China announces plastic bag ban

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Don't panic, Jan 9, 2008.

  1. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2004
    Location:
    having a drink at Milliways
    #1
    link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7178287.stm

    some good news regarding environment from china.

    plastic bags are an inexcusable waste.
    if not ban them outright, we should at least put a 25-50c tax per bag (depending on capacity), and we'd see their (ab)use diminish drastically
     
  2. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #2
    One of the benefits of a semi-totalitarian system is that if and when they decided to do something, they can do it quickly.
     
  3. Pittsax macrumors 6502

    Pittsax

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #3
    Good news, but it also makes me sad when I realize that China is doing this while my home state (Pennsylvania) can't even make motorcyclists wear helmets or ban smoking :(
     
  4. ::Lisa:: macrumors 6502a

    ::Lisa::

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #4
    I think that's a brilliant idea. We're so stuck in our ways aren't we?! I think it would cause a lot of uproar with non-environment people but it should be something they should just get used to.

    I personally like to buy my food from the supermarkets here in the UK and not use bags (which is hard atm) but if I don't I actually earn green points which I can use. Fantastic idea but looking down the other isles as I checkout... it's just not catching on. There should be something more worthwhile as a reward.

    I plan on buying a couple/few of these... http://www.reusablebags.com/store/packntote-grocery-cart-helper-bags-p-982.html they look absolutely fantastic.

    [​IMG]

    We also recycle, we have to. If we don't recycle enough our council have the option of fining us, great thing!
     
  5. emw macrumors G4

    emw

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #5
    I like this - and could see it catching on here eventually. I don't currently use reusable bags, but I'm tempted to do so. Costco sells them 3 for like $4, so it's not expensive.

    Generally, though, we try to recycle as much as possible, and my recycle bins are always more full than my garbage. Although I'm not ever sure how much good that's really doing. Recycling is never as good as just not using in the first place.

    Things that get me probably more that the plastic bag thing are:

    1. Tremendously oversized packaging. So much waste there, even if it's recycled.

    2. Bottled water (and I'm guilty here). I try to use reusable containers when I can, but I still use too many of these, and I believe they get thrown into landfills much too often.

    In general, on a scale of 1 (bad) to 100 (good) for my environmental conscious, I'd say I'm about a 50. :eek:
     
  6. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #6
    I just use the reusable bags they sell for $1. I own 3 or 4 of those bags and never use the plastic bags.


    And not to sound overly self-righteous, but I have also started bringing my own, used plastic bags for bagging veggies and fruit. Why bring fruits and veggies home in a small plastic bag and then throw out the bag? Those 5-10 small bags you use each week add up. I just save the small bags and put them into my re-usable grocery bags. When I go buy fruits and veggies, I just reach into my grocery bag and take one out.
     
  7. mpw Guest

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    #7
    A step in the right direction.

    Isn't there a tax on plastic bags in Ireland? I know the government here, Jersey, are looking into a tax of something like 9p per bag and I thought they were using Ireland as an example.

    Maybe the motorcyclist could be encouraged to use they're unworn helmets to carry their shopping?
     
  8. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Location:
    A geographical oddity
    #8
    I don't have a problem with these bans, as far as they might affect me, if they begin after 2014 (give or take). The free bags are a cheap, minimal, way of lining the diaper pail. We plan on having another kid around 2010 or so, and I expect all the diaper issues will be resolved by 2014.

    Even then, they are excellent garbage liners. They take up minimal space, and they ensure that crap doesn't stick to the cans (or leak out of the mesh ones).

    I mean, taxing at $0.25 per bag just makes it more cost effective to buy thicker, larger garbage bags.
     
  9. synth3tik macrumors 68040

    synth3tik

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #9
    They also make sure that that poop will be around for ever.

    honestly I guess in some cases a plastic bag is needed, but when it comes to groceries or or many other consumer goods a paper or reusable bag is best.
     
  10. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Location:
    Toronteazy
    #10
    I label my little plastic bags. I'd use linen, washable ones, but they're not going to get zeroed on the scales.
     
  11. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    Definitely good for the Chinese. I'm 99% sure there is a tax on plastic bags in Ireland.

    Sounds like you have a useless state government.
     
  12. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #12
    new tax in IL on bottled water i heard. don't know if its in effect now or not or how it works exactly. we're trying to figure it out here at my place of work.

    i know i'm not that great when it comes to recycling, but the city has little to no plans or helpfulness when it comes to it either. i'll be moving shortly and i plan on using my own bags for grocery shopping then.
     
  13. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2004
    Location:
    The Mergui Archipelago
    #13
    I've always loved this headline from Australia's version of the onion
     
  14. Don't panic thread starter macrumors 603

    Don't panic

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2004
    Location:
    having a drink at Milliways
    #14
    you could buy biodegradable bags for the diapers/garbage.

    i don't think it's practical (yet) to completely ban the bags, but if people had to pay for each of them, they'd use them more efficiently, and only when needed.
    Also, in the article it is pointed out that the flimsy ones are the worst, because they easily brake and cannot really be re-used effectively.
    So a move to thicker, larger and recyclable bags would already be a move in the right direction.

    i would tag the bag-tax for environmental scopes and would also levy a tax (on the producers) based on the "eco-class" of the packaging of any products.
    this would depend on type of material used, easiness to separate different materials (for recycling purposes) and ratio of packaging to product size.
     
