Biodegradable Garbage Bags

posts from 13 October 2004 to 14 March 2011
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Mats
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Biodegradable Garbage Bags

Post by Mats »

In my work as a planner I had occasion to visit developments on former land fill sites. It was always shocking to see the buried materials that would never degrade. By far the most prevalent material was plastic garbage bags. Their life span seems infinite. It was therefore exciting to see biodegradeable bags for sale at our local supermarket. Of course nothing new like this comes without a price. These 35 litre bags were selling for $0.79 CAD each. Still, a substitute for the regular oil-based plastic bags are now available. It's up to individual consumers to decide what the future is worth to them.
Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more
ejm
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Re: Biodegradable Garbage Bags

Post by ejm »

MEF wrote:It's up to individual consumers to decide what the future is worth to them.
We've just been reading "The Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan and are quite disturbed by the section on corn. Even more disturbing is the fact that so many farmers are opting to grow corn for fuel rather than food. I'm assuming (correct me if I'm wrong) that the biodegradable bags are made from "fuel" corn.

Granted, they are a better alternative to petrol-oil based plastic but still....

We have recently started wrapping our wet garbage in newspaper. We're amazed at how much the wet garbage does NOT stink. Even though we've just gone through a heat wave.

I fully realize that paper isn't necessarily a good alternative either, considering that trees, while renewable, take a considerable time to grow. But if we're recycling our paper anyway, using a few sheets to wrap wet garbage doesn't seem like a bad thing. The newprint will break down into compost, especially because it's being helped along by being quite wet by the time the garbage collectors retrieve it from our green box.
So... have YOU backed up your files lately? And defragged too!?
Mats
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You are right

Post by Mats »

I guess in making choices between less than perfect solutions, we should look to the one that does least harm. Growing corn for non food purposes may not be the best idea; growing trees for paper production may be a better idea; making trees into paper is a pretty messy business tho' - lots of water pollution necessary.

All hard choices.
Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more
Lawless in Lotusland
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Re: You are right

Post by Lawless in Lotusland »

MEF wrote:...hard choices.
I learned that some of the compostable plastic bags are plastic with an additive that causes them to break down into C02, H20 and "biomass"

See http://www.epi-global.com/en/products/biodegradable.htm

But it's pretty clear that deforestation is a bit problem, particularly in low latitude places. https://publicaffairs.llnl.gov/news/new ... 12-02.html
“Laughter springs from the lawless part of our nature” -- Agnes Repplier
David
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Post by David »

I think the Austrians have the right idea. They have a massive forestry industry but thanks to a law that requires two trees to be planted for every one felled they have more trees now than 200 years ago.
Mats
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Solution for All re-newable resources

Post by Mats »

Those clever Austrians - why not a global law that requires replacing two of every one re-newable resource that you harvest (e.g. two fingerlings for every fish that you harvest) ?
Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more
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