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-   -   LA becomes largest US city to ban plastic bags (http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=199654)

Private Dick May 30, 2012 1:52 PM

LA becomes largest US city to ban plastic bags
 
LA becomes largest US city to ban plastic bags

By Adrian Martinez
Published May 24, 2012

http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2012/05...n-plastic-bags

This is a great day for the City of Los Angeles. The Los Angeles City Council just adopted a policy framework for banning single-use plastic bags. This makes it the largest city in the nation to adopt a policy to move toward removing these bags from our environment. As I wrote yesterday in my blog, the environmental and economic problems with these bags far outweigh any limited benefit they may have. Thus, the City Council made the right move in sending the city on its way to banning them in Los Angeles.

In developing this landmark program, the City Council took a measured and reasoned approach. The framework includes a six-month educational period of the ordinance where no ban is in place. After that initial six months, larger stores must phase out single use plastic bags. Twelve months after adoption of the final ordinance, small stores will also ban these bags. For paper bags, retailers will be required to charge 10 cents per bag starting one year from today. In two years, a study will assess whether to ban outright paper bags as well.

chubbydecker May 30, 2012 2:15 PM

now if they could only ban plastic people!

kingkirbythe.... May 30, 2012 2:53 PM

About time.

Private Dick May 30, 2012 2:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chubbydecker (Post 5717344)
now if they could only ban plastic people!

:haha:

mind field May 30, 2012 3:15 PM

Great job los angeles, showing your progressiveness!

emathias May 30, 2012 3:36 PM

Only morons support this moronic trend.
 
Plastic bag bans are one of the most stupid, short-sighted, naively anti-pedestrian things in play right now.

"We can't stop cars, so lets stop some small thing that doesn't really have lobbyists and is completely meaningless change"

Dumb, dumb, dumb.

Typical urban consumer A:

Drives to the grocery store using a 2-ton vehicle that required enormous energy to produce and far more energy to drive than a few plastic bags require.

Typcal lurban consumer B:

Doesn't own a car, thereby saving thousands of pounds of oil from being expended, walks to get groceries, saving fuel. Because he is walking and not driving, doesn't like having to carry around re-usable bags because it's inconvenient to have to carry them around, especially when it's warm out. Likes the so-called one-use plastic bags because they're stronger than paper, they don't dissolve in if it rains before he gets home, and he re-uses them as small trash-can liners or to carry paper things in the rain, or many other purposes (i.e. they're NOT "single-use" to him).

Which consumer is better for the environment? Which consumer does this STUPID law hurt the most? Only suburban idiots who DRIVE everywhere think that banning plastic bags is smart. Not being able to get a plastic bag to take stuff home when you're a pedestrian is just one more reason to buy a car.

This sort of nonsense really makes me swear like a sailor. SUV drivers telling people who don't even own cars that they can't have a plastic bag to carry home their groceries is SICKENINGLY OFFENSIVELY MORONIC.

mhays May 30, 2012 3:50 PM

Those are good points emathias. Especially the bit about our focus on easy stuff that doesn't have constituencies, vs. stuff like cars that do. (Though the plastic bag industry has a big lobby and is fighting stuff like this hard.)

Since paper bags are also problematic, I'd favor a rule where a paper bag is 5c and a plastic one is 10c. You can have a bag, but it costs something, but something minimal.

And yes, walking is a hell of a lot more beneficial. But I'd still love to crack down on people who use a bag for every lunch rather than just carrying the freaking to-go box, or use 16 bags every time they buy groceries.

Vlajos May 30, 2012 3:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chubbydecker (Post 5717344)
now if they could only ban plastic people!

Would be much more meaningful for the environment.

Vlajos May 30, 2012 3:57 PM

Not sure if people know this, but you can recycle those bags at most grocers.

Private Dick May 30, 2012 3:59 PM

The energy used to make about 9 plastic bags is equivalent to the energy it takes to drive a car one kilometer.

National Academy of Sciences, 2010

Private Dick May 30, 2012 4:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Vlajos (Post 5717513)
Not sure if people know this, but you can recycle those bags at most grocers.

Well... you can put them in a bin there. LDPE bags are not cost-effective to recycle and over 90% collected go to landfills anyway.

202_Cyclist May 30, 2012 4:28 PM

DC has had a plastic bag fee for about two and a half years now. Before this was implemented, opponents were predicting it would lead to a huge exodus of jobs, residents would move to Virginia because they have to pay five cents for a plastic bag or even worse, people would spontaneously start speaking French. Suffice to say, none of these fears have been realized. The five cent plastic bag fee, on the other hand, resulted in a significant reduction in the number of bags: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/dc/...0_but_far.html .

"In its first assessment of how the new law is working, the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue estimates that city food and grocery establishments issued about 3.3 million bags in January, which suggests a remarkable decrease. Prior to the bag tax taking effect Jan 1, the Office of the Chief Financial Officer had estimated that about 22.5 million bags were being issued per month in 2009..."

