Bag maker taking on bans – USA

Posted on June 6, 2012 by DrRossH in Plastic Limiting Regulations

Plastics News – Bag maker taking on bans.

It is good to see common sense is being taken to ban these bags in increasing numbers.  The reasons touted by the bag manufacturer, Hilex are a stretch of the situation.  They seem to be clasping at straws to find reasons to criticise the bans.
If they are worried about everyone switching to reusable bags which they claim will be made in China, why don’t they start making their own reusable bags?
They say the are getting up to 30% of recycled plastic in their bags now and this is really good they report.  What this does not tell you is that for every bag they want to recycle, they have to make 3 new bags.  How is that sustainable? 
It is easier (lower cost) for a truck to drive up with 5 tonnes of raw virgin resin and drop it off than it is to initiate a wide range collection service to gather all the bags from consumers and their households spread far and wide.  They know this very well, yet make excuses as to why they can’t do this.  Putting out a number of recycling bins in the hope that people will voluntarily change their behaviour and take this used plastic bags to one of these drop off points is naive and an indication of how out of touch this company is with the consumers and their behaviour.
Their excuse that people are reusing bags as bin liners or doggie poop bags  is not an excuse at all.  They claim this negates the very low recycling rate of 3% or less.   It is not true.    All this means is that the bag has a life of another day before it goes to the landfill where it will sit for 100’s of years.  If they really did care about the product and not their profits, why would they not use a landfill-biodegradable additive to allow the bags to biodegrade in a landfill?  Plastic bags are the #1 item in a landfill and impede the landfill from working as the material is trapped in a nonbiodegradable bag separated from other material.  Banning bags by cities will substantially reduce the number of bags that go to a landfill which will be a big benefit to the landfills.