How Many Times Do You Use The 15c Resusable Bag?

But overall, reusable bags need to be used at least 50 times in order for their environmental benefits to be realised. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-24/war-on-waste-what-bags...

But from the experience in my family, some of bags were already ripped, stretched and had holes after one single use. I haven't put any heavy items or sharp objects yet. Maybe a box of tissue is too sharp for them. I highly doubt these bags are able to sustain 10 uses.

Some other shops simply provide the "same" plastic bags except they are thicker than 35 microns and customers have to pay for them. I also doubt these bags cost more than 15c than the old "single use" bags to the merchants.

It is true that the 15c cost will discourage people from using them but more people still do. As long as one in 50 customers uses it as disposable bag, the benefits to the environment will diminish.

So the result of the bag ban is we the customers now pay more to do more damage to the environment, and merchants and overseas plastic bag suppliers pocket the windfall.

Comments

  • +41 votes

    so far almost every one i have gotten (free from coles) has ended up the same way the old single use ones did
    as a rubbish bag in the bin full of trash
    the handles on them are terrible, almost all of them have ripped/stretched after one use

    • +6 votes

      So nowhere near 50 uses.

      OP's maths is totally wrong:

      As long as one in 50 customers uses it as disposable bag, the benefits to the environment will diminish.

      If the bags need to be reused 50 times to be beneficial, the average number of reuses across all bags needs to be 50 or more to be beneficial. Obviously, that won't happen.

      • +16 votes

        As an example, if polypropylene bags (those green bags that you can buy at the supermarket) are only used 52 times then their impact on global warming is actually greater than that of single-use plastic bags.

        The problem here is it's measuring a problem the ban wasn't intended to solve, and isn't infact much of a problem with plastic bags at all, rather than the problem the ban actually addresses which is the damage to marine and bird life.

        Also, the 50 uses are for the non-free $1 bags, not the 'free' slightly thicker 15c bags. So you're talking about different things.

        • +10 votes

          Also, the 50 uses are for the non-free $1 bags, not the 'free' slightly thicker 15c bags. So you're talking about different things.

          Exactly, OP went to the trouble of posting this in the forums but didn't even read the study properly.

          Typical in the age of fake news.

        • +14 votes

          These bags are much thicker and stronger. A marine animal that may have survived the old bags would not get out of the new improved super durable death trap.

          The only problem these bags were made to solve was "how do we make more money?". Otherwise we'd be taking the products home in the boxes the products are shipped in, which are still thrown out the back of the store getting crushed by a giant machine every day.

        • +2 votes

          @syousef: They didn't survive the old bags, these are too big to swallow and don't look like things they actually eat (eg jellyfish). And that's not even the point, the point is that past examples have shown charging even 10c for them has dropped usage of the bags by 99%. So there's a 99% reduction straight up.

          It's AGAINST THE LAW for them to sell or give away the thinner bags in most states now. Not being fined $6000+ PER BAG is a pretty problem to solve. The 15c ones are being sold so they can make the $30 selling you the stuff you put in the bag, not the 15c for the bag itself or the 0.001c they save not giving you one.

          They make a profit, it's what they do. You can shop elsewhere, you can bring your own bag from elsewhere. Not giving them money is a problem only YOU can solve!

        • +5 votes

          @Bargs: "dropped usage of bags by 99%" cough b*llshit. Provide the study. OP is on point - we are paying to do greater damage to the environment than the prior status quo scenario.

          Added environmental impact of thicker/hardier bags not sufficiently offset by the additional usage.
          Add the driving down the road "oops I forgot the bags better return home"
          Add the "oops forgot the bags, will buy some more and stuff in the cupboard"
          Add the "oops the handle has broken bag goes in the bin"
          Add "oh well now I have to buy bin liners"
          Add "oh well now I have to buy doggie bags"
          Add the extra weight in transporting heavier bags.
          Add the impact of every bag lost & not re-used.
          Add the impact of every spill in a bag that sees it thrown out before it has repaid it enviro impact.

          Also have you heard of the rebound effect?
          Studies of solar users have shown that after installing solar users begin to conserve power less, and actually INCREASE their (total) units of energy used per day.
          This partially erodes the environmental benefit in the first place.

          E.g. User uses 10 units of electricity per day pre solar. After solar they get billed for 7 and sell 6, whilst the solar produces 12.

          The environmental impact was calculated as taking 12 net units of coal powered electricity off the network, however as the users began using energy more the actual environmental benefit was 9 units offset. 25% less environmental benefit than initially calculated.
          Why is this relevant? Environmental payback period for the average solar installation (energy wise) is around 7 years. Account for the additional usage and it takes 9 years.. install cheap Chinese inverters and you might be replacing it (more than once) in a nine year period.. further pushing out the environmental payback period.

          Progressives are almost never honest regarding the benefits and true costs of their chosen plans.

