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Think cloth bags are better for the environment? Think again

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Cloth bags aren't as environmentally friendly as we think, argues British researcher Jonna Meyhoff Fry. According to her, a cloth bag would have to be used 131 times to equal the environmental impact of one lightweight plastic bag.

 

http://cbc.ca/radio/thesundayedition/the-sunday-edition-september-16-2018-1.4822353/think-cloth-bags-are-better-for-the-environment-think-again-1.4822660

 

 

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And they disintegrate and rip apart quickly but are not recyclable and go straight to trash piles. 

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22 minutes ago, solajijic said:

And they disintegrate and rip apart quickly but are not recyclable and go straight to trash piles. 

Yes, I can't image using the plastic one 131x...

 

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Common sense tells me that it is illogical to suppose that using plastic bags is as good for the environment as cloth ones.  My "freebie" cloth bags from various businesses are good and sturdy and will probably survive more than 131 uses.   I am now carrying Tupperware type containers for take home food, and the advantage is that they seal up and don't spill.  Besides, I bought them years ago and am now not polluting the world with styrofoam.  Makes me "feel good", and that's a good enough reason for me.😉

Generally speaking, the more I learn, the more I have to conclude that we've gone too far with polluting the world to "fix" it at this point,  which is a sad thought indeed.👽

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Read the study, ignore the histrionics. "The report considers only the types of carrier (bags) available from UK supermarkets." The bags in question are all made from plastics, excepting the cotton ones, of course. And consider that home made cotton bags tend be constructed of cloth that has already served a primary purpose. We have some home made bags that were originally jeans. We've been using the bags for about 8 years now. Remember when smoking was healthy?

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15 minutes ago, gringal said:

Common sense tells me that it is illogical to suppose that using plastic bags is as good for the environment as cloth ones.  My "freebie" cloth bags from various businesses are good and sturdy and will probably survive more than 131 uses.   I am now carrying Tupperware type containers for take home food, and the advantage is that they seal up and don't spill.  Besides, I bought them years ago and am now not polluting the world with styrofoam.  Makes me "feel good", and that's a good enough reason for me.😉

Generally speaking, the more I learn, the more I have to conclude that we've gone too far with polluting the world to "fix" it at this point,  which is a sad thought indeed.👽

Yes, we may have gone past the point of no return...you can't put the  toothpaste back in the tube...

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 Africa, India, etc... know full well that any effort made by the 1st world is doomed by the continued growth of the 3rd world.  Population and pollution.  

Then China who has no worries and owns the African continent and soon the world.....

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9 minutes ago, solajijic said:

 Africa, India, etc... know full well that any effort made by the 1st world is doomed by the continued growth of the 3rd world.  Population and pollution.  

Then China who has no worries and owns the African continent and soon the world.....

That is a scary thought,  Sola.

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This campaign against plastic bags is getting a little disproportionate when you consider that they make up only .8% of the plastics now in use. Even if we eliminate them all, it will have an insignificant impact on the problem.

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Maybe the newer biodegradable plastic bags are more feasible. 

We have the same HEB cloth bags we bought over 30 years ago in use today.

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We bought 3 cloth bags for 100 pesos 10 years ago.  Still use them, still in good shape.  Just throw them in the washer every so often and they are good to go.

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2 hours ago, gringal said:

Common sense tells me that it is illogical to suppose that using plastic bags is as good for the environment as cloth ones.  My "freebie" cloth bags from various businesses are good and sturdy and will probably survive more than 131 uses.   I am now carrying Tupperware type containers for take home food, and the advantage is that they seal up and don't spill.  Besides, I bought them years ago and am now not polluting the world with styrofoam.  Makes me "feel good", and that's a good enough reason for me.😉

Generally speaking, the more I learn, the more I have to conclude that we've gone too far with polluting the world to "fix" it at this point,  which is a sad thought indeed.👽

Interesting how common sense seems to "kick in" at different ages for different people, no? :D

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...And for others it still hasn't. They are still "clueless".

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Alert!  Prime business opportunity!  "Bootleg" single use plastic bags in Canada.  Or is it already too late, lots of others have already moved in?

