Single-Use Bags Create Waste - Harm the Planet

In the U.S. the amount of trash piling up in our landfills is staggering. Landfills consist of mainly degradable pulp products and non-degradable plastic waste. Many believe that making everything degradable, such as compostable plastic bags, is part of the solution. Yet those bags are rarely composted and even when they are, they immediately begin releasing greenhouse gas (GhG) into the atmosphere.

The emerging danger on planet earth is GhG contributing to climate change. According to the EPA, it has been mandated by the Clean Air Act of 1970 to STOP the release of GhG in landfills. The less waste that goes into a landfill, the less amount of GhG is released.

Bag ban ordinances will ultimately make a positive impact on the amount of waste going into landfills and the premature release of GhG.

Toxins in the environment
The excessive manufacture of single-use bags creates unnecessary waste and leaves toxins that affect the environment. Plastic bag plants use plastics that don't degrade for 300 or more years and are not recyclable. Paper mills release toxins into rivers in its manufacturing and recycling processes. Most compostable bags are made from genetically modified corn that contains built-in toxic pesticides, a known watershed contaminant. And all carry out bags are printed with inks that contain at least a small amount of toxic chemicals.

Bag bans serve to help curb all of these toxins. By eliminating throwaway single-use bags, you: 1) reduce waste that sits in a landfill for 300 years; 2) help clean up our rivers and streams; 3) reduce the chance of the bag becoming litter; 4) prevent ocean contamination and; 5) reduce the toxic chemicals in their ink.
Limit the use of toxic chemicals

Wildlife protection
Wildlife and marine life can get entangled in flimsy plastic bags. Pesticides kill essential waterborne organisms and even our declining honey bee population. Don't forget about our forests, which must supply paper mills. Tree farms do not provide enough pulp for paper bag products, and are limited habitats for wildlife.

According to the National Wildlife Federation many forms of wildlife and endangered species live only in old growth forests, which must be allowed to regenerate for 250 years. Tree farms are generally cut every 30 years.
Protect wildlife

Oil and energy waste
The overall oil, gas, and energy savings with reusable bags borders on astronomical. The consumption of oil and gas byproducts with only ten reuses is 30 times less than paper and about 5 times less than thin plastic T-shirt bags. If a reusable bag is reused through its 125-use life span, it then uses about 50 times less than thin plastic bags.

While it can be argued that T-shirt bags can be reused as trash bags, lowering the energy liability, that is generally true, but it is not a one to one offset. Most households supplement the bags with large, thicker one, like 30 gallon Tall Kitchen bags. Likewise T-shirt bags still use more raw material than the common small trash bag it replaces. At the very best, reusable bags would still save at least 25 times the energy and oil byproducts, plus eliminate the ink printed on bags.
Save energy and oil consumption

Reduce landfill waste - help the EPA
The United States generates more waste than all other countries in the world, 13 billion tons a year. It is not uncommon to discover a pyramid with a flat top in the vast landscapes of our country only to realize it is one of the 2100 massive EPA landfills.

We can't continue at the current rate and continually expand our landfills. Reusable bags reduce waste. Throwaway single-use bags of all types increase waste!
Reduce landfill waste

Reduce greenhouse gas
According to Robert Falk, Esq., a leading environmental attorney in San Francisco, the #1 emerging danger with disposable packaging materials (bags) is their vulnerability to the release of greenhouse gas. Only the use and reuse of durable reusable bags lowers this liability.

Sooner or later, every manufacturer of disposable products will be required to address this issue.
Reduce GhG means cleaner air


The solution: Reusable bags & recycling
While recycling is clearly the viable solution, it can cause the wrong outcome if not properly managed. This is where bag bans can be particularly effective!

For example, now that China no longer accepts our plastic and paper waste, the glut is forcing the materials into all time lows. Recycled pulp pricing is so low, many expect the government to step in to salvage those companies. In reality, it is cheaper to throw it away in landfills.

It is not profitable to recycle thin single-use plastic bags in the U.S. They do not contain sufficient raw material to merit sorting at stores or at municipal MRF (Material Recovery Facility) stations located at many landfills. However, reusable bags in a heavier weight can be sorted and recycled. In fact, they can be made right back into new reusable bags!

The solution is crystal clear! Reduce the use of disposable single-use bags and the shear volume of recyclable materials will also be reduced. Only then will recycling pricing stabilize.

Recycled paper

 

 

 

A clean environment

Do the right thing!

Let common sense prevail

Whether you are a city, state, or municipal government, bag manufacturer, distributor, or retailer, we take away the guesswork. We provide you with the requirements, laws, and performance standards in all 260+ bag ban laws nationwide.

  • Accepted bag types (reusable, paper, compostable, etc.)
  • Bag size/gauge requirements (minimum capacity, legal gauges)
  • Recycling requirements (legal marking, drop off locations, etc.)
  • Minimum sell prices or taxes (varies with cities and states)
  • Legal marking (declarations required for size, gauge, toxicity, including CA Prop. 92. and CA Supply Chain Act SB 657 compliance)
  • Testing/certification (state, city, municipal performance requirements, PCR content, ISO testing labs, etc.)
  • Facts, only the facts please (that is what you get)

Perhaps most important of all, we help you navigate the myriad requirements and laws and help you consolidate and unify your supply needs into a simple cost effective, minimum inventory program.

   
  Get in touch