        • +4 votes

          @lghulm:

          Your example with solar is flawed. They still generated all 12 units of power from solar not coal. The real problem is to do with producing the solar cells, batter, and other gadgetry to run their shiny new solar system, which will require repair 5-7 years down the track. It MAY still be a net win but that's far from clear cut and the environmental effects of mining minerals and manufacturing solar equipment are difficult to directly compare to coal pollution.

          You still got an upvote for making lots of other valid points.

        • +4 votes

          @Bargs:

          They didn't survive the old bags, these are too big to swallow and don't look like things they actually eat (eg jellyfish).

          You didn't address what I said AT ALL. I said that the new bags are even worse and will kill more birds and marine life. Not every animal eats jellyfish but kudos as that is the first time I've seen a straw man made out of jelly fish.

          It's AGAINST THE LAW for them to sell or give away the thinner bags in most states now

          Except the two most populous states - you know - the two that more than half of Australians live in. Do you only know how to speak in half truthes?

          Not being fined $6000+ PER BAG is a pretty problem to solve

          Sure it's easy to solve. Don't pass stupid laws. But in any case have you heard of an instance of any company being fined at this point?

          The 15c ones are being sold so they can make the $30 selling you the stuff you put in the bag, not the 15c for the bag itself or the 0.001c they save not giving you one.

          It's not an either/or situation. If they can increase their profits by 1-2% that still translates to millions in profit. It's not 15c times one. It's 15 cents times several times hundreds or thousands of shops per day. And there's plenty of ways to fill a bag with stuff that doesn't cost $30. Your hyperbole is tiresome.

          They make a profit, it's what they do. You can shop elsewhere, you can bring your own bag from elsewhere. Not giving them money is a problem only YOU can solve!

          You have to get your bags somewhere so no it's not a problem I can solve any longer. You can keep pretending you're a friend to the environment - it may even be your intention - but that doesn't make it so.

          I'm old enough to remember when the bags were free and were not flimsy. I'm also old enough to remember free boxes at the supermarket, and paper bags. This move has nothing to do with saving animals. Some people are just delusional.

        •  

          @lghulm:

          You forgot to add in the recycle impact on environmental after the panel, battery and inverter reach its end of life/ spoilt. Factoring that in likely to be 15 years of break even? Too many reports of inverter failing after 3.5 years….

        • +2 votes

          @Bargs:

          It's AGAINST THE LAW for them to sell or give away the thinner bags in most states now.

          lol. Tell that to the butcher shop and Japanese takeaway near me in QLD charging for the same old thin plastic bags that now have "re-usable" written on them.

          Edit: here's them

        •  

          @stickyfingers:

          Which bags will be banned?

          Based on the information on that page, I suspect those bags are illegal because they would be less than 35 microns in thickness.

          The government is probably going easy for the transition period, but eventually they will start issuing fines for retailers breaking the law.

        •  

          @trongy: Don't think that's true. The fresh produce bags in Woolies and Coles are still plastic, free, and far thinner than their old disposable shopping bags.

        •  

          @lghulm:
          Re studies show solar users use more etc, In my case I use the same or less energy since I got solar. I get 56c per Kw excess from my 4.56Kw system (out to 2025 I think)so have plenty of incentive not to consume it. Solar investment was totally paid off in 5 years (now 7.5 yrs old) and I currently get about $2000 per annum back in cash. That sum is declining annually of course as the price per Kw rises + all the new charges the energy company keeps coming up with. Current new users of course here get about 16c I think. On the other hand new systems cost 1/3 of what I paid back in the day.

          Even if my inverter carks it sometime I am still thousands ahead after replacement.

          It's great in the sunshine state :)

        •  

          @Bargs:
          I just use the fruit and veg bags, just enough to get me through the week as bin liners.
          Everything else just straight in the trolley no bag.

    • +12 votes

      Beside the impact of people not using the single use plastic bags will be…What most people fail to realise is that the supermarkets are doing this for profit…It doesn`t cost 15c each to make a plastic bag..This is a huge win for supermarket profits, the old single use bags that they have been steadily making cheaper and cheaper (the ones from years ago lasted ages) are costed into all the supermarkets products costs…. people refer to them as the old "free" bags, they were never free… we all paid for them in the inflated costs at the counter….supermarkets are taking us for fools

      • +6 votes

        Projected savings to the supermarkets $170M pa apparently plus profits on new bags.

        • +3 votes

          Only YOU can stop this. Don't buy the bags.

          Also the savings are calculated only on material costs, and don't include the extra logistics involved with what is now a (heavier and larger) product instead of a cost of doing business supply. It also fails to take into account the extra time (and associated cost) it will take cashiers to bag groceries. And given that the total is industry-wide, that's a mere drop in a bucket for a trillion dollar industry.

          Given the cheapest stores (eg Aldi) didn't used to provide bags, one might imagine they'd be forced to use the windfall to lower prices given they're now they have one less competitive point of difference.

