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View Poll Results: Are enviornmental protection actions useful?
Useful, saves the earth 21 36.21%
Neutral 9 15.52%
Feel-good virtue signallin 19 32.76%
Creates more problems than it solves 9 15.52%
Voters: 58. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-03-2022, 02:40 PM
KCZ
 
4,655 posts, read 3,622,351 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitty61 View Post
When plastic grocery bags came into style (1979 in North America), we thought "Yay!!!" we are saving our forests! We no longer have to cut down as many trees to make paper.!
It's the greatest thing since sliced bread!

I don't think making paper bags again is going to unduly hurt forests like it used to because we have gotten very good at sustainable logging and re-forestation. Plus we no longer use a lot of paper for flyers, newspapers and the like.

There are no supermarkets still using plastic in my province. I either bring my own bags or buy them at the check out. I get way too many cloth shopping bags mostly from ordering groceries online and I am amassing dozens of paper shopping bags the same way. Walmart takes the cloth ones back. I send the "empties" back to the store via delivery guy who comes with my next online order, but otherwise I donate them to the food bank.

I think maybe you're in Canada. I get even more flyers and junk mail now than ever in the US. Maybe we should start with banning that stuff, save some trees, and reduce the trash and recycling burden. We solved the problem of funding the postal service by increasing their junk mail revenue, and worsened an environmental issue. The issues of paper production are not solely about forestry practices. Everything from the logs to the finished paper bags or junk mail are transported around the country on fossil-fuel burning trucks. Then recycling is transported by another fleet of trucks to the nearest recycling facility which may be several states away. Plus all the resources used in the actual manufacturing or recycling. Wasteful.
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Old 09-03-2022, 03:06 PM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
7,157 posts, read 5,011,652 times
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In the US, paper is made from trees grown on farms planted and harvested like any other crop..It's just that harvest time comes every 20-30 yrs instead of every year...I never heard of anyone mourning the loss of a corn stalk in October. There are no Stalk Huggers, are there?....

If you didn't turn the tree into paper, they would eventually die and decay on their own anyway---Net change in the system = zero, either way....We can also point out that much of the pulp for paper making comes from the waste from the sawmills.
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Old 09-03-2022, 06:00 PM
 
Location: Texas Hill Country
23,608 posts, read 13,800,747 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbgusa View Post
Today's New York Times says it all; Why Do Some People in New Jersey Suddenly Have Bags and Bags of Bags? (link)and Germany Announces New L.N.G. Facility, Calling It a Green Move From Russian Energy (link) are both about the futility of "feel good" environmental moves. A quote from the article about bags: "Dr. Miller said the bag situation in New Jersey was emblematic of a lot of environmental policies. “If we don’t pay attention to the unintended impacts of policies such as the plastic waste ban, we run into the potential of playing environmental Whac-a-Mole,” she said. “We solve one environmental problem only to create or exacerbate another problem.”

Add to it the sudden decision of the California legislature, which "voted to extend the life of Diablo Canyon, California’s last nuclear power plant, by five years, a step once unthinkable to many environmentalists (link). As far as the article about Germany goes, I thought the whole point was to eliminate natural gas.

What are we accomplishing by all this harem-skarem activity other than salving our consciences for being affluent?
So, what's the problem?

I have bags and bags. They come in in mass and in singles. In mass because I am at the grocery store, I have forgotten my stock or it is in the other car, and I am picking up a lot of stuff, especially canned goods. So I buy a few more at the store.

In singles because they are a side item in a store or a present from an event.

They can probably be found in all rooms of this house although, interestingly enough, not in the room I am typing from......but I see one out in the hallway, where a cat is sleeping near by, full of sorted paper.

A and B. A: I am, probably, indoctrinated to have them. Going into the store with lots of them, dropping them out on the belt for the cashier and bagger, they make me feel good about myself. They are part of being a day tripper.

B: When they are not in use, they get stuffed in each other and put somewhere, usually in one car or the other.

NOW, on a side view, it may be the personality to whether it is a problem or not. Mine is a baggy world, from shopping bags to back packs to dive bags to camera bags to who knows what. No reusable bag ever gets tossed out if it has become too worn to be active, then it serves use as a compartment for one thing or another.

