Banning plastic bags may not be a good thing

garp

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Aug 2, 2004
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Plastic bags, much like plastic straws, cause the least environmental impact in their manufacture and are by far the most hygienic and convenient option. The problem is not their use, but how they are discarded.

Maybe we just need a better system for ensuring they're disposed of properly? Something like an additional R1 surcharge on each bag that is paid back when it's dropped off at a proper recycling centre? You could then hoard your bags and redeem the money every now and again with a trip to the recycler, or if you do discard them there is massive incentive for the bin pickers to take them in.
 

SmartKit

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Jun 29, 2008
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Plastic bags, much like plastic straws, cause the least environmental impact in their manufacture and are by far the most hygienic and convenient option. The problem is not their use, but how they are discarded.

Maybe we just need a better system for ensuring they're disposed of properly? Something like an additional R1 surcharge on each bag that is paid back when it's dropped off at a proper recycling centre? You could then hoard your bags and redeem the money every now and again with a trip to the recycler, or if you do discard them there is massive incentive for the bin pickers to take them in.
https://www.iol.co.za/business-report/companies/woolworths-tests-recycling-vending-machine-16531502

http://www.reversevending.co.uk

https://www.iol.co.za/business-repo...recycling-machines-a-first-for-africa-2041852

But for plastic bags?
 

Boris Becker

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Mar 23, 2012
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I agree with the article and the research.

Some people buy bin bags. In our home, we use the PNP plastic bags as bin bags. So while using plastic bags are not good, at least we are reusing them. Going to try to remember to take the plastic bags with when going shopping. That way they can be used at least 2 or 3 times before being used as bin bags.

To stop using plastic straws was easy. It's a mindset. And we are recycling alot more - thanks to the City of Joburg's recycling initiative. I just wonder whether they actually recycle our bags properly?

But is it really enough? We all need to do our part. How do we change our behaviour?
 

RedViking

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Feb 23, 2012
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I agree with the article and the research.

Some people buy bin bags. In our home, we use the PNP plastic bags as bin bags. So while using plastic bags are not good, at least we are reusing them. Going to try to remember to take the plastic bags with when going shopping. That way they can be used at least 2 or 3 times before being used as bin bags.

To stop using plastic straws was easy. It's a mindset. And we are recycling alot more - thanks to the City of Joburg's recycling initiative. I just wonder whether they actually recycle our bags properly?

But is it really enough? We all need to do our part. How do we change our behaviour?
We just use one black bag a week that stays outside and then use a normal shopping plastic bag inside.
 

Swa

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May 4, 2012
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It all depends on what you measure. Most research only looks at one or two aspects.

A plastic bag lingers around for 100 years in the environment. Paper only for a few weeks and isn't deadly as well. The impact on the water supply is only temporary and in 2 or 3 years doesn't matter anyway. The trees planted for it can even be seen as reducing the carbon footprint. Reuse a bag 100 times and it saves the environment from 100 bags even if it's not as degradable.

I have to say the plastic tax at least got something right. We can now choose not to take bags and have bigger choice.
 

MirageF1

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And.. most importantly, fine people for littering, esp glass and plastic.
No excuses. None.

Hit them where it hurts I say!
 

konfab

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Best thing you can do with plastic bags is re-use them a few times as shopping bags. Then use them as a bin bag.

We use them for kitty litter.
 

ponder

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And.. most importantly, fine people for littering, esp glass and plastic.
No excuses. None.

Hit them where it hurts I say!
No. Anything that is natural and biodegradable should be ok. Glass is fine but it's a safety hazard. A total ban on plastic would be fine to me but you gonna pay more.
 

MirageF1

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No. Anything that is natural and biodegradable should be ok. Glass is fine but it's a safety hazard. A total ban on plastic would be fine to me but you gonna pay more.
Yes!

I dont give a sh*t if glass is bio degradeable, you or your kids ever stepped on jagged shards of glass bottle thrown out of a motorcar by some f8ckwit?!

Littering is littering. Use a bin or keep a trash bag in your car. Easy.
 

Swa

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No. Anything that is natural and biodegradable should be ok. Glass is fine but it's a safety hazard. A total ban on plastic would be fine to me but you gonna pay more.
By that definition plastic is biodegradable as well. The issue is the hazard it poses to the environment. Glass to us and plastic to animals.
 

^^vampire^^

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Too bad that even things that are marked as biodegradable nowadays need very specific conditions to biodegrade.

Biggest problem in landfill is that everything is compacted together and covered tightly so those items that people think they are using in good conscience will most likely never biodegrade or will only after orders of magnitude higher than anticipated.

At the end of the day the problem would only get better if people used less. Too bad even this is outstripped by the fact that humans multiply and infest worse than cancer and the dumb people that are causing issues are increasing exponentially with each generation. I'd be very surprised if there is much left of this planet by 2100.
 

Lupus

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Strangely enough plastic bags aren't as bad as one things Americans seem to be the only users of, the six-pack plastic ring they use on their drink cans. What would need to be gotten rid of is the polystyrene takeaway containers, I mean there are restaurants that will have a paper straw (dumb idea, turns to mosh before you've even finished your drink) but they'll have polystyrene takeaway?
Some places are now using cardboard or those slightly metalic dishes which I think are better, the over-reluance on polystyrene is an issue.
 
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