        • -6 votes

          Actually have to come back to this. I don't know who's projecting a $170m savings, but running the numbers, that's an average of AT LEAST 6 bags per person per week. And given there's a fair % using 0 or close to 0 bags, that seems ridiculous. Who needs 6 bags of groceries a week?

        • +2 votes

          @Bargs: i usually grocery shop twice a week and get three bags each time. Two person family.

        • +2 votes

          @Bargs:

          The $170m savings is what they were spending on the free thin crappy bags every year. This is BEFORE you add in the $70+ million projected for selling the new bags. It is probably worth your time to look for the actually research instead of playing Chinese Whispers before you try to debunk.

        • -2 votes

          @syousef: I need you to provide a link to the study that shows they have saved $170m. Such a straw man.

        • +2 votes

          @Bargs: This is rich coming from someone who provided a photo to a request for studies to back up your own claims. But since I refuse to stoop to your level:

          http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-18/ditching-plastic-bags-...

          Moves by major supermarkets to stop providing free plastic bags could save these businesses more than $170 million a year in direct costs, while potentially creating a $70 million revenue stream, but may only have a small impact on the environment.

          Oh yeah, did you catch that last sentence too? Scroll down and it says:

          However, simply charging for a plastic bag, without directing these funds into environmental programs, does not necessarily resolve the problem.

          The rest of the article lays out exactly why banning bags actually does nothing for the environment, which just rehashes what the rest of us here have been saying:

          The UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs found the average UK household had 40 plastic bags stashed away around the home.

          a South Australian parliamentary review found only about 30 per cent of shoppers actually recycled their reusable bags.

          In the US, studies indicated 40 per cent of shoppers continued to use disposable bags, despite a 5 cent levy.

          Another US study found many people still threw away reusable bags.

          All the studies are linked in the article - and they're actual articles, not photos!

    •  

      Trust me the free bags Woolworths were handing out no better than the Coles bags, handles broke on two bags and hole in another bag

  • +9 votes

    Once, always forget to bring them shopping or end up popping into Coles randomly without one. Might be better for those that drive to have them in the boot but not practical to carry around all day every day just in case. So it ends up being a trash bag like the grey ones.

    Interestingly, the Coles bags are larger than the Woolworths ones, not the same size!

    • +4 votes

      I've got a bag in the pocket of several jackets now, to fix the 'just pop in' problem. It isn't much to carry. I have polyester ones I got off ebay for $1.

      •  

        Just hope you don't forget they're there when you put them in the wash…. or leave them in the sun.

        • +4 votes

          You do realise that they make clothing out of polyester? It's not going to melt in the washer or sun.

        • +2 votes

          @freefall101:

          You do realize that a soggy old pastic bag full of water will attract mould and isn't suitable for carting food and other items home in?

        •  

          @syousef: Thanks for that, I fear people around the world have been using reusable bags for decades without realising that. I'll make sure I stop keeping mine in the shower between uses just in case.

        •  

          @Bargs:

          Yes because you have to keep your plastic bag in the shower. The adults who occasionally wash clothing were discussing keeping a plastic bag in each jacket pocket so we don't have to think about carrying them with us. But you can go back to showering with your plastic bags now.

    •  

      It's not practical to carry about a few bags that weight 100grams and take up almost no room, in a car that weights 1200kg, has hundreds of litres of space to utilise?

      How bloody (i wanted to use another word here) lazy are you?

  • +9 votes

    The old grey bags are only a problem if you were dumping them in the ocean, now those people will be dumping the new thicker bags in the ocean. If the government wanted to address the problem they should teach people not to litter or replace with paper bags.

    • +10 votes

      Are suggesting people actually went to the beach just to dump their "old grey bags"?

      • +19 votes

        sounds like people were deliberately driving to the ocean, remembering to pack their bags (unlike when they go shopping) and throwing them in. some people!

        • +21 votes

          My read of the arguments against the grey bags is that people were taking their shopping home in them, then taking the bags down to the ocean, getting themselves on a whale watching trip, jumping off the boat and feeding the bags to the whales.

          No wonder they needed to be banned (and allow the supermarkets a windfall profit).

        • +18 votes

          I actually thought the issue was at the Self Checkouts where some people were taking extra bags that hadn't been used, and putting them in with their shopping, then taking these brand new bags and handing them out to dolphins and whales to go shopping.. Obviously there aren't any shopping centres in the ocean so the mammals get bored and eat them (which as we know isn't safe).

          The idea with the 15c bags is that they aren't as easy to grab a handful of anymore at self checkouts, so less people attempting to support ocean mammal shopping.

          I feel kind of stupid now.

        •  

          @Seraphin7: Windfall? You're aware of how much money they'll make from this compared to their operating profit? Compared to the marketing effort they've had to put into not being abused by customers? Compared to the lost impulse sales?