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Reported on this before. Do a search and find the link to a comprehensive, proper scientific study that says the figure is way higher than this one. Way higher.

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I reuse my plásticos for kitty scoopings. What really bothers me is the throw-away water bottles. I have a good water filter system, carbon clock, had it for almost 30 years. I change out the filters 1x/year (may need it more often in MX). I refill my plastic bottles, put them in the freezer half full, and fill w/water before  go out. I wash and rise them in some bleach and water once a month. After a year,  recycle them. Doesn't waste anything, saves me TONS of money, and get good water at all times. 

I don't know why others don't do this. Oh, and as for those scary articles saying that freezing the bottles releases dioxins... It is not true. There are no dioxin precursors in today's plastics. Just FYI.... 

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"Cloth" is a generic term, so this "study" means nothing unless you know the type of material they were talking about. A well-made cloth bag will last for many years. If it's made of cotton, wool, linen , bamboo or any natural fiber, it will just biodegrade when old and unusable, could even be thrown in the compost bin to break down. Materials which are made of synthetics would be just as much of a problem as plastic bags, although even those would cut down on pollution as they aren't single use.

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First, don't extrapolate too much from one article by an obscure UK researcher. Re-use the recyclable plastic bags and use cloth and similar bags as much as possible. Each of us can make a small difference.

Here is an excellent article on making small but meaningful changes:

https://medium.com/@futuretechgeek/saving-the-environment-by-picking-the-low-hanging-fruit-3ead251afc5f

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Of course they are better.  Just how many cloth bags have you picked up off the street lately?

We lived just fine when I was young without all this plastic crap and we can do so again.

 

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59 minutes ago, Mainecoons said:

Of course they are better.  Just how many cloth bags have you picked up off the street lately?

We lived just fine when I was young without all this plastic crap and we can do so again.

 

You must be older n' dirt, like me.😉  But you're right.  Plastic came later. I can't remember when plastic became the essential it is now.  Take out was in cardboard containers.  Drinks were in glass bottles. You saved the bottles and took them somewhere to get a small amount of money. Garbage went out front in a can on "garbage day".  I have no idea what poop was picked up with, but somehow, it went away. And so on.  We have done this, so we CAN do this again.😄

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Now we just have to convince our hosts that it's really something important. Some of them are tired of being lectured to by us or worse, the people in their government who they don't trust a lick.

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4 hours ago, pappysmarket said:

Now we just have to convince our hosts that it's really something important. Some of them are tired of being lectured to by us or worse, the people in their government who they don't trust a lick.

I´m tired of being lectured to by 6 grand daughters in schools from 3rd grade to University level in Guad about grandpa using plastic whatever.LOL

Seriously. they think my generation are the culprits in this kerfuffle over´plastic and that they are the saviors of the future.  I have grandkids in 4 different schools and they are all being brainwashed about the harm of plastic throw away items.

As far as they are concerned this plastic problem has been around since the arrival of Cortez.

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On 6/30/2019 at 11:34 AM, Alpha1 said:

Yes, we may have gone past the point of no return...you can't put the  toothpaste back in the tube...

Many governments around the world want to get rid of the various types of plastics that are used by millions and millions of people who are tired of hearing it and few will listen any more.

Remember the leaded gas vs unleaded gas? The arguments went on with everyone having their own opinion as to how it would adversely affect their product, mainly cars. They finally chose a date and had the producers on line for the change.  We agreed it was good for all of us. There were some dissenters, but so few.

So why not apply the same idea. Get together with a large number of manufacturers, tell them there is a date set for change to a better environmental product. Stick to the agreed upon date, no changes, no special studies etc. It is easier to change the smaller group of manufactures than to change the many households in the world.

What gets me is people who buy large size bags for their garbage. What did we do before plastic?😊

 

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These kids aren't being "brainwashed". They are being told the truth about the effect of the widespread use of plastic; things such as the "islands" of plastic in the ocean. I think we should face the fact that our generation opted for convenience over concern for the good of the planet.  YMMV.

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