New Jersey Ban On Paper Bags, Single Use Plastic Bags, & Plastic Food Containers

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storewanderer
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Re: New Jersey Ban On Paper Bags, Single Use Plastic Bags, & Plastic Food Containers

Post by storewanderer »

klkla wrote: September 27th, 2020, 12:36 pm That is a strawman argument and invalid in this context. We wouldn't need nearly as many reusable bags and therefore the 'TOTAL energy inputs to create them' would be significantly less than plastic. The reusable bags are made from sustainable & renewable plants unlike plastic. The Southeastern U.S. is more than capable of producing enough cotton to manufacturer our own bags. The amount of non-compostable plastic bags being produced, distributed and discarded in this country is mind boggling and needs to be brought under control. The energy inputs/soap use/chemical trail of cleaning the bags would be substantially less damaging to the environment than the pollution and chemical trail caused by plastic. And, yes the bags are eventually discarded but they are biodegradable unlike plastic.


I don't buy this argument, either. A family of six could easily afford to by a dozen or so renewable bags every year. They're usually priced at around $1.99 so we're looking at $23.88 a year.
It isn't just the energy input to "create" the reusable bag. It is the ongoing energy input to clean and sanitize them as well. And to dispose them.

The reusable bags you are referring to, the cotton/canvas ones, most stores under plastic bag bans do not even sell. Observe customers using reusable bags and less than 10% of the customers using reusable bags have canvas ones. They all have the plastic ones (not the .10 ones- the higher cost ones or ones frequently given as giveaways at events that are actually reusable dozens of times). The only stores I've seen them at are Trader Joes, Natural Grocers, or Whole Foods. And they are all Made in China. The reusable bags sold by the major grocers, by Wal Mart, by the drugstore chains, by Target, etc. are all made of super thick plastic which is sometimes flock-lined or insulated (which means you cannot put it into a washing machine and need to wash it by hand- AND also means it cannot be recycled once it is finally disposed of).

I'm not sure where you find canvas/cotton reusable bags at 1.99 but would be curious to know so I can pick some up. That price would be the super thick plastic ones (which are not machine washable, not recyclable when finally disposed of if flock lined, among other things). The lowest level canvas bag at Trader Joes runs at I think 3.99, maybe more now.

I see very few customers using the cotton/canvas reusable bags. I think the problem is cost and lack of availability of those bags. They can take that same amount cotton it takes to make a bag and make a shirt and get $10-$20+ for a shirt. They take the same amount of cotton (thicker cotton at that) and make a reusable bag and can only get $4 for it.

I have a canvas bag from the mid or early 90's from Raleys that still looks good as new, short of some slight fading of the printing. Back then the bag was 2.99.

Again- think the boxes are a very viable option. The sanitation concern with reusable bags does not exist since the boxes are dispensed by the store. There is no cost involved to the store since the boxes come with the items that are shipped into the store.

If the thin plastic bags cause climate problems, the reusable plastic bags cause climate problems too. I understand you are promoting reusable canvas bags but the reality of the situation is 90%+ of the people using reusable bags are using reusable plastic bags.

pseudo3d
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Re: New Jersey Ban On Paper Bags, Single Use Plastic Bags, & Plastic Food Containers

Post by pseudo3d »

klkla wrote: September 26th, 2020, 12:55 pm People should use bags that are washable and reusable. That is the optimum solution.

Instead of these bans the state governments should tax them out of existence. IE: $1 for any plastic bag as well as paper bags. Then people will start conserving and make decisions that are good for the environment.
The reusable bags are, in theory, washable. Problem is people rarely do, and by the Xth time they bring them back to the grocery store, they're filthy, especially if the person lives with pets or smokers. I suppose that grocery stores could refuse obviously dirty bags, but that probably opens a whole mess of worms.

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Re: New Jersey Ban On Paper Bags, Single Use Plastic Bags, & Plastic Food Containers

Post by veteran+ »

storewanderer wrote: September 27th, 2020, 7:55 pm
klkla wrote: September 27th, 2020, 12:36 pm That is a strawman argument and invalid in this context. We wouldn't need nearly as many reusable bags and therefore the 'TOTAL energy inputs to create them' would be significantly less than plastic. The reusable bags are made from sustainable & renewable plants unlike plastic. The Southeastern U.S. is more than capable of producing enough cotton to manufacturer our own bags. The amount of non-compostable plastic bags being produced, distributed and discarded in this country is mind boggling and needs to be brought under control. The energy inputs/soap use/chemical trail of cleaning the bags would be substantially less damaging to the environment than the pollution and chemical trail caused by plastic. And, yes the bags are eventually discarded but they are biodegradable unlike plastic.


I don't buy this argument, either. A family of six could easily afford to by a dozen or so renewable bags every year. They're usually priced at around $1.99 so we're looking at $23.88 a year.
It isn't just the energy input to "create" the reusable bag. It is the ongoing energy input to clean and sanitize them as well. And to dispose them.

