).
            14. Yeah, I can see how it’s driven by fear. Concern is definitely derived from fear. But laziness? Really? You know that the tendency of those who are lazy is more to keep things the same than try to change them. The lazy people you know sure sound motivated, I wonder how they feel being paradoxes?
            15. Oh god, I’m just so embarrassed. You got me. I’m never going on the internet again! I might as well kill myself since James Carroll publicly humiliated me. lolz
            16. That’s a shame, James. You would’ve fit right in.

          • Anonymous February 13, 2012

            1. I didn’t say it wouldn’t ‘exist,’ I said it wouldn’t be a problem (c’mon now, I know you didn’t ‘mishear’ me).
            2. I said they don’t BIOdegrade.
            3. What’s your point here? Plastics are a key component in hospital routine and maintenance. If you don’t think that’s true, visit one and look around.
            4. Cite your source.
            5. They are only more expensive if you don’t REUSE them.
            6. Two tested hypotheses, only one of which has scores of evidence and data to back it up making it a theory.
            7. Duh. So instead of hoping people will quit being lazy and littering, we need to make packaging that doesn’t take thousands of years to decompose. Then it doesn’t matter if they’re littering: it would even help to more even redistribute used resources back to local ecosystems instead of building mountains of garbage.
            8. No, we don’t. But with thousands of other species going extinct every day, it’s not that much of a stretch to say we could be in a real tight spot in the near future, especially with what’s happening in our oceans. Healthy ecosystems are vital to our future. Period.
            9. Well you’re certainly pretentious enough to decide things for everyone, aren’t you?
            10. ANY person can change ANY article at ANY time. Wikipedia is good for getting a basic introduction to subjects, but since it requires no expertise or even for you to leave your name on your article of alleged ‘facts,’ it cannot be used as a reliable source. Pretty much anyone on a University campus can tell you that.
            11. Fair enough. I get most of my information from various University websites and ones like the BBC, Smithsonian and Nasa. Still, I’m not going to bother with hunting down some old articles you probably wouldn’t even read since you’re too full of yourself anyway.
            12. I’m sorry, your sarcasm meter seems to be experiencing difficulties, perhaps you should get it looked at?
            13. Oh? It’s sustainable since ‘we made it this far,’ huh? Well that’s a flawless argument if I ever heard. Oh, sorry I forgot–that was sarcasm just then (hope you get that meter fixed soon, dude).
            14. Yeah, I can see how it’s driven by fear. Concern is definitely derived from fear. But laziness? Really? You know that the tendency of those who are lazy is more to keep things the same than try to change them. The lazy people you know sure sound motivated, I wonder how they feel being paradoxes?
            15. Oh god, I’m just so embarrassed. You got me. I’m never going on the internet again! I might as well kill myself since James Carroll publicly humiliated me. lolz
            16. That’s a shame, James. You would’ve fit right in.

          • Anonymous February 13, 2012

            1. I didn’t say it wouldn’t ‘exist,’ I said it wouldn’t be a problem (c’mon now, I know you didn’t ‘mishear’ me).
            2. I said they don’t BIOdegrade.
            3. What’s your point here? Plastics are a key component in hospital routine and maintenance. If you don’t think that’s true, visit one and look around.
            4. Cite your source.
            5. They are only more expensive if you don’t REUSE them.
            6. Two tested hypotheses, only one of which has scores of evidence and data to back it up making it a theory.
            7. Duh. So instead of hoping people will quit being lazy and littering, we need to make packaging that doesn’t take thousands of years to decompose. Then it doesn’t matter if they’re littering: it would even help to more even redistribute used resources back to local ecosystems instead of building mountains of garbage.
            8. No, we don’t. But with thousands of other species going extinct every day, it’s not that much of a stretch to say we could be in a real tight spot in the near future, especially with what’s happening in our oceans. Healthy ecosystems are vital to our future. Period.
            9. Well you’re certainly pretentious enough to decide things for everyone, aren’t you?
            10. ANY person can change ANY article at ANY time. Wikipedia is good for getting a basic introduction to subjects, but since it requires no expertise or even for you to leave your name on your article of alleged ‘facts,’ it cannot be used as a reliable source. Pretty much anyone on a University campus can tell you that.
            11. Fair enough. I get most of my information from various University websites and ones like the BBC, Smithsonian and Nasa. Still, I’m not going to bother with hunting down some old articles you probably wouldn’t even read since you’re too full of yourself anyway.
            12. I’m sorry, your sarcasm meter seems to be experiencing difficulties, perhaps you should get it looked at?
            13. Oh? It’s sustainable since ‘we made it this far,’ huh? Well that’s a flawless argument if I ever heard. Oh, sorry I forgot–that was sarcasm just then (hope you get that meter fixed soon, dude).
            14. Yeah, I can see how it’s driven by fear. Concern is definitely derived from fear. But laziness? Really? You know that the tendency of those who are lazy is more to keep things the same than try to change them. The lazy people you know sure sound motivated, I wonder how they feel being paradoxes?
            15. Oh god, I’m just so embarrassed. You got me. I’m never going on the internet again! I might as well kill myself since James Carroll publicly humiliated me. lolz
            16. That’s a shame, James. You would’ve fit right in.

