…from the quill of Antisthenes the Younger
Simple people believe in simple solutions. Ban everything! Yes, I am writing about those greenies again. After South Australia in 2009 and Northern Territory earlier in 2011, Australian Capital Territory Labor Government in November last year also jumped on the green hypocrisy bandwagon and banned the plastic bags.
I am not a great friend of plastic bags or plastics in general so I have to point out that following the ban in South Australia the sale of plastic bin bags there jumped from 48 million p.a. to 73 million p.a. Those who do not carry their groceries in a banana leaf would know that a plastic bin liner is much more durable than the ordinary give-away shopping bag.
Comrade Simon Corbell, ACT Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water, believes in the benefit of the ban, presumably other benefit than the support of the Greens in the next election. He stated that plastic bags take 1000 years to decompose in a landfill and each Australian uses an average 345 plastic bags a year.
I wondered how the relatively young man knows that it takes exactly 1000 years, so memorable and round figure, but than I recalled those computer global warming models from the University of East Anglia and I wondered no more.
Thus the annual total for Australia, according to Corbell, comes to 7.245 billion ( 345 x 21 million population) This is almost double of the Australian Government estimate of 3.9 billion /www.environment.gov.au/ Of course, ABC Science, that paragon of scientific honesty, bags over 6 billion. I would not be surprised if the Greenpeace’s figure was ten billion. Or twenty.
In addition to producing more of the less decomposable bin bags, we also produce those so called ”green” planet saving shopping bags. They are made from dyed (predominantly green) 100% Non-woven Polypropylene. Wow! And guess where the most of them are produced; you have one chance. Let’s turn to Wikipedia:
The accelerating volume of reusable bags being imported and resold, along with the 2008 Wall Street Journal article, An Inconvenient Bag, that documented that only 10% of bags are actually being reused raise statistical questions about their effectiveness and the possibility that these heavier bags have become the new disposable bag. The 2004-2008 Chinese import numbers were enough sell or give away to each family of four in America with more than 21.2 bags over the just the past five years. More directly in light of the 2004 US International Trade Commission Study, Polyethylene Retail Carrier Bags from China, Malaysia, and Thailand, that reported the total annual retail carrier bag consumption is the United States at 97 billion bags annually, the 504 million bags imported from China in 2008 offset just 9.7 billion retail carrier bags (10% of total as reported by the Wall Street Journal) which translated to each reusable bag on average only offset just 19.5 retail carrier bags during its lifespan. Although reusable bags are capable of offsetting more, it is likely that due to lack of use, increased free distribution of these heavier bags, commercialization and commoditization that they are becoming a disposable product with a limited lifespan.
Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full. The never ending idiocy of our green times…