The reusable bags you are referring to, the cotton/canvas ones, most stores under plastic bag bans do not even sell. Observe customers using reusable bags and less than 10% of the customers using reusable bags have canvas ones. They all have the plastic ones (not the .10 ones- the higher cost ones or ones frequently given as giveaways at events that are actually reusable dozens of times). The only stores I've seen them at are Trader Joes, Natural Grocers, or Whole Foods. And they are all Made in China. The reusable bags sold by the major grocers, by Wal Mart, by the drugstore chains, by Target, etc. are all made of super thick plastic which is sometimes flock-lined or insulated (which means you cannot put it into a washing machine and need to wash it by hand- AND also means it cannot be recycled once it is finally disposed of).

I'm not sure where you find canvas/cotton reusable bags at 1.99 but would be curious to know so I can pick some up. That price would be the super thick plastic ones (which are not machine washable, not recyclable when finally disposed of if flock lined, among other things). The lowest level canvas bag at Trader Joes runs at I think 3.99, maybe more now.

I see very few customers using the cotton/canvas reusable bags. I think the problem is cost and lack of availability of those bags. They can take that same amount cotton it takes to make a bag and make a shirt and get $10-$20+ for a shirt. They take the same amount of cotton (thicker cotton at that) and make a reusable bag and can only get $4 for it.

I have a canvas bag from the mid or early 90's from Raleys that still looks good as new, short of some slight fading of the printing. Back then the bag was 2.99.

Again- think the boxes are a very viable option. The sanitation concern with reusable bags does not exist since the boxes are dispensed by the store. There is no cost involved to the store since the boxes come with the items that are shipped into the store.

If the thin plastic bags cause climate problems, the reusable plastic bags cause climate problems too. I understand you are promoting reusable canvas bags but the reality of the situation is 90%+ of the people using reusable bags are using reusable plastic bags.
So what do you do with the boxes when you get home?

Recycling around the country has proven to be mostly a sham for ALL materials.

I just can't see loading my car with boxes that take up so much space (possibly blocking rear and side views while driving. Then when you get home............what? Store them someplace, put them back inside the car? Break them down and what?????

I think this is all kind of silly.

We are fully capable of creating (eco safely) truly biodegradable, washable, reusable bags (CHEAP). We just do NOT want to because of typical selfish self interested entities. This should not even be political.

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Re: New Jersey Ban On Paper Bags, Single Use Plastic Bags, & Plastic Food Containers

Post by klkla »

pseudo3d wrote: September 28th, 2020, 2:17 amThe reusable bags are, in theory, washable. Problem is people rarely do, and by the Xth time they bring them back to the grocery store, they're filthy, especially if the person lives with pets or smokers. I suppose that grocery stores could refuse obviously dirty bags, but that probably opens a whole mess of worms.
Even if they don't wash their bags it's unlikely that any cross contamination would happen. The bags are most likely to be dirty on the inside and that would be the customer's own problem. People's shoes are much dirtier than any reusable bag yet people are allowed to wear them inside supermarkets and other retail stores.

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Re: New Jersey Ban On Paper Bags, Single Use Plastic Bags, & Plastic Food Containers

Post by klkla »

storewanderer wrote: September 27th, 2020, 7:55 pm Again- think the boxes are a very viable option. The sanitation concern with reusable bags does not exist since the boxes are dispensed by the store. There is no cost involved to the store since the boxes come with the items that are shipped into the store.
The boxes are more likely to be a source of rodent & roach infestation in people's homes (This is also a problem with paper bags). Also, stores don't receive nearly enough boxes in their deliveries for every customer.

The current box recycling program at stores works very well. No reason to fix something that isn't broken.

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Re: New Jersey Ban On Paper Bags, Single Use Plastic Bags, & Plastic Food Containers

Post by storewanderer »

klkla wrote: September 28th, 2020, 10:02 am
storewanderer wrote: September 27th, 2020, 7:55 pm Again- think the boxes are a very viable option. The sanitation concern with reusable bags does not exist since the boxes are dispensed by the store. There is no cost involved to the store since the boxes come with the items that are shipped into the store.
The boxes are more likely to be a source of rodent & roach infestation in people's homes (This is also a problem with paper bags). Also, stores don't receive nearly enough boxes in their deliveries for every customer.

The current box recycling program at stores works very well. No reason to fix something that isn't broken.
I don't understand how a grocery store giving customers boxes is any different from these mail order companies sending products to people in boxes. People will get rid of the boxes (I hope) as part of the recycling process.

Actually the current box recycling program is a mess- stores used to get cardboard hauled away free but the advent of online shopping has created a glut of cardboard boxes and now most stores have to pay haulers quite a bit to take the cardboard away, but cardboard is doing much better than most other materials in recycling rate at 67% and can be re-recycled many more times than most materials.
https://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2020/03/1 ... g-america/

I suspect we would have a better time recycling plastics, if we actually manufactured more stuff here...