        • -1 vote

          @Seraphin7: They might need to rewrite textbooks since we now know whales enjoy eating grey plastic bags! I think I watched it on a David Attenborough documentary.

        • +2 votes

          @Bargs:

          Yes windfall.

          https://www.news.com.au/finance/business/retail/good-busines...

          And anything is better than their idiotic jingles. I doubt they've spent much more on marketing. They've just redirected some of the funds towards pretending to give a damn about the environment.

        • +3 votes

          @syousef: They're legally required to not sell or give away bags under 35 microns thick in most states. Don't believe for a second they think this will make them more than it will cost them, otherwise, they would have done it years ago like Aldi.

    • +22 votes

      If the government wanted to address the problem they should teach people not to litter

      Walking around the CBD, I see a lot of smokers dropping their cigarette butts on the ground right where they stand. Some corners and alleyways literally have mounds of cigarette butts. We have savages living amongst us.

      I propose that the government bans filters on cigarettes. Cigarette butt littering will be eliminated, smokers will get more tobacco for their money and they'll die quicker. Everybody wins!

      •  

        Only problem is there is still a stub even without the filter!

        On the upside with the price of tobacco these days more smokers are picking those apart to roll a new ciggie :P

        • +8 votes

          So what you're saying is, bags should be made from tobacco? Genius!

          All packaging could be made from an addictive drug, that way the savages will eat their own litter before wildlife can get to it.

    • +5 votes

      The old bags were lighter and free, they more easily got into waterways and out into the ocean. If you're buying the thicker ~$1 bags and reusing those they won't get blown around so much.

      It's such a strawman to be looking at 'the impact on global warming' when that's not the problem people are trying to solve with the plastic bags. 52x greater impact on global warming is still SFA. The bags as a whole have almost 0 impact on global warming. What they do have is an impact on marine and bird life.

      • +5 votes

        It's all about converting coolies expenses into profit. It's never about saving the planet. If they really are so concern about the plastic bag usage, the shouldn't sell 15 cents "reusable" plastic bags at all. They should just sell the 99 cents bags, and ban plastic bags totally.

        • +3 votes

          They sell the 15c ones because they can't afford to lose the customer who has forgotten their bag or isn't used to how many they need for a shop yet and has more than they can carry. They fought against the ban, they'd rather give them away for free but that would defeat the point of the ban so they'd just end up with the thicker ones banned as well.

          Banning the 15c ones will likely follow, they're more of an interim measure. Bunnings saw a 99% reduction in usage following charging, then they removed them completely.

          People buy more than they expect to when bags are free, so the supermarkets would much rather make them free and sell more than collect the tiny amount they get in profit from the bag itself.

        • +3 votes

          @Bargs: What about the literal endless sea of one-use plastic packaging you see in every store? Literally I had someone in front of me in the checkout buying two sweet potatoes. You know, stuff that comes with skin naturally to protect it from the elements. What does Woolies do? Pack it in a cardboard box inside a plastic package. Not even a plastic bag you can reuse, one of those sealed plastic packages you have to rip open.

          So no, get the (profanity) outta here with the "Oh no they're actually trying to help the environment" BS. You're just gullible. That annoys me more than almost everything else about this - because no, the fact of having to carry a plastic bag, or spend 15c on one, isn't actually enough to piss me off.

        •  

          @Bargs:
          They were never "free"

        •  

          @HighAndDry: You're the gullible one, one sensational news article and your parroting whatever.

          Because you can't fix everything isn't a good reason to fix nothing.

          The supermarkets aren't doing ANYTHING to help the environment with this, they're doing it to obey the law, the law that was made to help the environment. They'd rather keep giving away almost costless bags like they've done since they worked out the cost of the bags was less than the increase in sales they generated. Just like they're doing with the other packaging, the cost of the plastic packaging on Bananas etc is so minimal that it offsets the savings they make from not having people 'pick through' the loose ones or scan them as carrots etc.

          So I'm not some gullible fool that thinks supermarkets are doing this for the environment, that's just what you think I am, which is why you're annoyed at a strawman.

          Supermarkets do 'things' for profit. They're businesses, duh. I'm shocked that people seem to care about this all of a sudden when they lose cents worth of free plastic but ignore the amount they're being gouged for other goods.

        •  

          @Bargs:

          Because you can't fix everything isn't a good reason to fix nothing.

          The bag ban IS fixing nothing. And I'm the gullible one because I don't like supermarkets ripping people off? Now I'm beginning to think instead of being gullible, you're just a woolies/coles shill.

          The supermarkets aren't doing ANYTHING to help the environment with this, they're doing it to obey the law, the law that was made to help the environment. They'd rather keep giving away almost costless bags like they've done

          Actually no, you might still just be gullible. There's no bag ban law in NSW. The supermarkets still phased them out. "Doing it to obey the law" my ass.