So what's the problem?
Quote:
Originally Posted by KCZ View Post
........
Training supermarket checkout employees not to waste bags while bagging would reduce plastic bag usage by at least 10-20%. Why do a can of tomatoes and a bottle of shampoo have to go in separate bags just because one is food and the other isn't? Why does a carton of eggs have to go in a bag all by itself? It's because "my supervisor/store manager/corporate says we have to do it this way." Arbitrary and wasteful rules.
I suppose we all have different ways of seeing things. I mean, not everyone loads a combat freighter between so it all fits vs what you need first.

Personally, I try to arrange things on the belt so the refrigerated stuff goes to be check first and gets in the same bags. So-o, if I get home and don't have time, I have to pull only a bag or two out of the car, the critical bags, and put those away now. Or, if I have a cooler in the car, I don't have to dig through every bag in the parking lot, a sort of vulnerable position, looking for what needs to go in.

On the other hand, though, there is a certain weight distribution logic to putting the jugs of milk in the same bags with the canned goods.

As to arbitrary rules that don't make any sense? Well, that's our lawsuit world and would the jury believe malice if injury happened from food contaminated by soap because it was in the same bag? Could be.....and I wouldn't doubt that a case could be found that shows that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KCZ View Post
I think maybe you're in Canada. I get even more flyers and junk mail now than ever in the US. Maybe we should start with banning that stuff, save some trees, and reduce the trash and recycling burden. We solved the problem of funding the postal service by increasing their junk mail revenue, and worsened an environmental issue. The issues of paper production are not solely about forestry practices. Everything from the logs to the finished paper bags or junk mail are transported around the country on fossil-fuel burning trucks. Then recycling is transported by another fleet of trucks to the nearest recycling facility which may be several states away. Plus all the resources used in the actual manufacturing or recycling. Wasteful.
For me, junk mail provides the liners for 5 kitty litter pans a day. I don't have to buy a Sunday paper for the week and I am not printing out reports anymore so I don't have those sources. Of course, I'm "rich", so perhaps I could go that direction (if the Sunday paper is like it was 30 years ago) but think of all those people who are not and use such aspects of our society to get by.
Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
Good topic. Good point.

The discussion has quickly deteriorated into one about bags & boxes. Let me quickly dispel the concern here-- It's a myth (lie) that plastics bags "last forever" in the dumps. ALL organic material oxidizes sooner or later. (Try storing something in a plastic bag. A year later, it will have holes in it as the plastic has started to oxidize.)
Errrrr, sort of.

When digging up bodies and finding in their execution that their head was covered with a plastic bag, it is something of a blessing for a means of identifying who they were is less decomposed than the rest of the body.

Of course, another thing is that plastic doesn't really decompose but rather, just breaks down to smaller and smaller parts.........and microplastic and pellet pollution is a terrific problem, to put it mildly. https://www.asyousow.org/our-work/waste/plastic-pellets
https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/microplastics.html

Last edited by TamaraSavannah; 09-03-2022 at 06:28 PM..
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Old 09-04-2022, 06:59 AM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
7,157 posts, read 5,011,652 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TamaraSavannah View Post

Of course, another thing is that plastic doesn't really decompose but rather, just breaks down to smaller and smaller parts.........and microplastic and pellet pollution is a terrific problem, to put it mildly. https://www.asyousow.org/our-work/waste/plastic-pellets
https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/microplastics.html
That "breaking down" IS oxidation-- a little at a time. Give it more time, it will ALL oxidize away (ie- turn into co2 & h2o) We could be burning it fast in incinerators and making electricity with it....The question is "are we adding more to the environment faster than it is breaking down?" It will eventually hit the equilibrium point, if the source of the plastic (petroleum) lasts long enough (maybe it won't)

I've searched the literature-- a gazillion papers on finding plastic particles in all sorts of species in all sorts of biomes..yet NONE of them demonstrate any sort of pathology (disease) as a result....Your epidermis is showing! Is that a problem?
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Old 09-04-2022, 09:26 AM
 
15,633 posts, read 26,164,778 times
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When the bag thing started, I found a pattern for a bag that is just like the plastic bags they give us. I made my bags out of ripstop nylon. They will last forever, and more than that they are washable. I throw them in the laundry, I throw them in the dryer, I fold them up, and they fold small so I can tuck them in my purse which is also very small, and I never have to use their bags.