  15. Daveman Deluxe macrumors 68000

    Daveman Deluxe

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    Location:
    Corvallis, Oregon
    #15
    Plastic bags may not be recyclable, but you have to remember that a paper bag of the same volume has about five times the mass, and therefore takes more energy to transport. The energy input for producing a paper bag is higher, to boot. In terms of harm to the environment, paper or plastic comes out as a wash. This is why I use reusable bags. :D
     
  16. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

    Joined:
    May 31, 2006
    Location:
    New York
    #16
    If anyone here still hasn't switched to re-usable bags, get to it already.

    I picked up 5 of them for a dollar each at my grocery store, and I get a discount (5 cents) off my total for every bag I bring in. Another nice thing is that what used to take up 8-9 plastic bags fits nicely into 3-4 reusable bags, and they are MUCH easier to carry up 3 stories (more durable, larger handles so I can just wear them on my shoulder).
     
  17. Daveman Deluxe macrumors 68000

    Daveman Deluxe

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    Location:
    Corvallis, Oregon
    #17
    My grocery store does something a little bit different than the usual five cents refund. For every bag that you bring in or reuse, the cashier gives you a bean. At the exits, there are bins into which you can put your bean; each bin indicates a donation to a sustainable-development program in our community. For example, I usually toss my bean into the bin for the Greenbelt Land Trust, a non-profit dedicated to preserving & improving open spaces in our city. Every bean is a five-cent donation.
     
  18. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2003
    Location:
    the faraway towns
    #18
    This makes the corn-based bags more likely to be used by large retail spaces as well, so you may still have your small bag, just one that won't last until the next eon.
     
  19. imac/cheese macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    #19
    We always reuse our plastic bags for a variety of other uses, thus reducing the environmental impact of each bag. They are great for picking up dog poop, lining garbage cans, diapers, etc. We have also moved several times, having been in the military, and plastic grocery bags make great free packing material for breakables. I think that reuse is a lot better plan than some kind of ban. If we used cloth reusable grocery bags, we would still have to go out to purchase other materials for the other needs we have.
     
  20. paddy macrumors 6502a

    paddy

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2005
    Location:
    TN
    #20
    We've had a tax on plastic bags for a few years now, used be 15c but it's around the 25c mark now I think. It's really effective though, no one buys the plastic shopping bags anymore unless they've left the re-usable bags at home. The lengths people will go to to avoid paying for those bags is hilarious! Before the countryside used to be littered with them, now theres not one in sight, Brilliant.
     
  21. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Location:
    A geographical oddity
    #21
    Perhaps, but the explosion in corn-based products are beginning to wreak havoc on both the US and Mexican economies (I haven't looked into the others), especially among the Mexican poor.

    I would prefer a third alternative of biodegradable bag, but if it doesn't hold up to the weight of several diapers, I'm going to end up buying those same multi-eon bags anyway - and the retail bag will probably be a heavier material that the what the grocery store gives me.
     
  22. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2003
    Location:
    the faraway towns
    #22
    True. But, I think the bags can be based on any kind of cellulose material, corn just being one example. I've also heard that the plastic can be made out of a different substrate, so the material will break down and can be more easily recycled, however this raises the cost. So, we're back to a slight consumption tax, which would help those companies that are making bags out of something besides HDPE by putting their product on even ground. We could also give some kind of incentive for companies like Walmart, Target, and grocery stores to either use a different kind of bag or to try to limit their use.

    And, of course, there's the Pacific Garbage Patch (Or Northern Pacific Gyre) which makes me want to avoid plastic bags altogether.

    If I can, I refuse the retail bags altogether if they're plastic. But, if I need the bag, I reuse them as much as possible. I'v
     
  23. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #23
    But the paper bags use trees, and as said, take more to make and transport. I get plastic, but I reuse them. There are even slots where I can put them in some of the grocery stores here where you can return them to be recycled. If I shop at someplace like Costco, I'm not buying much, so I usually don't use anything. I just use the cart to put it in my backseat, then a cart at my apt to bring it in. If I go to Trader Joes or Whole Foods, I try to use reusable because otherwise they look at you funny and it makes me feel guilty, but I don't always remember or plan to go when I do. At least I can use their recycled bags and reuse them and not feel so bad.
     
  24. imac/cheese macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    #24
    Here is another thought.... plastic bags are normally made from polyethylene which is a chain of carbon and hydrogen. Plastic bags are not normally bio-degradable. Plastic bags in a landfill will retain the carbon in them nearly indefinitely. This retaining of carbon keeps it from being released into the atmosphere. Eventually the world is going to consume all of its oil reserves and resort to using alternative energy sources. If that oil reserve is used completely as fuel, the majority of the carbon contained in the oil will be released into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. If the oil is used more to make plastics which are hauled to landfills and buried underground, not as much carbon will be released into the atmosphere. Some will be "returned" to the earth.

    In summary, I propose a theory that using and disposing of plastics will reduce the longterm release of carbon dioxide into our atmosphere and thus reduce the potential impact of global climate change due to greenhouse gases.
     
  25. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2004
    Location:
    The Mergui Archipelago
    #25
    It's been a few years since my last organic chemistry but I thought that plastic bags were produced from by-products (for want of a better word) of petroleum refinement? Thus decreasing plastic bag use doesn't result in an increase in petroleum for use in cars and more CO2, but instead will result in more raw materials to make other plastics/whatever else it can be used for. I'd look it up but my books are at my parents house...... Perhaps someone else can clarify for us :).
     

Share This Page