Tag Archives: Shopping bag

Bag Bans: A Failure – Not Success As Claimed

As more and more communities pass ordinances to ban plastic carryout bags, a key question remains: Are these bag bans successful?  Proponents of bag bans are quick to point out that once the bags are banned, fewer plastic bags will be found as litter in the environment.  Of course, that is true.  If the use of plastic carryout bags is sharply reduced by a bag ban then the quantity of plastic carryout bags found as litter will be similarly reduced and reflected in litter surveys.  But does that single measurement signify the success of the ban?  Or are there other factors that must be considered before a bag ban can be declared a success?  In this paper we will look at this question and attempt to provide a reasonable answer.

To read more please click on the following link: Bag Bans: A Failure – Not Success As Claimed.

Bag Bans: Wrong Way to Control Litter

Bag Bans are the wrong solution to control litter from plastic grocery bags.  Many communities are driven to ban these bags because they are a very visible form of litter.  But is banning these bags the right solution?  I don’t think so, and neither should you!

Plastic bags of all kinds make up only about 0.6% of litter.  So a ban on plastic grocery bags would at most eliminate no more than 0.6% of litter.  The other 99.4% is still out there waiting to be cleaned up!

All carryout bags have a negative environmental impact.  Paper bags and reusable bags have a higher negative environmental impact and larger carbon footprint than plastic bags.  In fact, 10 out of 14 environmental indicators go up after a bag ban is implemented, meaning a bag ban is a bad idea from an environmental perspective.

For more information see: Bag Bans Wrong Way To Control Litter.

Reusable Bag Recycling Rate Lower Than Plastic Bags

The majority of reusable bags currently in use in California are made from non-woven Polypropylene (PP) or fabrics such as cotton.  While PP is technically recyclable, currently there is no recycling infrastructure for PP bags in the state of California.  Furthermore, although cotton bags are technically compostable, there is no composting facility currently available.  Hence, both PP and cotton reusable bags must be disposed of in the trash or landfill.

A very small percentage (much less than 5%) of reusable bags are made from High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) or Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE).  These bags are recyclable via the In-Store Recycling Bin at your local retail store.

Environmentalists like to say that the recycling rate for plastic grocery bags is only 5% and therefore they should be banned.  But the recycling rate for reusable bags is closer to 0%.  Should they not be banned?

Why are Grocers For Plastic Bag Bans?

English: This is a paper bag from Victory Supe...
English: This is a paper bag from Victory Supermarkets (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Have you ever wondered why grocery stores are in support of a plastic bag ban?  Well, I have.  I wondered if they supported the bag ban in order to cozy up to local officials?  Or was it because they wanted to be good citizens?  Or, is there some kind of financial incentive?

Before a bag ban, stores purchased plastic and paper bags and distributed these bags at checkout for “free”.  They really weren’t free, the retailer purchased and paid for the bags and passed the cost to you in the form of higher retail prices.  Plastic bags cost less than 2 cents each and paper bags from 5 to 8 cents each in bulk quantities.  The cost of plastic and paper bags is considered an overhead cost or an indirect cost and is indirectly paid for by customers. Continue reading Why are Grocers For Plastic Bag Bans?

The Lies, Myths, Half-Truths, and Exaggerations of Bag Ban Proponents

Bag Bans are one of the latest Eco-Fads being pushed by the “green” movement and virtually all “environmental” groups as a solution to the plastic bag litter problem.  These groups put enormous pressure on city officials to implement a plastic bag ban and paper bag fees on their citizens.  These groups attempt to link virtually every environmental problem to the simple plastic grocery bag, defying logic and misleading government officials, the media, and the public by continuously repeating a series of lies, distortions, and half-truths that do not hold up under scientific scrutiny.

There is a saying that if you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth.  This is often the strategy of the bag ban proponents.  And the internet has afforded thousands of people eager to ban bags the ability to repeat the same lies and distortions over and over until people just accept them as fact.

In this article we examine a majority of the most often quoted and repeated lies and distortions related to plastic bags and bag bans.

Click on the following link to read or download the article: The Lies Myths Half Truths and Exaggerations of Bag Ban Proponents.

Bag Bans: Officials Neglect Homework!

Misguided officials in more and more California communities are adopting plastic carryout bag bans and, in their haste to jump on the latest Eco-Fad bandwagon, fail to perform due diligence in attempting to solve a complex problem.  Little to no effort is spent actually analyzing the problem or coming up with possible alternative solutions.  So starts a newly released article that identifies the failures of City and County Officials to investigate and find traditional solutions in favor of implementing a totalitarian solution to force a particular lifestyle on the people of this country, a country that is supposed to be the land of the free and home of the brave.

To read the new article click on the following link:  Bag Bans Officials Neglect Homework.

This hard hitting article is a must read for citizens who want to see how their elected officials are failing to perform due diligence.

Updated Article: Do Californians Really Use 20 Billion Plastic Bags Per Year?

The article Do Californian’s Really Use 20 Billion Plastic Bags Per Year? has been updated.  The text was clarified in a number of areas, including the insertion of equations showing how to perform calculations, as well as footnotes to fully document all of the sources of information.  We still maintain that the 20 billion Plastic Carryout Bag number is erroneous and the true number of plastic bags used is closer to 9 to 10 billion per year.

Statewide Bag Ban Would Cost Residents More Than $1 Billion!

State Lawmakers and environmentalists who propose a statewide plastic carryout bag bans, like so many officials in communities that have implemented such bans, most often fail to take into consideration the economics of a bag ban and the increased costs to residents.  Not only will residents incur out-of-pocket costs to purchase bags, but depending upon the type of bag chosen, personal time will be required to manage bags and maintain bags in a sanitary condition. Continue reading Statewide Bag Ban Would Cost Residents More Than $1 Billion!

What Will A Plastic Carryout Bag Ban Cost Your Community?

More and more California communities are adopting local ordinances that implement a plastic carryout bag ban.  In the haste to ban plastic carryout bags, officials fail to take into consideration the costs that are passed onto residents.  Not only will residents incur out-of-pocket costs to purchase bags, but depending upon the type of bag chosen, residents are required to spend personal time to manage bags and maintain bags in a sanitary condition.  In the article “Plastic Bag Alternatives Much More Costly to Consumers” the authors analyze the annual cost per household of different bag alternatives and monetize the value of one’s personal time at $12 per hour (half of the California Average Labor Rate).  The article costs out store supplied plastic carryout bags, self-purchased plastic carryout bags, paper bags, durable reusable bags, and cheaper reusable bags.  Continue reading What Will A Plastic Carryout Bag Ban Cost Your Community?

New Article Posted: “Reusable Bags and Ergonomic Issues”

A new article has been posted titled “Reusable Bags and Ergonomic Issues” by Anthony van Leeuwen.

The article provides some useful information about reusable bag sizes, volume, and average weight when filled. Consumers should educate themselves about bag sizes and weights when filled, to avoid wasting money by buying bags that are too large and heavy when filled by store employees.

With more and more communities in California and the nation adopting plastic carryout bag bans ergonomic safety issues related to using reusable bags have been largely ignored.  The chief selling point often touted by proponents is that “Reusable bags hold more than plastic bags”.  What is often overlooked is that “If reusable bags hold more, they weigh more.”  This means that handling of heavier reusable bags by both store employees and customers alike, present ergonomic safety hazards that should be taken into consideration.