  • Paranormia December 12, 2011

    Legalize marijuana! (sarcastic but probably true!)

    • Wh666 January 20, 2012

      Actually hemp is the best solution, but no-one seems to be touting that.

      Funny how many fools on here have been brainwashed by the plastics and paper industry huh!

  • Anonymous December 12, 2011

    Legalize marijuana! (sarcastic but probably true!)

    • Wh666 January 20, 2012

      Actually hemp is the best solution, but no-one seems to be touting that.

      Funny how many fools on here have been brainwashed by the plastics and paper industry huh!

  • Anonymous December 12, 2011

    Legalize marijuana! (sarcastic but probably true!)

  • Alba December 17, 2011

    Plastic is more eco friendly than paper or cloth.  It simply needs to be recycled properly.  The whole problem with the eco-nut movement is all they want to do is ban things.  They should think about solutions before mobilizing their voice.  Recycle plastics and they are a ERY good thing.

    • W Canaday January 25, 2012

      The city where I live only accepts #1 & #2. Apparently nothing else is economically advantageous to recycle. Check with the professor again and ask if it would be okay if we all just brought our used plastic bags over to his house since he seems to think that they are such a good idea.

      Paper automatically and without fail recycles … it can’t do anything else. Point paper. (Needn’t be made from trees, either. Hemp is far better.)

      • Wh666 January 31, 2012

        You are incorrect there Canaday.  Paper may seem like something that is easy to recycle, but too often in supermarkets, the paper bags are treated with chemicals and glosses making recycling quite energy intensive compared to other alternatives.

        I will agree hemp is the best solution.  However blame the paper and plastics industries from hyping up propaganda making this unlikely.

  • Alba December 17, 2011

    Plastic is more eco friendly than paper or cloth.  It simply needs to be recycled properly.  The whole problem with the eco-nut movement is all they want to do is ban things.  They should think about solutions before mobilizing their voice.  Recycle plastics and they are a ERY good thing.

    • BillinDetroit January 25, 2012

      The city where I live only accepts #1 & #2. Apparently nothing else is economically advantageous to recycle. Check with the professor again and ask if it would be okay if we all just brought our used plastic bags over to his house since he seems to think that they are such a good idea.

      Paper automatically and without fail recycles … it can’t do anything else. Point paper. (Needn’t be made from trees, either. Hemp is far better.)

      • Wh666 January 31, 2012

        You are incorrect there Canaday.  Paper may seem like something that is easy to recycle, but too often in supermarkets, the paper bags are treated with chemicals and glosses making recycling quite energy intensive compared to other alternatives.

        I will agree hemp is the best solution.  However blame the paper and plastics industries from hyping up propaganda making this unlikely.

  • shapewear December 27, 2011

    Here in our country, stores are already converting to paper bags.

    • Wh666 January 20, 2012

      Then well done for making the problem worse.  Paper is more harmful than plastic.

  • shapewear December 27, 2011

    Here in our country, stores are already converting to paper bags.

    • Wh666 January 20, 2012

      Then well done for making the problem worse.  Paper is more harmful than plastic.