    • +5 votes

      replace with paper bags

      Yeap, chopping down more trees for the paper bags will be the solution.

      NT has been banning plastic bags for years, and somehow people managed to survive.

      Do I still use plastic bag? Oh yes, as bin liner. Do I use less plastic bag? Hell yes, since I have to pay for them now. I will make sure they are full before going into the bin.

      ps: Some shops actually give out card box for you to carry your shopping. Saved them the trouble to flatten and recycle them.

      • +3 votes

        Paper is fully recyclable, unlike plastic that you can only recycle a certain amount of times. It also breaks down and uses less energy than the plastic LDPE bags.

        • +4 votes

          there are a lot of papers bags end up in the dump. People don't usually recycle paper bags. Do you normally see people put McDonald's paper bags into recycle bin?

          I agree paper bags are much better options that plastic bags. But we will have the same issue when we need to chop down more trees to make paper bags.

        • +4 votes

          @ausdday: And it's not like trees literally grow on trees. :p

        • +3 votes

          Paper is not better than plastic. The only way to go is reusable.

          It is a common misconception that paper is better. Do a Google search and see for yourself if paper is truly better than plastic.

        • +1 vote

          @Hardwood198: Based on the fact plastic last millions of years and is harming the environment, how is plastic the better option?

        • +2 votes

          Whether you like it or not Savas, it can be strongly argued that paper bags are worse for the environment. This is an objective consideration, and it's taking all details and arguments into account, it's not presenting a one sided simplistic black and white view of the matter like you seem to be doing with your paper bag agenda.

          It is a misconception that paper bags are environmentally friendly because they are biodegradable. The increased volume of waste and the impact of their manufacture and transportation all need to be taken into account.

          Source

          While neither plastic or paper bags are healthy for the environment, city councils, and governments around the world have been acting irresponsibly by ignoring the consequences of paper bags.

          Source

          But it's a mistake to think of products that seem "natural" as better, because paper bags actually have a greater environmental impact than high-density polyethylene plastic bags. It's because of the production process as well as the amount of material needed per bag. However, paper bags are the most recyclable and have less of an impact as litter.

          Source

          Compared to plastic, making a paper bag:
          *emits 51% more global warming gasses
          *creates 50 times more water pollution
          *uses 4 times more raw materials
          *consumes 2 times more energy

          Source (If you have to read any link, read this one, it's the most succinct)

          Just because paper is recyclable or biodegradable doesn't objectively mean that it is better for the environment… not sure why you don't seem to be acknowledging these facts mate. I get it, you don't like what the big businesses are doing (I don't either), it's for sure hypocritical for them to ban plastic bags only to package apples or other fruits in plastic, but paper is not always the answer and it's extremely short-sighted to say it is just because it's "recyclable" or "biodegradable". Life isn't that simple, there are many more variables such as transport costs and manufacturing costs that must be taken into account. Only looking at one or two variables isn't realistic.

          Microplastics are a huge issue yes, but how is spending more resources (which are finite) into making paper bags, only to be used once and probably only for 15 minutes max (i.e. think of what the average lifespan of a McDonald's paper bag is) any better? Paper bags break easily, and if you want thicker bags they will cost even more to make and more to transport. Both types of bags cause issues and it's not as black and white as you're making it out to be, it's a complex problem.

          What you should be arguing is for RE-USABLE green bags, not paper bags, which are essentially single-use bags just like plastic bags, except they cost more to make. Yes they decompose faster, I'm not arguing against that.

          IMO waste minimisation is key. You can easily argue that re-usable bags will take a very long time to decompose, which is definitely true and something I completely believe, which is why people need to take care of their bags, wash them if needed and repair them instead of throwing them out if they have a small tear or if the handle rips. If the bag loses shape, place cardboard inside it to make them rigid or something. Re-purpose them after they get beyond repair and cut them up and turn them into rags or something. Exercise your problem solving skills instead of simply taking the path of least resistance by throwing them out. It is all about waste minimisation.

          TL;DR Paper is not always the answer, it costs more to make and transport. Arguing it is better because it is "recyclable" or biodegradable is a simplistic view on the issue. Paper and plastic are both crap, they are both single-use items — re-usable green bags are the way to go, but you need to actually re-use them many times to offset their carbon footprint. Reduce, reuse and recycle.

        • +2 votes

          @Ghost47: I don't understand your point about paper bags using more energy and water when just driving to the supermarket uses a thousands times more resources. Your ABC link even says "paper bags are the most recyclable and have less of an impact as litter" which is the whole point of the plastic bag in the first place.

        • +2 votes

          @Savas: Agree. People are basically arguing over the definition of 'better'.

          The original article started it when it basically compared ONLY the production cost. Thin plastic bags are so incredibly cheap to produce, both in real energy cost and environmental cost, just about anything that you don't re-use extensively will cost more if only measuring the cost to the point of use.

