Illinois girl fights bill to ban plastic bag bans

Posted on July 28, 2012 by DrRossH in Plastic Limiting Regulations

Plastics News – Illinois girl fights bill to ban plastic bag bans.

It strikes us as a little odd that causing a ‘inconvenience ‘ to customers is a greater  overriding concern than that of the benefits to the environment and the reduction of plastic waste for us and all our future generations going forwards.  Remember a plastic bag is used for a few minutes then it remains for 100’s of years as waste somewhere.  Out of site in not out of mind, we have to acknowledge that.

Plus this second reason mentioned,’ there are people employed to make these plastic bags’, so even if they are very harmful to the environment and not really necessary as people can use reusable bags, we have to keep making these bags otherwise these people will lose their job.  That is pure spin by the company owners to not change their profits.  The plastic bag company can start to make reusable bags and keep those people employed.  Better and easier to do that than spend all their funds or lobbying governments and paying legal fees to maintain the status quo and the profits to the company owners.  ‘Ah but people don’t need as many reusable bags as they do disposable plastic bags therefore we won’t be able to keep all those people employed’ is an oft cited reason by the bag makers.  Doesn’t that tell us something right there. That all these plastic bags are just not necessary.   In the 60’s we banned DDT as it was bad for health.  Why didn’t we have to keep using it as there were people employed in manufacturing DDT? 

People won’t recycle in any big way.  That has been proven year after year.  Put a recycle bin beside a trash bin and watch what happens, people dump all their waste in the trash bin.  They won’t sort it.  They have never been educated to as these plastic bag manufacturing companies making it convenient for people have ensured that that is the typical behaviour these days.  They don’t want to a) have to foot the bill of a massive multiyear (or decades) long program to now get consumers to change their habits these companies have taught them to do over the last 40 off years.  b) foot the bill to get any bags that are recycled back to a reprocessing centre, then clean them and sort them by plastic type and then mix the recyclate with new resin to make new bags.  It is far easier and cheaper to just use virgin resin that comes in big truck loads form the resin manufacture to amke a bag than go through all the above rigmarole.  c) Let’s not forget for every bag recycled 3 new bags have to be manufactured as these new bags only have about 30% recycled content.   What this means if 3 million people recycled their bags, then it would take 9 million people to fully use the bags from the 3 million, then 27 million people to then fully use those bags.  And so on.

This all points to the plastic bag is simply a bad product and should be banned.  Look at Ireland, they quickly got over their ‘inconvenience’ and moved on with reusable bags to other topics in life more important than the paying a few cents for a bag at the grocery store.