Monday, 29 September 2008

Re-usable Bag dilemma

Ah yes, the re-usable bag again...I've just seen this post on Re-nest; apparently the Wall Street Journal just ran a piece which states (somewhat obviously, but with statistics) that if you have a re-usable bag, you need to use it a lot for it to be a more environmentally friendly than the normal plastic bag, as the cost to the environment can actually be higher than making a plastic bag if they end up in the landfill, unused and unloved. They take more energy to make and longer to biodegrade.

If you get the chance, have a listen to the podcast on the WSJ site - it's actually pretty interesting. I'm sure it must depend on the material used - if you're using recycled fabric to make your own bag, that has to be preferable to using a plastic bag.

I'm really wishing I had bought the yellow trolley bag in Paris.

6 comments:

move to portugal said...

I've got four of those large sainsbury square ish bags, that I use for a big supermarket shop. I bought them ages ago and they seem to be lasting really well. When they finally go, if they do, I'll use boxes instead.

The other recycled plastic bags they sell for 10p don't last very long, the handles break!

Helen Cuthbert said...

I must admit I actually have the worst memory and on occasion have forgotten to take my re-usable bags with me. This is extremely annoying!! And I get very cross with myself!

Sharon J said...

I've been thinking about getting a trolley myself. Much easier than carrying bags, especially as I get worn out so quickly.

I can see the point with reusable bags but I've yet to throw one away. Nothing lasts forever though but I'm sure that as long as it's well used, it has to be better than all that plastic. My mum has never used a plastic carrier bag in her life so she's doing really well without even knowing it! It's nothing to do with the environment, just her age I think.

Anonymous said...

I like your new blog header, M, very calming

Jack said...

Urggg, you just reminded me. When I de-cluttered my place a couple of months ago I found one of those reusable bag that I bought from whole foods. I actually NEVER used it (i usually place stuff in my bike panniers) and ended up throwing it out. Shoot!

J

http://adventuresinvoluntarysimplicity.blogspot.com/

Allie said...

That's really interesting. Hopefully most people will use them over and over for years to come. One of the bags I have is actually compostable when it no longer functions, but I'm sure it still took a good amount of energy to make.