The letter B takes us headlong into the consumer world of Bags for life. And what a world there is out there! Take this Firebox product:
All this ethical shopping/eco-friendly malarkey is great news for workers, communities and, ultimately, the planet. But when it comes to fashion, accessories and keeping things cool, you don't want to look like some yoghurt-weaving hippie; you want to look like a conscientious shopper/picnicker with a sense of individuality and style. And that's where Recycled Juice Bags come in.
The move from landfill plastic bags - 500 billion plastic carrier bags are used worldwide each year- to more environmentally friendly products has slowly taken place over the last 15 years or so with many countries reducing or banning plastic bags to encourage great responsibility on the part of the buyer. Plastic bags where they are used are also more likely to biodegrade in a few years though probably not completely. It may not have gone far enough in the UK yet but perhaps like me you have collected a whole tangle of bags that now loiter in the understairs cupboard?
|some of my bags for life|
There are some interesting points made about jute bags in a recent BBC Radio 4 programme “In Our Time”. One was that you need to use a natural fibre shopping bag 130 times to make up for the extra energy required to manufacture it compared to a single use plastic bag. If you reuse your plastic carrier 10 times you would have to use an equivalent jute bag 1300 times! Paper bags are seen as a greener alternative to plastic ones. But although paper degrades more quickly than plastic and comes from a renewable source paper bags use between 4 and 6 times more energy to produce, are 6 times heavier and take up to 10 times more space and this means higher carbon emissions during their transportation and production. As most paper comes from tree pulp, the impact on forests if all bags were made from paper would be enormous. Read more here.
Nothing is ever simple is it?