  • Bret @ Green Global Travel December 31, 2011

    @Alba, no plastic is not more eco-friendly than paper or cloth due to the process by which it is made. The chemical waste of the processing process alone is an environmental travesty, to say nothing of the fact that most people do NOT recycle their plastic bags/bottles. Stop stating opinions as if they are facts and do your scientific research before you speak. 

    • Wh666 January 20, 2012

      Actually, alba is correct and you are wrong.  You should do some research before you post.

      In my post above, I gave a link to detailed information, but surprisingly, paper bags, in the manufacture stage as well as the degrading and recycling stage, consumes more energy.

      This is because, the paper needs to be treated to be resistant to tears, safe to hold enough weight, repel water and branded to be sold to naive fools like you.

  • Bret @ Green Global Travel December 31, 2011

    @Alba, no plastic is not more eco-friendly than paper or cloth due to the process by which it is made. The chemical waste of the processing process alone is an environmental travesty, to say nothing of the fact that most people do NOT recycle their plastic bags/bottles. Stop stating opinions as if they are facts and do your scientific research before you speak. 

    • Wh666 January 20, 2012

      Actually, alba is correct and you are wrong.  You should do some research before you post.

      In my post above, I gave a link to detailed information, but surprisingly, paper bags, in the manufacture stage as well as the degrading and recycling stage, consumes more energy.

      This is because, the paper needs to be treated to be resistant to tears, safe to hold enough weight, repel water and branded to be sold to naive fools like you.

  • Land4sharks January 2, 2012

    Charging more than a few cents for these bags will be enough of a kick in the pants to get people to remember their cloth/reusable bags when they visit the store.

    • Wh666 January 20, 2012

      No it won’t.  All it does is tax environmentally concious people (those that do use plastic).

      People who “forget”, are the kind of people who may “forget” many things, hence being acclimatised to paying for convenience.

  • Land4sharks January 2, 2012

    Charging more than a few cents for these bags will be enough of a kick in the pants to get people to remember their cloth/reusable bags when they visit the store.

    • Wh666 January 20, 2012

      No it won’t.  All it does is tax environmentally concious people (those that do use plastic).

      People who “forget”, are the kind of people who may “forget” many things, hence being acclimatised to paying for convenience.

  • Homes and Interiors January 8, 2012

    Great initiative. The world needs it.

    • Wh666 January 20, 2012

      The world already has it, as I mentioned above.  90 days is indeed impressive for 90% degradation, but bags in supermarkets for the past five years have been shown to degrade by over 95% after 180 days.

      Plastic cleaned up it’s image a long time ago, unlike your ignorance.

      • BillinDetroit January 25, 2012

        Then what are those things flapping from the tree limbs?

        • Wh666 January 31, 2012

          I fail to see your point?

          People litter all the time.  Instead of banning all packaging, so nothing can be sold in shops, just on the fear of someone littering or banning pets because people foul, we should instead educate society on general respect and correct disposal of items.

          Banning plastic does not stop litter.  Slapping litter louts is a better route to follow.

        • James_Carroll February 4, 2012

          Free bags!

          Go get ‘em.

  • Homes and Interiors January 8, 2012

    Great initiative. The world needs it.

    • Wh666 January 20, 2012

      The world already has it, as I mentioned above.  90 days is indeed impressive for 90% degradation, but bags in supermarkets for the past five years have been shown to degrade by over 95% after 180 days.

      Plastic cleaned up it’s image a long time ago, unlike your ignorance.

      • W Canaday January 25, 2012

        Then what are those things flapping from the tree limbs?

        • Wh666 January 31, 2012

          I fail to see your point?

          People litter all the time.  Instead of banning all packaging, so nothing can be sold in shops, just on the fear of someone littering or banning pets because people foul, we should instead educate society on general respect and correct disposal of items.

          Banning plastic does not stop litter.  Slapping litter louts is a better route to follow.

        • James Carroll February 4, 2012

          Free bags!

          Go get ‘em.

  • KAWMAN January 9, 2012

    My brother in law in Germany has a company that makes a biodegradable additive that goes into the bags described in this article. After 90 days, the plastic bags are 90% biodegraded. If you are interested in finding out more on this topic, the name of the company is BIOP Biopolymer Technologies AGNot surprisingly, when he was trying to find investors for developing this technology, the only parties willing to help finance construction of facilities were those located in the Middle East and Asia. 