In the two and a half years since the bag fee was implemented, I think I have paid maybe fifty cents or one dollar total for all of the plastic bags I've used. It is really not difficult to: 1) bring reusable bags, 2) put a couple of items in a messanger bag or backpack, 3) carry one or two items. If none of those seem to work, I don't mind paying a big nickel for a plastic bag, with the revenue going (hopefully) to clean up the Anacostia river.

There are, what, more than seven billion people on this planet of ours. It is well past time that we stop using something like a shopping bag only once and then throw it out.

jaxg8r1 May 30, 2012 5:08 PM

Yeah, this isn't a problem in Portland. I walk in the rain constantly, I just ask them to double up the paper bags and its not a problem. Then when I get home I have two bags that I can use as garbage bags, etc.

Boquillas May 30, 2012 5:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 5717477)
Plastic bag bans are one of the most stupid, short-sighted, naively anti-pedestrian things in play right now.

"We can't stop cars, so lets stop some small thing that doesn't really have lobbyists and is completely meaningless change"

Dumb, dumb, dumb.

Typical urban consumer A:

Drives to the grocery store using a 2-ton vehicle that required enormous energy to produce and far more energy to drive than a few plastic bags require.

Typcal lurban consumer B:

Doesn't own a car, thereby saving thousands of pounds of oil from being expended, walks to get groceries, saving fuel. Because he is walking and not driving, doesn't like having to carry around re-usable bags because it's inconvenient to have to carry them around, especially when it's warm out. Likes the so-called one-use plastic bags because they're stronger than paper, they don't dissolve in if it rains before he gets home, and he re-uses them as small trash-can liners or to carry paper things in the rain, or many other purposes (i.e. they're NOT "single-use" to him).

Which consumer is better for the environment? Which consumer does this STUPID law hurt the most? Only suburban idiots who DRIVE everywhere think that banning plastic bags is smart. Not being able to get a plastic bag to take stuff home when you're a pedestrian is just one more reason to buy a car.

This sort of nonsense really makes me swear like a sailor. SUV drivers telling people who don't even own cars that they can't have a plastic bag to carry home their groceries is SICKENINGLY OFFENSIVELY MORONIC.

Man, I don't even know where to begin with this.

First, I'm absolutely SHOCKED that you think eliminating plastic bags is "completely meaningless change." What are you talking about? Plastic bags suck, for thousands of reasons. I'm not going to get into them here, but they're easy to find.

Second, if you're walking to get your groceries, how does it hurt you to carry a few reusable bags? They fit inside one another (and you're probably not going to carry more than 2-4 full bags home with you anyway) and many snap together or fit over your shoulder, or fold up and fit in your pocket. Plenty of pedestrians do this. Your complaint sounds personal, because this policy doesn't seem to be targeting pedestrians in any way shape or form. "But I use plastic bags, and I'm an eco-conscious pedestrian, so they can't be bad!"

It's not a panacea policy intended to fix all ills. It's one step toward reducing wasteful consumption. Getting gas-guzzlers off the road and encouraging a less car-dependent lifestyle is still a goal. You have falsely painted this as some sort of ridiculous either-or scenario.

People keep forgetting the first of the three Rs is "Reduce!" Then reuse, THEN recycle.

It sounds like you need to be the change you want to see, instead of shoveling the blame everywhere but your own trough.

J. Will May 30, 2012 7:02 PM

In Toronto plastic bags cost five cents, and are displayed seperately on your receipt. I always bring my reusable bag if I'm planning on going grocery shopping, but something I might be at the other end of the neighbourhood, and might want to stop in at the grocer there (they have some different items than the one right by my house), so I'll end up getting plastic bags.

pesto May 30, 2012 7:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Private Dick (Post 5717517)
The energy used to make about 9 plastic bags is equivalent to the energy it takes to drive a car one kilometer.

National Academy of Sciences, 2010

Aren't these sold for about 1000 for $2 when you buy in mass? Assuming this includes a profit margin, the cost of production of 9 is almost too small to calculate.

Did you make this up or did the NAS?

emathias May 30, 2012 7:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by J. Will (Post 5717768)
In Toronto plastic bags cost five cents, and are displayed seperately on your receipt. I always bring my reusable bag if I'm planning on going grocery shopping, but something I might be at the other end of the neighbourhood, and might want to stop in at the grocer there (they have some different items than the one right by my house), so I'll end up getting plastic bags.

This is perfectly acceptable to me. Paying for something I receive isn't a problem, so being charged a few cents - up to a quarter, really - for a plastic bag doesn't bother me at all.

emathias May 30, 2012 7:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Boquillas (Post 5717664)
...
Second, if you're walking to get your groceries, how does it hurt you to carry a few reusable bags? They fit inside one another (and you're probably not going to carry more than 2-4 full bags home with you anyway) and many snap together or fit over your shoulder, or fold up and fit in your pocket. Plenty of pedestrians do this. Your complaint sounds personal, because this policy doesn't seem to be targeting pedestrians in any way shape or form. "But I use plastic bags, and I'm an eco-conscious pedestrian, so they can't be bad!"

It's not a panacea policy intended to fix all ills. It's one step toward reducing wasteful consumption. Getting gas-guzzlers off the road and encouraging a less car-dependent lifestyle is still a goal. You have falsely painted this as some sort of ridiculous either-or scenario.