So we will see how this goes in NJ disallowing the paper bags as well.

But if people are so sloppy they can't figure out what to recycle and not to recycle how do you expect them to properly clean and sanitize a reusable bag? If their clothes are dirty, their bag will be too. Sure you don't see this type of stuff much shopping at Gelson's but go into a large mass merchant or a discount grocer and personal hygiene does not give much promise for a large segment of people keeping reusable bags clean. So those folks can have boxes.

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Re: New Jersey Ban On Paper Bags, Single Use Plastic Bags, & Plastic Food Containers

Post by BillyGr »

storewanderer wrote: September 27th, 2020, 11:29 am Out west as these bans went into place, Safeway/Albertsons was actually trying to sell people special store logo boxes with handles cut into the sides to carry groceries out in. I think they were $1.99 and ended up with space about the size of a 6-gallon milk crate. Those did not sell well at all, not sure what happened to all of them, but doubt they actually sold through them.
Those are (surprisingly) not new - the chain in New England/NJ Edwards (which somehow wound up with one store here in Latham, NY) had boxes like that back in the 1980's. They were positioned as a warehouse store (sort of the early version of Aldi before Aldi existed) so they didn't provide bags. Thus, people often bought those (and reused them for multiple trips), though I think they were probably 25 or 50 cents then, compared to paper bags they sold for 5 or 10 cents each.
veteran+ wrote: September 28th, 2020, 7:16 am So what do you do with the boxes when you get home?

Recycling around the country has proven to be mostly a sham for ALL materials.
Haven't heard of a recycling program that wouldn't take cardboard boxes - they've been recycled (along with other paper) even before most places did regular recycling (groups used to do paper drives to raise money). Also, as others pointed out, stores recycled them now, so all you're doing is moving the point of recycle from stores to homes/transfer stations.

There's also the option (since stores, as pointed out may not have enough boxes for everyone) to use those same boxes several times (bringing them back to the stores, just like a reusable bag), particularly for items you buy packaged (cans, boxes, bags) that aren't going to get the box dirty.

And, in general, the boxes are already being made to ship stuff to the stores, so even if they only get used one more time to take stuff home to your house, that's one less thing (the bag of whatever type) that has to be made.

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Re: New Jersey Ban On Paper Bags, Single Use Plastic Bags, & Plastic Food Containers

Post by TW-Upstate NY »

BillyGr wrote: September 29th, 2020, 9:26 am Those are (surprisingly) not new - the chain in New England/NJ Edwards (which somehow wound up with one store here in Latham, NY) had boxes like that back in the 1980's. They were positioned as a warehouse store (sort of the early version of Aldi before Aldi existed) so they didn't provide bags. Thus, people often bought those (and reused them for multiple trips), though I think they were probably 25 or 50 cents then, compared to paper bags they sold for 5 or 10 cents each.
I've got an Edwards one around the house somewhere. I even recall buying them back then in Shop Rite (their first go round in the area before they left) and even BJ's Wholesale Club. And no, they never really caught on and have actually become collectors items to an extent. I saw one for the Shop-'N-Save chain (not the Hannaford one but the Ohio? one) on E-Bay and the asking price was $59.99.

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Re: New Jersey Ban On Paper Bags, Single Use Plastic Bags, & Plastic Food Containers

Post by TW-Upstate NY »

veteran+ wrote: September 28th, 2020, 7:16 am So what do you do with the boxes when you get home?
I know what I did with them back in the 60's when I was growing up-boxes were actually one of my favorite things to play with. I had plenty of toys but give me a cardboard box and I'd be fascinated by it. I doubt I'm alone either.

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Re: New Jersey Ban On Paper Bags, Single Use Plastic Bags, & Plastic Food Containers

Post by klkla »

storewanderer wrote: September 29th, 2020, 12:00 am I don't understand how a grocery store giving customers boxes is any different from these mail order companies sending products to people in boxes.
I never said I was opposed to letting customers take boxes if the stores want to give them out. I'm only saying that we can't rely on this method because there won't be enough boxes for everyone. And I for one don't like taking them from grocery stores because food residue is often left in the boxes from some products like pasta, for example. It's a personal choice.

Also, the stores don't pay haulers to take away cardboard bales. They get paid for them. It's not a lot but the system works and that's why you haven't seen very many retailers offering their boxes to customers.
storewanderer wrote: September 29th, 2020, 12:00 am But if people are so sloppy they can't figure out what to recycle and not to recycle how do you expect them to properly clean and sanitize a reusable bag? If their clothes are dirty, their bag will be too. Sure you don't see this type of stuff much shopping at Gelson's but go into a large mass merchant or a discount grocer and personal hygiene does not give much promise for a large segment of people keeping reusable bags clean. So those folks can have boxes.

If someone wants to put their food in their own dirty bag that's on them. It's not likely to effect my bag in any way, shape or form. Just like their dirty clothes. That is their choice. It doesn't effect me.

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