I am older, and the plastic bag pattern is the perfect size. Out of a yard of ripstop nylon you can make three bags that are about 12 inches long. The problem with a lot of tote bags if they are too large, the grocery people don’t pay attention they over stuff which makes them too heavy for me to carry. A lot of tote bags don’t wash well.

Here’s the thing — my bags are not pretty. They are functional. The thing with ripstop nylon is there is are threads embedded in the ripstop nylon so once you poke a hole through it, or cut it, it will fray up until the fray hits that thread and then it’ll stop. Hence rip stop. So there is no need to make it pretty. The bottom is zone with both a zigzag and a straight stitch merely for strength, the straps on top are sewed with a zigzag stitch, and in order to make it functional I have cut the top out as a square and I didn’t hem or anything it’s just cut. And I’ve been using these bags for like eight years.

I have had a few stolen when I put them on the grocery belt. Might be time to get another yard… by the way, there’s two kinds of ripstop. There is a really thin silky ripstop, and a ripstop that has a little bit more crispness to it. The silky one works perfectly, but I lost one because it slipped out of my pocket one day. Which is why I prefer the crisp one.
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Old 09-04-2022, 11:22 AM
 
9,229 posts, read 8,514,240 times
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[quote=jbgusa;64073900] “We solve one environmental problem only to create or exacerbate another problem.”
/QUOTE]
Unfortunately, the true problem is people, and their propensity to trash up their environment. We saw it everywhere in our travels around the country. Everywhere people are, or were, they leave trash. On hiking trails, sidewalks, roadsides. We use to buy in bulk, and reuse containers. Now, we just toss everything. We cannot legislate people's choices to act like pigs. All we can do is train our youth to have respect for their environment. Sadly, we don'teven train our youth to respect others, so expecting parents to teach them to respect the environment seems a stretch.
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Old 09-04-2022, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
19,578 posts, read 22,447,054 times
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My wife has a stash of heavy cotton/canvas bags. Kept in the car we just grab them when needed and put stuff in them. A lot of places we shop you can bag your own- which we do. They actually come in handy when we need to tote stuff from home to other places to- tools, ropes, camping equipment/supplies.

Works great. When they get worn? Into the compost heap they go.
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Old 09-04-2022, 11:31 AM
 
Location: Dessert
10,855 posts, read 7,264,004 times
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I don't remember if Cosco does it, but some warehouse stores have heaps of boxes that customers can use to tote their groceries home.

The last place I lived banned bags about 10 years ago, so I got used to bringing my own. I make my own bags, so they're colorful and are a variety of sizes. The big yellow ones are great for bulky items like cereal boxes, while the bright orange ones compact nicely to fit in my purse.

There's no bag ban here, but I still try to bring my own. When I forget them in the car, I just put stuff back in the cart after checkout, and bag it when I get to the car.

My grocery store accepts any "flexible plastic"--along with grocery bags--for recycling. I have my doubts about it actually getting recycled, but we keep a basket on the dryer for all the thin plastic that accumulates, and even remember to take it back to the store now and then.
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Old 09-04-2022, 11:33 AM
 
3,048 posts, read 1,139,639 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LookinForMayberry View Post
Unfortunately, the true problem is people, and their propensity to trash up their environment. We saw it everywhere in our travels around the country. Everywhere people are, or were, they leave trash. On hiking trails, sidewalks, roadsides. We use to buy in bulk, and reuse containers. Now, we just toss everything. We cannot legislate people's choices to act like pigs. All we can do is train our youth to have respect for their environment. Sadly, we don'teven train our youth to respect others, so expecting parents to teach them to respect the environment seems a stretch.
That's an interesting perspective. I find that older people are much more apt to just throw things away. I see the kids, meaning anybody under the age of 30, seeking out package-free options, reusing containers, and just generally being less wasteful.
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Old 09-04-2022, 12:26 PM
 
Location: In the Pearl of the Purchase, Ky
11,047 posts, read 17,441,768 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JONOV View Post
Interesting...the problem in the bag example seems to be that a small subset went to permanent bags using them as disposable. Paper would have been a better alternative. Admittedly, I get a lot of our groceries from Walmart store pickup which uses way too many plastic bags relative to the order.

I have a handful of non-disposable bags kicking around, we use them for a long time before eventually tossing them either for being a mess, tearing, etc...
If you have a local animal shelter see if they want them. Our shelter is always needing bags and that's where I take mine.
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