how green are those green shopping bags?
But are these bags really better for the environment? Green-
Thoughtful Australians have bought green reusable shopping bags in droves, but author Bernard sautt says they are not as eco-friendly as you think.
They are made of an oil, polypropylene.
Basic products that are not biodegradable at all.
So when they end up wearing out, they get thrown into the trash and sit there for centuries.
The bag is recyclable.
They can be broken down and re-made into new items.
But how many people actually recycle them?
In addition, these bags are made in China, so we don\'t know under what conditions they are made, and what kind of contamination may occur in the process.
We probably don\'t really care because we can\'t see it.
In Mr Salt\'s view, we missed a better solution-a biodegradable plastic bag.
\"We have a choice here, we can have a plastic bag that is broken or we can choose these Chinese --
Make a toxic green dyed polypropylene bag that will not break down.
For some strange reason, in the name of the environment, we went down the green shopping bag route!
\"For those who don\'t care about where the luggage ends up, biodegradable bags provide a safety factor.
Even if you bundle them all in the bin, they end up returning to Earth in a very harmless way.
But one problem is that biodegradable plastic bags look and feel the same as other ones, so it\'s hard to tell if you\'re doing the right thing.
More importantly, it seems to Mr Salt that someone else can\'t tell you to do the right thing.
\"I don\'t think you actually use these eco-friendly bags to buy contributions to the environment, and what you\'re actually doing is buying membership in the eco-friendly fan club.
Jim Cooper, spokesman for Coles Myer, disagrees.
He pointed out that the recycling method of environmental protection bags is exactly the same as that of single bags. use bags are -
Just take them back to where they were purchased and put them in the bag recycling box.
He also said that the entire area of the biodegradable bags is a controversial area.
\"There are standards in managing these things.
We must have looked at them now.
But to our surprise, there are actually very few products that meet the standards in the supermarket environment.
Mr. Cooper also suggested looking at the end --
The use of the package is not enough
From production to processing, it makes sense to see the total environmental impact on the life of the bag.
For example, the calico package seems to be a better option because it is a reusable package made of natural biodegradable materials.
But growing cotton requires a lot of water.
These factors are measured in a recent report by the Victorian organization for sustainable development.
Reusable eco-friendly bags are the best choice for environmental protection, especially when compared to any single eco-friendly baguse bag.
Obviously, the more bags are reused, the better for the environment.
So, how much use can ordinary people get from green bags?
Mr Cooper said: \"Our understanding is that the average consumer may use their bags a dozen to a dozen times.
\"Coles has only anecdotal evidence, so 936 ABC Hobart is conducting a small experiment to see how long these bags can last under real shopping conditions.
We have four volunteers.
Rob, Gail, Lynne and Pam)
Each of them received an ABC reusable shopping bag, a printed cloth bag and two green bags from the main retailer.
Over the next year, we will come back to them on a regular basis to see how many shopping trips everyone can handle.