          Other than production cost, plastic hangs around a very long time in the ocean/ground etc, so on that measure, it's worse. That's just not a measure people who prefer it over paper are considering.

          Worth noting that paper will hang around in a modern landfill for centuries as well since they're typically low oxygen / low water environments things basically 'never' degrade. But in the ocean etc paper will readily break down.

        • +1 vote

          @Savas: I think the point is that being better for the environment in terms of litter isn't an actual benefit if it's worse for the environment at other stages of the lifecycle. Effectively it's still bad for the environment as a whole.

        •  

          @Savas:

          I don't understand your point about paper bags using more energy and water when just driving to the supermarket uses a thousands times more resources.

          I don't understand why you would even use this as a rebuttal. If anything it's pretty much a straw man argument that makes no logical sense. Not once did I say anything about driving to the supermarket taking a "thousand times more resources" (a source on that would be nice), and driving to the supermarket has to be done even if you were to buy something that would be placed into a paper bag.

          Your ABC link even says "paper bags are the most recyclable and have less of an impact as litter" which is the whole point of the plastic bag in the first place.

          Just because they "are the most recyclable" does not mean that they are 100% recycled by users or that they don't take more energy to make (which they do). But way to selectively quote parts of the article to further your own agenda.

          Eh, I took my time to make a well thought out reply and you reply with silly two liners — I can now see that my attempt to educate and inform was a waste of my time. Really not sure why you don't seem to want to be open minded about paper not being a viable alternative to plastic, but whatever, I won't waste anymore time arguing with a brick wall.

          You can keep arguing for paper, I'll argue for reusable environmentally friendly bags.

        • +1 vote

          @Ghost47: The point was it is stupid to quote stuff like "consumes 2 times more energy" when the amount to produce paper bags is still extremely small. The whole point of the ban was to reduce plastic damaging marine environments and people are already posting pictures of the new bags doing that! Can you explain how this is more environmetally friendly?

        • +1 vote

          @Savas:

          If the whole point of reducing plastic is ONLY to reduce damaging marine environments, then something is terribly wrong. That would be an extremely one-sided myopic approach. One should always consider the overall impact on the environment rather than a small subset of it.

          Nonetheless showing pictures of marine life being harassed by plastic bags seems to create an emotional response. Such images also seem to be easily understood by the common folk.

          Maybe something else for you to think about. Are electric cars really better for the environment given the toxic metals needed for batteries in these cars?

        • +1 vote

          @Hardwood198: It is not just marine life, plastic bags can get caught in gutters and sewers. What is your other reason to reduce plastic bags? What do you mean by "something is terribly wrong"? Pretty sure littering is the only environmental concern about plastic bags.

        •  

          @Bargs: That is extremely well articulated, thank you for explaining it!!

        •  

          @Savas:

          The point was it is stupid to quote stuff like "consumes 2 times more energy" when the amount to produce paper bags is still extremely small.

          We are not comparing it to other manufacturing processes, we are comparing manufacturing paper bags to manufacturing plastic bags. To lump it all up and say "well, overall producing paper bags is still extremely small" is absolutely silly, nonsensical and irrelevant.

          Can you explain how this is more environmetally friendly?

          Criticising paper bags for their shortcomings != defending plastic bags (seriously, take a few minutes and think about this, maybe also read my posts and actually digest them). You're asking me to explain how that is environmentally friendly when you don't even understand what I'm saying. It's not environmentally friendly at all (there, I threw you a bone), and I stated that in my original post.

        •  

          @Hardwood198:

          That would be an extremely one-sided myopic approach. One should always consider the overall impact on the environment rather than a small subset of it.

          Exactly. I've seen his posts on the plastic bag ban before, he seems to want to do things to help the environment (i.e. ban plastic) but he won't acknowledge the fact that paper costs more to manufacture and transport. It's like the only options to him are paper or plastic. It's mind boggling.

          Nonetheless showing pictures of marine life being harassed by plastic bags seems to create an emotional response. Such images also seem to be easily understood by the common folk.

          Appeals to emotion, whilst illogical are often used to get people on side in an argument. Made no sense posting that picture.

        •  

          @Ghost47: Okay, why did some states ban the old HDPE bags then?

        •  

          @Savas: Because it's bad for the environment, just like paper bags which take more energy to manufacture and transport.

          I personally like reusable green bags, have I mentioned that before?

          Honestly, this discussion has come to the point where I just laugh with every reply you make.

          I really am done now, thanks for the laughs.

        • +1 vote

          @Ghost47:
          Clearly some people are not intelligent enough to comprehend the whole process of manufacturing paper. Why waste you time playing Chopin to a bull?

        • +1 vote

          @Savas:

          Okay, why did some states ban the old HDPE bags then?

          Okay, Why did the United States go to war with Iraq?
          I trust this is the reason. https://www.wired.com/images_blogs/dangerroom/2011/03/powell...

