Commentary: Austin’s plastic bag ban is rubbish. Go check the landfill – USA

Posted on May 28, 2018 by DrRossH in Plastic Limiting Regulations

As the Texas Supreme Court will soon make its decision regarding the legality of plastic bag regulat…

Source: Commentary: Austin’s plastic bag ban is rubbish. Go check the landfill

Life cycle analyses, which take into account the costs and environmental impacts of manufacturing paper, plastic and reusable bags, consistently prove that plastic retail bags have the lowest impact on the environment. This fact was most recently brought to light in studies commissioned by Denmark and Quebec.

The Quebec report notes that “the conventional plastic bag(‘s) … production requires little material and energy. It also avoids the production and purchase of garbage/bin liner bags since it benefits from a high reuse rate when used for this purpose (77.7 percent).”

This corresponds to a study conducted by APCO Insight, which showed that 93 percent of shoppers reuse their plastic grocery bags and that 65 percent reuse them for trash can liners and trash disposal.

This reads suspiciously of reports commission by the plastic bag industry.  It would make sense that thin plastic bags are less cost to make than a heavier duty bag.  And that is what an LCA shows.  And that is what the bag manufacturers hinge their arguments on.  But what an LCA cannot show in the environmental impact of these thing bags getting loose in the environment and the oceans.   The bag industry does not want that argument raised as they have no argument against that issue.   That issue is far greater than the manufacturing argument.  As they can make bags with renewable energy, recycled water the manufacturing aspect really has no stake in the overall argument.