Living Car Free - carrier bag question....
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I read in an article that said, in regards curtailing the use of plastic carrier bags, that it takes 11 barrels of oil to produce a ton of plastic bags. Now, I know nothing about the process of creating plastics, so forgive me if I'm way off here, but isn;t it better to consume as much oil as possible in the creation of plastic bags, rather than have it burnt by cars? Being non-degradable, aren;t they a perfect store for carbon store that would be otherwise be released into the atmosphere? Like I said, I know nothing about the production of plastics, other than a vague school-film memory of the production process involving a chemical process. I bet there;s heat involved, right, that negates the amount of carbon stored in the plastic.
Hmmm, thinking about it, I bet that's the score. I'd be interested, though, in opinions.
Not sure how you are using these plastic carrier bags. I see a couple of options that would require no petroleum. Carradice makes some neato leather bags. You could also get some cloth-type material. Myself, if travelling on bike, my bags use some grade of nylon. I have no idea how much petroleum was required to create them. I'm not sure how non-biodegradable they are. They will certainly degrade over time and a number of companies now (like Patagonia...) make clothing and such out of recycled plastic pop bottles.
Sorry, it wasn't really cycling specific, more a general eco thing. I should have been more specific.
12-13-07, 10:04 AM
Probably the single biggest thing you can do is to drag your own bags to the grocery store and not use the disposable plastics at all. We have a couple sets of the reusable grocery bags from Acme Bags (http://www.reusablebags.com/store/acme-bags%E2%84%A2-earthtote%E2%84%A2-reusable-shopping-p-10.html). Yes they are made of plastic, but I think using a single bag over and over is probably the best use of plastics vs some other choices. My bike bags are nylon or waxed canvas. With the nylon bags being over 15 years old.
12-13-07, 11:11 AM
I think the OP is referring to plastic shopping bags as a *good* thing. As in using oil for plastic shopping bags that end up in the landfill as an alternative to using oil to power vehicles and the carbon ends up in the atmosphere.
Personally, I think that the plastic shopping bags suck. I use reusable ones and only get plastic ones if I forget the reuseable ones (rare). I see lots of them on the side of the road and stuck in trees after the wind blows them away. To me it's more about litter and quality. The reusable bags I have are 100x more durable and carry more than the crappy ones from the store.
If you really want to save the oil from being burned, buy a dried up oilfield that you can pump oil back into. Kinda like how you used to be able to "buy" one square foot of rainforest for preservation. You could buy barrels of oil at wholesale then pump it back into the ground where it came from. This would prevent the oil from being burned and it would keep the oil companies' profits up, so our petro-economy wouldn't collapse. Then for every barrel of oil you put back in the ground you could sell Carbon Credits since you're not burning it. More money for the economy. Then in 30 yrs when the world is nearly out of oil and there have been inventions to capture greenhouse gasses produced from burning oil, you are sitting on a large store of high quality of icky sticky that will be easily extracted. economy++. You'd be the first environmentalist oil tycoon.
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