A battle Between Recycling Industry and Plastic Bag Bans
Paper and plastic bag bans are on the rise in the United States. Some ordinances are attaching a fee to the use of these bags and some prohibit their use. However, one group of people is fighting against them. They are recyclers.
According to the ISRI, paper mills make some or all of their products from recovered fiber. In fact, 77% of them do this. More than 150 million pounds of bags were collected last year and recycled. In 2011, the number was 151 million pounds. It was increased from 2010 by 19%. Retailers should have containers for plastic bags.
According to the Clean Air Council, less than 1% of plastic bags are recycled each year. The situation is even worse if we know that in order to recycle just one ton of plastic bags, recycling industry needs $4.000 and the value of products, made from this material is only $32. The recycling process is very difficult, because plastic bags are thrown away in containers with other plastic. On the other side, the plastic bag industry hires 30.000 people.
As you can see, plastic bags are a serious problem. They are also problematic when they get to the lakes and forest. Plastic bags do not dissolve in the nature. Even when they do (after many years) they are toxic for the environment. The solution is to stop using these bags. The much better alternative is a reusable bag. Many people want to use them, but they forget them when they go shopping. So, put one or two in your car. With this simple trick, you won’t go to the grocery shop without your bag.