        • +1 vote

          @Ghost47: The bag ban is to reduce plastic, yeah? That's good you use reusable bags..

          but the supermarkets are still selling thicker bags to people who "forget" to bring their reusables. The lazy people who weren't bringing their reusable bags before probably still wont because the 15 cent charges are nothing to them. Some of these bags might make their ways in oceans.

          I would say since according to the NSW government research, it would be worth investing in paper bags which uses only 40% more energy than the old bags rather than the thick HDPE bags that require 500% more energy and probably won't be reused.

          Even better, supermarkets shouldn't sell any bags or put some ridiculous cost like $10. But if they did want to provide bags I'd say paper would be the better option because it would also reduce damage to marines and sewer pipes.

        •  

          @Hardwood198: depends how often its reused

    •  

      Paper bags have their on inherit problems. Comparative to the single use plastic bags they are incredibly high to produce! Just because it's paper doesn't mean its fine to use as much as we want. Logging, even in plantations, has use effects on the world…so simply, use paper bags is not an overall solution. Just replaces one problem with another

      •  

        thats stupid, growing trees gets rid of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Not only does it solve the problem of when plastic bags are littered, it actually improves the environment.

        •  

          Until you cut them down right? Then where does all that trapped carbon go. Oh yeah…back into the atmosphere.

          And the ENERGY involved in creating those paper bags far exceeds plastic bags.

          Any waste is waste. paper bags might if lucky get used once!

          https://www.vaggbags.com.au/paper-plastic-shopping-bag-debat...

        •  

          @Lv80: No? The carbon is locked in the paper whether the bags are recycled or sent to landfill. Also the manufacturing process is a lot cleaner because it doesn't require fossil fuels

        • +1 vote

          @Savas: Googled. You are right re carbon in paper. I take my comments bag (back ;-))!! Thanks for the heads up. Obviously have misstored something at some point.

          We are definitely reading different source material about which is uses more energy to create.

          Causes pollution:
          Paper production emits air pollution, specifically 70 percent more pollution than the production of plastic bags [source: Thompson]. According to certain studies, manufacturing paper emits 80 percent more greenhouse gases [source: Lilienfield]. And, consider that making paper uses trees that, instead, could be absorbing carbon dioxide. The paper bag making process also results in 50 times more water pollutants than making plastic bags [source: Thompson].

          Consumes energy:
          Even though petroleum goes into making plastic, it turns out that making a paper bag consumes four times as much energy as making a plastic bag, meaning making paper consumes a good deal of fuel [source: reusablebags.com].

          Consumes water:
          The production of paper bags uses three times the amount of water it takes to make plastic bags [source: Lilienfield].

          Inefficient recycling:
          The process of recycling paper can be inefficient — often consuming more fuel than it would take to make a new bag [source: Milstein]. In addition, it takes about 91 percent more energy to recycle a pound of paper than a pound of plastic [source: reusablebags.com].

          Produces waste:
          According to some measures, paper bags generate 80 percent more solid waste [source: Lilienfield].

          Biodegrading difficulties:
          Surprisingly, the EPA has stated that in landfills, paper doesn't degrade all that much faster than plastics [source: Lilienfield].

        • +2 votes

          @Lv80: Like I use reusable bags too, I think they are the best option. But if we are going to argue plastic is better, what was with the ban and why can't we just go back to the old ones? I know the supermarkets justify the new bags can be reused but most people treat the 15 cent bags as single use ones and we will see exactly the same environmental problems

        •  

          @Savas: the ban was to reduce single use plastic bags..and increase the use of reuseable bags. Ideally it would be great to ban all plastic bags, other than the ones for deli items etc. I imagine this might be the first step..epsecially where it is so obvious that lazy people are happy to pay 15 cents for bin liners. I would love for plastic bags to be charged at $1 and the canvas ones $2 to encourage reuse.

          Sadly Australia is full of lazy inconsiderate people that only give a s$# about their own comfort and convenience and not about the world they are filling up, polluting and destroying .

          Im actually disgusted that people are admitting to using these new bags as they would the old ones.

        • +1 vote

          @Lv80: Yes, I agree. But the supermarkets shouldn't be selling them and for so cheap/free. They should only sell the $1 bags to make people serious about reusing them.

        • +1 vote

          @Savas: Totally agree.
          $1 for plastic bags $2 for reuseable.

  • +3 votes

    Yeah, the average use for these 'reusable' bags is going to be so far below 50 that this whole rort is going to end up being worse for the environment. Plus, after I run out of the disposable ones, I'm going to have to buy bin liners too, so yay more plastic that literally goes directly into the garbage. Can't reuse bin liners like you can 'disposable' plastic bags.