  • KAWMAN January 9, 2012

    My brother in law in Germany has a company that makes a biodegradable additive that goes into the bags described in this article. After 90 days, the plastic bags are 90% biodegraded. If you are interested in finding out more on this topic, the name of the company is BIOP Biopolymer Technologies AGNot surprisingly, when he was trying to find investors for developing this technology, the only parties willing to help finance construction of facilities were those located in the Middle East and Asia. 

  • KAWMAN January 9, 2012

    My brother in law in Germany has a company that makes a biodegradable additive that goes into the bags described in this article. After 90 days, the plastic bags are 90% biodegraded. If you are interested in finding out more on this topic, the name of the company is BIOP Biopolymer Technologies AGNot surprisingly, when he was trying to find investors for developing this technology, the only parties willing to help finance construction of facilities were those located in the Middle East and Asia. 

  • Dbakeca Italia January 10, 2012

    Plastic it’s good, people just don’t know how to use it…

  • Dbakeca Italia January 10, 2012

    Plastic it’s good, people just don’t know how to use it…

  • zzz05 January 16, 2012

    isn’t all plastic basically just waste product left over from petroleum after all the gasoline and fuel possible has been extracted? 

  • Anonymous January 16, 2012

    isn’t all plastic basically just waste product left over from petroleum after all the gasoline and fuel possible has been extracted? 

  • Jacob Cowan January 16, 2012

    And then I will have to buy garbage bags to dispose of my household waste.  This needs some thought.

    • Wh666 January 20, 2012

      Indeed.  The worst thing is, black bin bags have a lot more plastic than supermarket disposable carrier bags, designed out of thin plastic to degrade quickly.

  • Jacob Cowan January 16, 2012

    And then I will have to buy garbage bags to dispose of my household waste.  This needs some thought.

    • Wh666 January 20, 2012

      Indeed.  The worst thing is, black bin bags have a lot more plastic than supermarket disposable carrier bags, designed out of thin plastic to degrade quickly.

  • Brittany Dago January 19, 2012

    I work at a grocery store, and we charge 10 cents a bag. However, we have a points card and every time you come back with any type of bag to pack your groceries we give you points. Eventually the points save you A LOT of money on your groceries, I think its great. 

  • Brittany Dago January 19, 2012

    I work at a grocery store, and we charge 10 cents a bag. However, we have a points card and every time you come back with any type of bag to pack your groceries we give you points. Eventually the points save you A LOT of money on your groceries, I think its great. 

  • Rll52485 January 22, 2012

    Buy a cloth bag a shut up.

  • Rll52485 January 22, 2012

    Buy a cloth bag a shut up.

  • ProfitOverLife January 23, 2012

    5 cents for every bag where I live, has definitely caused me to use less bags for small numbers of purchased items.  For a long time I’ve reused as many as I can and recycled as many more as I can, but I’m consuming fewer now and the extra cost has not been painful.  I have not been very successful at remembering/arranging to bring my own bags–perhaps a tax CREDIT for doing so would help?

  • ProfitOverLife January 23, 2012

    5 cents for every bag where I live, has definitely caused me to use less bags for small numbers of purchased items.  For a long time I’ve reused as many as I can and recycled as many more as I can, but I’m consuming fewer now and the extra cost has not been painful.  I have not been very successful at remembering/arranging to bring my own bags–perhaps a tax CREDIT for doing so would help?

  • Anonymous February 9, 2012

    I support the use of reusable bags. Any kind of one-time use bag is going to produce a lot of waste and costs a lot given the little use that it serves. When I don’t have any reusable bag on me, and I’m given a plastic bag at a store, I reuse it at home as a trash bag or leave them in my trunk for future store visits. The problem with recycling is that most plastic is not recycled, and what is recycled, is either turned into something entirely different than it’s original form, one which isn’t recyclable, or it gets downcycled into a lower quality product. 
    I’ve been to some stores where they offer you up the boxes that were used to transport the products to their store, to take your items home. They were just going to throw the cardboard boxes away anyway, so this way everyone wins.
    I do agree with those of you who stated that educating America is the main problem. Getting people to respect the environment by not littering and not taking our planet for granted. You could cut down a lot more on oil usage by eliminating the disgusting mass feed lots for cattle, chicken, and pigs, and cutting down on these and other food products that get shipped halfway around the world. Support local farmers, say no to everything related to Monsanto.

