- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
Many proponents of the ban point to a study conducted in 1987 by Canada in Newfoundland that concluded that more than 100,000 marine mammals and 1 million seabirds are killed every year by discarded materials. While many have used this study to conclude plastic bags were the culprit, the document actually never mentions that product. Rather, the main cause was found to be from discarded nets.
“The Government is irresponsible to jump on a bandwagon that has no base in scientific evidence,” said Lord Taverne, the chairman of Sense about Science. “This is one of many examples where you get bad science leading to bad decisions which are counter-productive. Attacking plastic bags makes people feel good but it doesn’t achieve anything.”
According to reusablebags.com, it takes more than four times as much energy to manufacture a paper bag as it does a plastic bag. Paper sacks generate 70 percent more air and 50 times more water pollutants than plastic bags. It takes 91 percent less energy to recycle a pound of plastic than it takes to recycle a pound of paper. Current research demonstrates that paper in modern landfills does not degrade or break down at a substantially faster rate than plastic does and paper takes up more space.
However, few plastic bags are recycled, and environmental organizations almost unanimously recommend reusable cloth bags as the most environmentally friendly means of carrying groceries.