    • +1 vote

      I'm not sure if bin liners are good to buy any more, I think it makes it harder for the garbage to compact at the landfill. I'm not sure

      • +5 votes

        I'm pretty sure they were never good to buy, environmentally, which is why I reused plastic bags from shopping. But I can't exactly throw rubbish into a bin with no liner because that makes it both unlivable (unless I clean out the bin every day or second day) and also impossible to empty.

        •  

          Why can't to just use bread or fresh produces bags. Buying bin liners is what the supermarkets want you to do.

        •  

          @Savas: Speaking of disposable plastic, those are too flimsy/thin to really reuse after getting home from the shops, and even then I'd want to at least double/triple bag it if I'm using it as a bin liner. Not a good look if your rubbish explodes on the way to the big bin. Though will give it a go and see if it's viable.

        • +3 votes

          @HighAndDry: Just stop eating.

          1. Saves money - thats why you are ozbargain
          2. No mess in the garbage bin
          3. Reduces population (the real cause of pollution - more people more strain on planet)
          4. For the environmentalists - one less to get in the way of the master plan.
          5. Less impact on the planet - less food needs to be grown less transport costs etc etc
          6. No pension for the government to pay as you wont get to 67.5 years

          And the benefits go on etc

          (BTW nothing personal meant with my post) 😜

        • +1 vote

          @RockyRaccoon: Haha, I wish I could. I enjoy eating, but sometimes you have so much (not-food) on your plate you just wish you could save those few hours prepping/cooking/eating…..

        • +1 vote

          Not a good look if your rubbish explodes on the way to the big bin. Though will give it a go and see if it's viable.

          Lifehack > carry the small bin to the big bin. No more explosions. Hell, you don't even need a bin liner at all then.

        •  

          @Bargs: You're a bloody genius, why didn't I think of that? Just carry it down the garbage chute to the bin room and climb back up right?

        •  

          Or I suppose you could tip the bin contents down there. Unless you normally carry the bag down.

        •  

          @RockyRaccoon:
          I already quit breathing so that the earth won't warm up because of my CO2. I feel great for being a good citizen.

        •  

          @HighAndDry: why use a bin liner to put in a kitchen bin that has a removable hard plastic bit, only so that you can take it out of said hard plastic bit to put in a bigger hard plastic bit. WTF seriously.

          Surely it's not that hard to clean your bins every now and again over bags and bags not really needed.

          Also, if you need to bag your kitchen bin, you aren't disposing of your organics properly. There's almost nothing that should go into a normal bin.

          Organics to chickens or composting, hard plastics in recycling, soft to supermarkets, greens in green bin. What do you actually put in your normal bin?

          And then of what goes in…should you be buying it? Coffee capsules etc etc.

    • +2 votes

      It's a strawman argument, they're looking at production cost, not how good they are for wildlife. Also I don't think you're lining your bin with the $1 'green' bags which is what they're talking about with the 50x number. The reusable 15c ones aren't much more than twice as thick. So even if they take 3x the energy to make, people will buy / use less of them. A fair number of previous bags were used by people buying just 1-2 items they will now carry instead.

      •  

        I'm not sure what part of my comment was a strawman, but no I'm not lining my bin with the $1 bags, I'm using the disposable bags I still have left over. Once I run out, I'll have to decide between using the $0.15 ones (which seems like a waste), fresh produce ones (which seems too flimsy), or go and buy bin-liners.

        None of these three options is environmentally better than using the disposable plastic bags though.

        •  

          The article not your comment. The 50x is the figure for the $1 bags. It'd be cheaper to buy bin liners for the bin and use the $1 bags for your groceries. Or you know, don't use a bin liner is perfectly ok too.

          When you say 'environmentally friendly' what do you MEAN? Because the article when it says 'environmentally friendly' means strictly the energy required to produce the bag. It completely ignores all the rest of the environmental impacts (damage to wildlife). It also ignores that when retailers remove free plastic bags, people only buy 1% as many reusable ones! So even IF they were 50x worse, it would still be 2x as good.

          The thing is, what YOU do doesn't actually impact much. What people do collectively makes much more difference, and it's been shown in other states and internationally that banning free plastic bags makes a huge difference to the volume of them used, far in excess of any 'potential' damage caused by replacing some of them.

        • +1 vote

          @Bargs: That doesn't seem to be right. From the article:

          That's according to a 2009 study led by Dr Verghese, which considered what goes into creating different types of bags (the materials and their weight, as well as energy and water) along with how each of them can be disposed (whether they can be recycled or whether they have to go into landfill).

          So it looks like it considered both. Plus - the environmental costs of production are still environmental costs: all plastics are petroleum products after all, and natural materials require, well, that those natural resources are consumed.

          It also ignores that when retailers remove free plastic bags, people only buy 1% as many reusable ones! So even IF they were 50x worse, it would still be 2x as good.

          What about the bin liners and other changes in shopping behavior?

          and it's been shown in other states and internationally that banning free plastic bags makes a huge difference

          I'm still waiting for a study to actually back this up.

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