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Old 09-30-2011, 06:13 PM
 
Location: Ohio
13,900 posts, read 10,778,703 times
Reputation: 7242

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I used to be one of those people who bought into the whole idea that simple changes such as using a paper sack at the grocery store or even buying a reusable bag could make even a small difference........ let me be the first to tell you, it's a complete fraud! Recently, I started a new Job at a trash bag factory { glamorous I know but with this economy we can't afford to be picky. } It wasn't until I started there that I realized just how much plastic is actually used, every hour of every day. I run two lines for 8 hours a day where I am required to take the freshly minted bags or rolls off the belt, record the weight of the case, and pack them into boxes for shipping. In that 8 hours, just one line uses anywhere from 3000 to 5000 pounds of plastic. Mind you there are a total of 9 lines in the shop I work for that run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Imagine if you calculated the poundage for an entire YEAR!!!!

This experience has really opened my eyes to the whole "paper or plastic" thing and let me tell you, it's really not going to make a bit of difference WHAT type of bag you use in the grocery store.



Example of one line that runs continuously
Attached Thumbnails
Paper or Plastic?.......What A Joke!!!!-img_0563.jpg  

Last edited by WhipperSnapper 88; 09-30-2011 at 06:23 PM..
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Old 09-30-2011, 07:18 PM
 
Location: Nesconset, NY
2,203 posts, read 3,479,562 times
Reputation: 2125
You're just overwhelmed by the volume of production and underwhelmed by the cumulative affect of small changes.
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Old 09-30-2011, 07:40 PM
 
Location: North Pole Alaska
886 posts, read 4,773,175 times
Reputation: 807
Paper may be a renewable resource but the fuel used to cut, mill, and grind the trees is not. Its time that people wake up and realize that reusable bags are the only way to go.
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Old 10-01-2011, 04:29 AM
 
Location: Location: Location
6,345 posts, read 7,821,225 times
Reputation: 18569
One of our hometown grocery chains uses "biodegradable" bags. They break down when exposed to the elements. I don't feel quite the guilt when I forget my own reusables and have to use the store bags. Also, I use them to line the bottom of my leaf collection bags, since I know they will decompose and become part of the composted leaves. Wonder why this isn't an industry standard?
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Old 10-01-2011, 05:47 AM
 
Location: Maine
2,270 posts, read 5,738,128 times
Reputation: 2534
I have reusable bags, but admit to liking the handled paper bags at Whole foods and Trader Joe's. They are so useful.
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Old 10-01-2011, 06:23 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,669 posts, read 49,416,421 times
Reputation: 19119
Paper bags burn real good in our woodstove. Plastic? not so good.
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Old 10-01-2011, 07:26 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
17,846 posts, read 54,109,596 times
Reputation: 30284
Yeah, welcome back to the real world. Cities that require specific bagging of garbage use more plastic than millions of shoppers. I still remember the days when there were no trash bags. When the ashcans got too stinky we hosed them out.

We live a good distance from grocery stores, and when we visit places like Aldi's I skip the bagging entirely and take the cart out to the van and stuff things in coleman coolers. Food stays cold in summer, the handles make transport easy, and the bags aren't tipping over and spilling contents.
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Old 10-01-2011, 08:10 AM
 
Location: Maine
2,270 posts, read 5,738,128 times
Reputation: 2534
We have to buy the town trash bags. I have a regular, kitchen-sized trash bag in the can in the kitchen, and use the plastic trash bags I get when I forget my reusable ones for the bathroom cans. So I have all of that plastic inside the town trash bag. Ugh. Other than lining a big can in the garage and taking out trash as we accumulate it (which as nice as that sounds, I now it ain't never going to happen in this house) I'm not sure how to reduce the plastic. -- Ideas?
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Old 10-01-2011, 08:21 AM
 
Location: Northern MN
3,869 posts, read 13,088,554 times
Reputation: 3568
Not to shine a little reality on you post.

It took energy to maintain the cotton plantation, grow and refine your cotton so they could sew it into your reusable bag.




Quote:
Originally Posted by usafracer View Post
Paper may be a renewable resource but the fuel used to cut, mill, and grind the trees is not. Its time that people wake up and realize that reusable bags are the only way to go.
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Old 10-01-2011, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Bangor Maine
3,442 posts, read 5,608,405 times
Reputation: 3980
They CAN make paper grocery bags out of the recycled newspapers. One of the the things that annoys me the most about those plastic bags is when I see them hooked up in trees (forever). They get wound around the brances and can be there 3 or more years. I can see one right now from my window that is in a neighbor's tree. It has been there going on 4 years. Getting a bit tattered but it's still there.
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