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.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.
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.