Welcome to City-Data.com Forum!
U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Green Living
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 09-15-2010, 05:55 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in Kentucky
3,791 posts, read 8,903,307 times
Reputation: 2448

Advertisements

I am sure this has been talked about, but I don't usually come to the Green Living forum, but wouldn't going back to paper grocery sacks be more green? I know the reusable bags are the way to go, but what about the people who don't have or want to use them? If you throw away a typical brown grocery sack, doesn't it decompose in a way that's not harmful? Of course I don't know the entire makeup of the brown bag, chemical wise.

BTW, when I worked for a national grocery chain years ago, we had bins set up in the lobby for people to bring back their used plastic bags to be recycled. Guess where we were ordered to dump them? You guess it...the trash dumpster.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 09-15-2010, 06:56 PM
 
2,319 posts, read 4,806,037 times
Reputation: 2109
This is my thought also; however, I think it's a tree thing. I don't know for sure, but I thought brown bags fell out of favor because of the number of trees that were destroyed in creating them. I use cloth bags as much as possible and recycle the plastic ones (at least I'm trying to recycle them).
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-16-2010, 12:09 PM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
12,546 posts, read 21,411,876 times
Reputation: 3730
When i started to become "greener", i initially thought reducing plastic use at any cost is one of the first steps. from research i found this to be incorrect. apparantly, paper bags take more energy to create + recycle. but you are correct, they do compost or breakdown easily in trash. recycling paper is pretty intensive though, whereas recycling plastic is relatively easy (especially if sorted properly which is why bags can't go with regular recycling pickups!).

in the end, reusable is the way to go. chicobags make great bags that fold up into a tiny pouch but are strong enough to carry a lot of weight (25lb and 40lb bags).

i always question those recycling bins at stores. i know publix chain gets praise for their recycling program. i believe the others, who knows? this is why i just use my own bags (and get a 5 cent discount as well for each bag!)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-16-2010, 05:31 PM
 
4,918 posts, read 22,689,094 times
Reputation: 6303
Quote:
Originally Posted by bradykp View Post
i always question those recycling bins at stores. i know publix chain gets praise for their recycling program. i believe the others, who knows? this is why i just use my own bags (and get a 5 cent discount as well for each bag!)
Those bins are set up because most plastic bags can not go in the regular recycling pickups. they tend to shred apart during the process and clog up the recycling works. They have to be sorted out of the other plastics which adds lots of cost. They fly away. All sorts of bad things happen when they are mixed in with trash and recycles, most not being good. The bins keep them together making pickup and recycling easy. Since most places don't take them in recycling, plastic bags end up in the garbage, the bins at least keep those out of the landfill and end up being recycled.

Our company instituted a new policy calling for reusable packaging. But plastic bags are a fact of life so they require that we keep them seperate and when the bin is full, they are removed in the plastic bag liner, heated for a few seconds in the microwave until they form a fused semi solid mass. We can now place them in regular recycle pickup. This lets us take a hundred loose plastic bags and compact it into a smaller recyclable chunk.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-17-2010, 12:40 PM
 
Location: Nort Seid
5,288 posts, read 8,888,960 times
Reputation: 2459
Quote:
Originally Posted by PacificFlights View Post
We can now place them in regular recycle pickup. This lets us take a hundred loose plastic bags and compact it into a smaller recyclable chunk.
I've been searching for proof of plastic bags getting recycled for years, and have yet to find evidence of it actually happening - I know places will often sort the bags as you describe, but some investigative reports suggest the final product often ends up being used as fuel in Asian countries with lax environmental regulations.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-17-2010, 01:38 PM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
12,546 posts, read 21,411,876 times
Reputation: 3730
Quote:
Originally Posted by PacificFlights View Post
Those bins are set up because most plastic bags can not go in the regular recycling pickups. they tend to shred apart during the process and clog up the recycling works. They have to be sorted out of the other plastics which adds lots of cost. They fly away. All sorts of bad things happen when they are mixed in with trash and recycles, most not being good. The bins keep them together making pickup and recycling easy. Since most places don't take them in recycling, plastic bags end up in the garbage, the bins at least keep those out of the landfill and end up being recycled.

Our company instituted a new policy calling for reusable packaging. But plastic bags are a fact of life so they require that we keep them seperate and when the bin is full, they are removed in the plastic bag liner, heated for a few seconds in the microwave until they form a fused semi solid mass. We can now place them in regular recycle pickup. This lets us take a hundred loose plastic bags and compact it into a smaller recyclable chunk.
i know what the bins are for lol. i was saying, i question them because do they actually get recycled? Publix was praised for their program, so I'm assuming theirs do, but not so sure about others.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-17-2010, 04:39 PM
 
4,918 posts, read 22,689,094 times
Reputation: 6303
Well the real truth is few of the plastic bags are recycled in the way we think of recycle. Most are not turned into new plastic things but used as fill. Just like we compact it, the bags in the bins are compacted and sent to users. If you take those bags and heat them all the time compressing it, you end up with a very hard plastic mass.

Since it cost money more to transport those bags and process them into a usefull recyclable item, most are kept within the local community. Where we are based, the bags are collected by a local company that shreds them and add the shreded bags to weights they make for plastic traffic devices. If they were not here, the bins would be removed because nobody has a need for the bags.

Some places like us, have bins just to keep it sepearte. once heated and made into a mass, we discard it in the recycle bin, but you need a whole bunch of bags to make a tiny brink of plastic. The recycler combines that brick and other non prime recylce material for use in their energy incinerator. If they didn't have the energy incinerator, it probably would end up in the landfill, although as a mass instead of hundreds of indiividual bags. That's the best we could do.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-17-2010, 06:22 PM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
12,546 posts, read 21,411,876 times
Reputation: 3730
where do you work?

this is depressing. jeez. they should just ban the darn thing.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-18-2010, 03:01 PM
 
29,981 posts, read 42,953,749 times
Reputation: 12828
Quote:
Originally Posted by bradykp View Post
where do you work?

this is depressing. jeez. they should just ban the darn thing.
Right, a government ban for everything other than people altering their behavior. If stores didn't offer the plastic bags to begin with........just sayin'
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-18-2010, 03:37 PM
 
13,053 posts, read 12,958,517 times
Reputation: 2618
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chi-town Native View Post
I've been searching for proof of plastic bags getting recycled for years, and have yet to find evidence of it actually happening - I know places will often sort the bags as you describe, but some investigative reports suggest the final product often ends up being used as fuel in Asian countries with lax environmental regulations.
Two minutes of searching on the internet provided this:

Hilex Poly Expands Plastic Bag Recycling Facility -- HARTSVILLE, S.C., Jan. 7 /PRNewswire/ --

HilexPoly: Home

Go visit them and ask for a tour to see their process.

Searching for years? umm...

Ok, that explains some other discussions I have had with you now.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Green Living

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2024, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top