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plastic bag ban: many alternatives have huge environmental footprints
Picture: AAP Picture/Angelo Velardo
Source: for many of us, before the wider ban on most states and other supermarkets in July 1, when Woolworth banned plastic bags, the trip to the store will change forever.
But while welcoming the ban on plastic bags, sustainability experts also question whether it will have a real effect.
There are warnings that reusable alternatives can easily lead to environmental degradation
We are one of the problems.
\"The one-time plastic bag ban is a positive step in trying to reduce resources, but it is affected by the fact that people need to use reusable plastic bags wisely,\" Trevor Thornton, lecturer in hazardous materials management at Deakin University told the news. com. au.
Woolies will discard plastic bags in June 20 and Coles will discard them in July 1.
Picture: AAP Picture/Angelo Velardo
Source: Australian News Group 2007, Australia uses 4 billion disposable plastic bags per year before any ban.
In 2009, South Australia took the lead in phasing out thin plastic bags;
The Bill and the northern region were subsequently enacted in 2011, and the state of tazhou banned it in 2013.
Use will be banned in Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia from July.
The new state did not impose a ban, but with Woolworths and Coles boarding the plane in June 20 and July 1, respectively, it was actually a National bag boycott.
Victoria\'s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Lily d Ambrosio, praised the axe, saying the ban would \"cut waste, reduce waste and help protect marine life \".
Brad Banducci, chief executive of Woolworths, said it was correct to do so: \"We currently issue more than 3 pens.
2 billion light plastic bags per year, so can play an important role in reducing the overall use of plastic bags.
Reducing the use of plastic bags will undoubtedly help marine life.
Source: The study of how we use carrier bags by Getty ImagesBut suggests that reducing the impact of carrier bags on the environment may be more problematic than many of us think.
Researchers at RMIT produced a 2009 report for Woolworths, calculating the environmental impact of disposable carrier bags and reusable carrier bags.
The classic supermarket bag that is banned is made of high density polyethylene (HDPE).
Compared to other bags, it is not so good for the environment
But it certainly won\'t have the worst impact.
In terms of measures such as its contribution to global warming and water use, it actually scored a high score.
In landfill sites, they are compressed, so the space occupied is very small.
But energy consumption and the impact on marine life have declined.
According to other studies, optical density polyethylene (LDPE)
The bag is a thicker one that can be bought in the supermarket, usually a little less than the thinner one.
The so-called \"Green Bag\" made of polypropylene \"(PP)
Use less material but produce a lot of waste, but overall they are better than high density polyethylene bags.
Low-density polyethylene bags may be the most popular once the ban takes effect.
But if you don\'t reuse them multiple times, they can end up being worse for the environment.
Picture: AAP Picture/Joel Carret
Source: The news group\'s plastic bag replacement needs to use 131 times the worst bag is actually a paper bag.
Of course, they break down after use, but the energy consumption and materials used to produce them are already out of scale.
With all this in mind, the report is able to figure out how many times you need to use a replacement for a disposable plastic bag in order to have less impact on the environment.
\"The benefits of reusable bags are very sensitive to the number of times each bag has during its service life,\" the report said . \".
\"For example, if a reusable PP green bag is used only 52 times (
Weekly for one year)
Instead of assuming 104 times (
Weekly report for two years)
Then, it has a higher impact on global warming than every single one.
Use bags except paper bags.
\"Other reports confirm that if plastic bag alternatives are used only a few times and then wander around the corner and are not welcome, the environment will get worse.
2016 report of the new State Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
It is found that a cotton bag must be used 131 times in order to be equal to the environmental impact of a high-density polyethylene bag that is only used once.
2006 a report by the British government also came to a similar conclusion.
A paper bag must be used three times and a thicker low density polyethylene bag must be used four times.
EPA\'s report disagrees with Woolworths\'s statement about how many times a green bag has to be used, but it does have to be reused on multiple occasions.
They suggest that a green bag must be reused 11 times in order to be equal to a current bag.
The environmental footprint of cotton shopping bags is worse than disposable plastic bags, unless 131 times have been rescued.
Source: The supplier has more disposable bags than disposable ones
\"Use\" Plastic bags have not really been used at all.
\"Most shopping bags are used twice because people take them home and use them as garbage bags or pick up dog dung, which further reduces their impact on the environment,\" Dr. Thornton said . \".
Each time high density polyethylene bags are reused, the environmental barriers of other bags are increased to improve them.
Paper bags that are not so strong must be used six times;
Green Bag 20 times, cotton bag more than 260 times.
If you take your shopping home with a plastic bag, bring your lunch to the workplace, and then pick up the garbage from your pet, then, according to Woolies\' data, at least, in contrast, you may have to use your green bag hundreds of times to really turn green.
The traditional green bag needs to be used more than 20 times in order to be equivalent to the environmental footprint of the thin plastic bag twice.
Picture: AAP Picture/Joel Carret
Source: Australian news group Thornton said that like the logo for the supermarket parking lot, constant reminders are needed now to make sure people don\'t forget their bags, or they will buy reusable varieties over and over again.
In addition, he said sales of plastic barrel liners could soar once high-density polyethylene bags disappear.
We need to get rid of this habit.
\"We need to start educating people to stop using bin liners --
Our grandparents don\'t need to put the garbage in plastic bags in order to put it in the bin.
\"We received all this recycling information, but the information should be about avoiding it.
Professor Sami Kara of UNSW focuses on sustainable development and Life Cycle Engineering. He told news. com.
Although the ban helps change behavior, it is a \"short-term solution\" that may not reduce plastic waste \".
Instead, the ban is banned because plastic bags are more visible.
After the plastic bag ban comes into effect, sales of bin liners will rise: News Limited\'s terrible \"when we talk about banning the use of plastic bags at one time, we are talking about littering.
People are bothered when they see plastic bags, which is why society decides to take action on it.
But littering plastic bags is the tip of the iceberg;
The things below are even more terrible.
Professor Karma is concerned that as the global population grows and is getting richer, demand for products containing plastic will only increase.
The garbage produced will far exceed the benefits of the plastic bag ban.
\"We have replaced a lot of traditional materials with plastic --
Even clothes filled with synthetic fibers.
\"A recent study in Europe found that when we wash these clothes, as long as we release 700,000 plastic particles into the environment,\" he said . \".
\"Of course, in the short term, the ban will affect littering, but the ban on plastic bags has brought a misconception to society that the problem has been solved.
But is the problem solved? Not really.
We are still polluting the environment with plastic.
Like Dr. Thornton, Professor Sami said that the keys were not recycled and did not find beautiful ends --of-life solutions.
This is because every product has an impact on the environment.
This can be done with only a few things.
But making sure you use the green bag at least 25 times or more will be a start. benedict. brook@news. com.