  • Machinists_Mate February 9, 2012

    I support the use of reusable bags. Any kind of one-time use bag is going to produce a lot of waste and costs a lot given the little use that it serves. When I don’t have any reusable bag on me, and I’m given a plastic bag at a store, I reuse it at home as a trash bag or leave them in my trunk for future store visits. The problem with recycling is that most plastic is not recycled, and what is recycled, is either turned into something entirely different than it’s original form, one which isn’t recyclable, or it gets downcycled into a lower quality product. 
    I’ve been to some stores where they offer you up the boxes that were used to transport the products to their store, to take your items home. They were just going to throw the cardboard boxes away anyway, so this way everyone wins.
    I do agree with those of you who stated that educating America is the main problem. Getting people to respect the environment by not littering and not taking our planet for granted. You could cut down a lot more on oil usage by eliminating the disgusting mass feed lots for cattle, chicken, and pigs, and cutting down on these and other food products that get shipped halfway around the world. Support local farmers, say no to everything related to Monsanto.

  • Vince D July 6, 2012

    Paper or Plastic???
    If you were around in the early 70″s you will remember when your grocer used brown paper bags to put your groceries in. You couldn’t get them to use plastic bags. Then in the late 70’s or early 80’s the push was on to ask your grocer to put your groceries into plastic bags. I believe it was being pushed by big oil and plastics manufacturers.

    There were commercials on television about how much better plastic bags were for the environment than paper bags. There was propaganda about how quickly the sun would break down plastic bags if they were dumped on the side of the road. The downside to paper bags was if they got damp because of condensate or rain, they would tear open and the bottles which were made of glass then would break. So, people just blindly accepted the plastic bags.

    I was against using plastic bags from the beginning. I didn’t believe they were good for the environment, but I also had family employed in the paper bag industry.

    Who stands to gain from this push to get away from plastic bags. Someone will end up putting a lot of money in their pocket. Never believe that anything being pushed for in this country is just for the good of the country. Money talks! You can’t always find out where it goes, but if you can follow the money, you will find out why things were done.

    Just look at former Vice President Al Gore. He’s getting super rich by selling people on Global Warming. Well now, it’s Global Weather Changes because of all of the record low temperatures. The SUN is more responsible for our weather than anything man can ever do.

  • Vince D July 6, 2012

    Paper or Plastic???
    If you were around in the early 70″s you will remember when your grocer used brown paper bags to put your groceries in. You couldn’t get them to use plastic bags. Then in the late 70’s or early 80’s the push was on to ask your grocer to put your groceries into plastic bags. I believe it was being pushed by big oil and plastics manufacturers.

    There were commercials on television about how much better plastic bags were for the environment than paper bags. There was propaganda about how quickly the sun would break down plastic bags if they were dumped on the side of the road. The downside to paper bags was if they got damp because of condensate or rain, they would tear open and the bottles which were made of glass then would break. So, people just blindly accepted the plastic bags.

    I was against using plastic bags from the beginning. I didn’t believe they were good for the environment, but I also had family employed in the paper bag industry.

    Who stands to gain from this push to get away from plastic bags. Someone will end up putting a lot of money in their pocket. Never believe that anything being pushed for in this country is just for the good of the country. Money talks! You can’t always find out where it goes, but if you can follow the money, you will find out why things were done.

    Just look at former Vice President Al Gore. He’s getting super rich by selling people on Global Warming. Well now, it’s Global Weather Changes because of all of the record low temperatures. The SUN is more responsible for our weather than anything man can ever do.

Project Censored 2014
Receive a Free Project Censored "Top 25 Censored Stories" Book For Being a Member
Become a $5 monthly subscriber to Project Censored and as long as you are a member, every year we will send you the newest Project Censored Top 25 Most Censored Stories of the Year book. You can choose paperback or e-book, you can cancel your monthly support at any time, and your support is tax deductible. 

Book, button, 3@2x