Have you heard about the 'Reusable' Plastic Bag?

'Compared to paper grocery bags, plastic grocery bags consume 40% less energy, generate 80% less solid waste, produce 70% fewer atmospheric emissions, and release up to 94% fewer waterborne wastes.'

Would you believe that statement was released as part of the drive to push consumers away from paper bags and towards the 'reusable' plastic bag?


Intentionally Sustainable.....

One of the reasons Intentionally Sustainable was started, was because time and time again I would hear statements like "humans are so disgusting" or "people are so lazy, they just don't care"...?

But when I thought about my own past use of disposable plastic, it was more that at the time I simply didn't know the damage it would cause years down the track.  I'm not an ignorant person, I'm not disgusting, or lazy?  It all made me wonder.... how could I not have known?

In the beginning, no one knew plastic was so bad... 

1926 - Harrods hosted the first display of new multicolour thermosetting plastic tableware.

1938 - First toothbrush with nylon tufts manufactured. 

1946 - Tupperware's famous airtight lid with a 'burping seal' hit the market. 

1948 - Introduced the 12" vinyl  

1958 - LEGO!!!

1959 - Mattel unveiled the Barbie Doll at the American International Toy Fair. 

The late 50's - 'The Tupperware Party' arrived.  Directly targeting and empowering the bored and lonely housewife. Many of whom had stepped up during the 2nd World War, so were eager for an opportunity to run their own business and contribute to the family income.

   Housewife Tuppaware Plastic Health Home                     Tuppaware Party Promoting Plastic in The Home to House Wives

It was this new lightweight, sturdy and 'disposable' creation targeted, and marketed as an essential part of a good healthy home? 

Anyone that has a child older than around 15 years old can tell you that the 'disposable' part was the best part!  Disposable plastic plates, cups, cutlery and anything else you get your hands on revolutionized kids parties!

No one said that they didn't know how to dispose of it? Or that it wasn't actually disposable? Back then it was all about 'saving the bloody trees' so you used plastic?

1985 - The Society of Plastic Engineers' Regional Conference topic was "New materials and profits in grocery sacks and co-extrusions." Where it was pointed out that plastic bags cost less than paper - one thousand plastic bags cost $24, while the same number of paper bags could set retailers back $30.

The late 80's and early 90's - People are still a little unsure of the choice between paper and plastic?  Until they were informed about the advantages of the 'reusable plastic bag'.  

The Film and Bag Federation, a trade group within the Society of Plastics Industry based in Washington, D.C., said the right choice between paper or plastic bags is clearly plastic;

Compared to paper grocery bags, plastic grocery bags consume 40% less energy, generate 80% less solid waste, produce 70% fewer atmospheric emissions, and release up to 94% fewer waterborne wastes, according to the federation.

Robert Bateman, president of Roplast Industries, a manufacturer of plastic bags (including reusable ones) in Oroville, California, said the economic advantage of plastic bags over paper bags has become too significant for store owners to ignore. It costs one cent for a standard plastic grocery sack, whereas a paper bag costs four cents, he said.

All in all, a very convincing pitch I think?

But yes, we are more informed now, we have more information at our fingertips and we do know better now, we have access to better choices with sustainable bags so let's keep it positive and together we can make a change..... 


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