Supermarket Plastic Bags

  Curio 20:04 10 May 2007

As we use 9 billion of these bags (UK) annually,and they take 100 years to degrade, is it beyond the wit of Man to ban their production by law. To be replaced by rapid bio-degradeable bags that are not destined for land-fill sites. World-wide, the bag number is obviously huge, the benefits would be tremendous.

we are on the recycling waste collection scheme,plastic bags cant go in the plastics bag, so god knows what they are made of?

  Forum Editor 20:12 10 May 2007

that they degrade in 100 years.

I went to a wild dolphin centre in Antigua a couple of years ago, and in the office they had a little display of things that we chuck in the ocean, to the detriment of the dolphin population.

There was a supermarket bag, and alongside was a notice saying that the degradation period for these bags is unknown, and may be up to 500 years. Apparently dolphins that are swimming at speed often mistake a drifting carrier bag for a squid, and snap it up. The bag gets twisted up in the dolphin's intestines and kills it.

I'm all for a total ban - there must be ways to make cheap, rapidly degradable bags.

  The Brigadier 20:24 10 May 2007

Sainsburys have changed theirs to ones that break down quicker so says the manager at my local one.

  Belatucadrus 20:28 10 May 2007

There is a biodegradable material that does the job very well, used to be extremely popular material for bags, it's a cellulose derivative made from wood pulp called Paypurr or something similar.
Many moons ago I was working with a packaging buyer when we were offered a biodegradable polymer for making mailing/despatch sacks, turned out that all it was was a layer of a slightly corrosive material was printed over the surface in a series of microdots after a while it would denature the plastic under it and the bag would disintegrate. Seems OK until you realised that all the little bits were every bit as indestructible as the untreated bag. If it fell apart in the open you got plastic snow blowing all over the place and if it happened in landfill you had a plastic bag that consisted of thousands of bits in the shape of a bag that could no longer be conveniently disposed of. We didn't use it.

  mammak 20:29 10 May 2007

That is so sad FE to think that a beautiful creature such as the Dolphin can die from a supermarket carrier bag I am all for a total ban

surely paper bags such as the Americans typically use would be a better option! or would they be to expensive?

  TheJam 20:37 10 May 2007

only in terms of the number of trees to make the paper bags but at least they could be recycled!

  Colin 20:47 10 May 2007

American style paper bags would be great, but could we have the ones with handles on? It makes getting out of a car and into the house so much easier than the people we see on American television. And would they all have to have a French loaf sticking out of them?

  GANDALF <|:-)> 20:50 10 May 2007

The answer is quite simple. Buy a bag or two made in a third world country from indigenous material. Keep the bag in the car or at home. Use bag when going to supermarket. The bag will last for a couple of years and if you do have to buy one at least you will be helping the third world.


  mammak 20:57 10 May 2007

Yep Colin got to agree with you on that one always a french loaf sticking out the top :-) but on a more serious note as TheJam said paper could be recycled surely that would reduce the cost! it would have to be better long term than these plastic bags that can take up to 500 years to degrade.

The answer is staring us all in the fizzogs
so true
but how do you get peope to buy into that?

statimg the obviuos will not get results

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