The Barbershop has re-located

The proprietor has moved the shop to ChicagoNow, a Chicago Tribune site that showcases some of the best bloggers in the Chicago area. You can logo on to the Barbershop home page here. The ChicagoNow home page is here.

You'll still be able to post comments with the same ease as in this location. The proprietor also will keep this web site alive if you wish to review old posts.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

How many angels can dance on a plastic bag?

Chicago Business News, Analysis & Articles | City trashes plastic bags at farmers markets | Crain's

Has anyone actually calculated precisely how much room plastic bags take up in landfills, or how much it costs to "landfill" them? I doubt it, but what does it matter. Plastic bags now are out and "biodegradable" bags now are in.

But wait, as this Crain's Chicago Business article explains, super environmentalists aren't so sure about the "biodegradable" bags, because they might encourage littering, and are more expensive (thus, of course, "penalizing those least able to afford them").

So, one farmer will begin selling $5 cloth bags, less than it costs to make them. But wait! Has he calculated the environmental cost of cloth bags? The environmental destruction caused raising, harvesting and processing all that cotton--the fertilizers and the run-off, the carbon footprint caused by cotton processing and weaving, and so forth?

Maybe we should go back to paper bags. But wait: How many trees are killed? How many rivers polluted by paper plants?

Maybe we all should just stay in bed.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I can’t believe this. Whoever introduced the bill to ban plastic bags has obviously never had to dispose a diaper, make lunch to take to work (in a plastic bag), keep snacks for the kids, hold household supplies such as pens, etc. There have got to be 101 uses for those plastic bags. Plus, you can recycle them at your local store. Have we gone in full circle on this one, twice? First it was paper, then plastic, then paper, then plastic. So are we going back to paper again? The one funny thing about all this, is that I never know what to tell the person at the checkout line anymore when they ask "paper or plastic". I always say, “It doesn’t matter” for fear the eco-Gestapo is waiting outside the front door to beat me like the protesters at the ’68 Dem convention.

Anonymous said...

Plastic bags cost far more to recycle than they return to the recycler -- so I guess that the bags that we diligently take to the supermarket are just added to landfills. We all feel morally superior for recycling and they just dispose of them in the most economical way. Joke's on us.