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31 October 2007

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Shov

I largely agree with you, however I read an interesting article recently (probably in the Guardian...) where carbon emissions caused by everyday actions were measured in carrier bags. I can't find the article now; however, it mentioned that driving to the supermarket burned a few hundred carrier bags and a return flight to australia was equivalent to 730,000 carrier bags.
so stopping using carrier bags is a worthwhile thing to do (mostly because they're ugly), but on the grand scale of climate change they're a drop in the ocean and we need to make much more fundamental changes to our lifestyles.

as an aside, i'm not too fond of these biodegradable carrier bags that are appearing. assuming they're made from fossil carbon (ie. oil, not from cornstarch or somesuch), surely it's better (after the inevitable failure to recycle them) to bury them and lock the carbon away than to have them biodegrade and release more carbon into the atmosphere. anyway...

davidthedesigner

Thanks for those thoughts Shov. However, the issue of plastic bags is not simply about the carbon footprint associated with their manufacture. They do an immense amount of harm when they are either thrown away at sea, and thus cause death to turtles (as described by Michael in his article http://www.johnsonbanks.co.uk/thoughtfortheweek/index.php?thoughtid=248 ), or buried in landfill where they will take 10-20 years to biodegrade (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biodegradable ).

My point, though, is that we can very easily learn to live without them. Their absence doesn't actually make shopping any harder.

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