People keep forgetting the first of the three Rs is "Reduce!" Then reuse, THEN recycle.

It sounds like you need to be the change you want to see, instead of shoveling the blame everywhere but your own trough.

I take it you're one of those naive hippies who thinks everyone is some young kid who wears jeans and sneakers everywhere and can carry around extraneous crap on the off chance they need to buy something, or has time to go home and get bags just to get a few groceries. You've got a narrow view of the world then, buddy. Plenty of us real people need to do real work and make real contributions to the world and don't really appreciate being told that small conveniences that make life easier and have very little real impact (I've read the anecdotes and the sob stories and, frankly, they're overblown and compared to other, bigger, more important issues, are NOT where we need to be focusing efforts).

And you're right, is IS personal. VERY PERSONAL, to be told that MY small choices are somehow worse than other peoples large choices. That's bull. You could fit every plastic bag I've ever used in the trunk of a car. I know this because I have about 10 years worth of plastic bags in my kitchen and they take up about the same space as one piece of luggage. Next time I move, if I haven't used them for some other purpose, I will recycle them - many of them are recyclable.

As I commented on another post, charge me for them. Hell, do what states do for aluminum cans, and put a deposit on them. If you put a 5 or 10 cent deposit on them, people would either bring them back, or you'd have an army of children and homeless people picking them up and turning them in to keep them out of landfills and trees. The returns could be recycled or disposed of safely.

I'll take the bags issue as something other than a personal attack when we start charging luxury car owners appropriate taxes. When we start charging appropriate taxes on people who live in extra large houses that require obscene amounts of extra energy to construct and then to cool and/or heat. People who have lawns in desert climates, etc, etc.

Yes, it's not "either-or," but most of those aren't even conveniences - they're luxuries. Luxuries have no real utility. A plastic bag has utility.

Reverberation May 30, 2012 8:05 PM

I prefer plastic bags over paper or those crappy canvas ones. They double as small trash bags, lunch bags, doggie bags (for those who need to scoop), laundry bags on vacations, among other things. Suppose you buy ice cream and it melts, or some eggs break, or your milk leaks. Will a canvas bag contain the mess? Has it occurred to anyone that there may be a bacterial/sanitary issue with re-using bags without running them through the laundry? Will fruit still be held in the plastic bags that they give you in the produce section?

The only thing "progressive" about progressives in places like LA is that they are always progressively coming up with new things that you are doing wrong and trying to save you from them, regardless of how little difference it makes. Thanks to progressives, citizens of Los Angeles are no longer free to choose how they will carry their groceries home.

edluva May 30, 2012 9:39 PM

Hate to sound like an ass but if you anti bag ban people had been raised near a major ocean (texans won't count bc they can give a shit about anything environmental big or small) you might feel differently about the significance of this ban.

And I suppose emathias feels that suddenly imposing major penalties on cars in a recession stricken car dependent nation would be more productive because of his "personal" stake in this? You don't by chance think this is solely about land fills do you? What myopia

ChrisLA May 30, 2012 11:10 PM

I live in the LA metro, but within my city of Long Beach they banned them a little over a year ago. It wasn't a big deal, although it took a few times to not forget I need to bring them with me. When I we did, my wife refuse to pay 10 cents for paper bags (no plastic available at all) and we just carry it out, or put it in the basket and unload when we get to the car.

Oh btw we could also walk to the supermarkets in the neighborhood and just take our personal shopping cart, but the wife rather not. Actually when I live in Chicago I walked to the supermarket, and I hated those plastic bags. Carrying a butch of groceries those 4 blocks killed my fingers trying to hang on to all those bags. I ended up purchasing one of those personal shopping carts, which help save the hands.

I have to say I'm glad Long Beach go rid of them, nothing changed with the majority of people habits as some folks threaten they would shop in the nearby cities, it didn't happened.

niwell May 30, 2012 11:22 PM

Not entirely sure I agree with a full ban, but the amount of plastic bags you see lying around on the side of the street here decreased significantly after the city passed just a $.05 fee per bag. Admittedly some small independent stores ignore the fee but they aren't giving out a lot of bags. The provincially owned liquor stores went as far as to remove plastic bags entirely and people seem to have survived; and liquor bottles / beer cans are significantly more difficult to carry without a bag than most groceries. For those who insist most stores have reusable bags available for a few bucks.

I generally carry a tote bag around with me to bring work materials home anyway so small purchases go in there.

jaxg8r1 May 30, 2012 11:33 PM

I also suppose if we just ignore that mountain of trash in the pacific ocean, comprised of plastic bags, it will just go away. That would certainly be easier than taking action...

jd3189 May 31, 2012 12:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Reverberation (Post 5717858)
I prefer plastic bags over paper or those crappy canvas ones. They double as small trash bags, lunch bags, doggie bags (for those who need to scoop), laundry bags on vacations, among other things. Suppose you buy ice cream and it melts, or some eggs break, or your milk leaks. Will a canvas bag contain the mess? Has it occurred to anyone that there may be a bacterial/sanitary issue with re-using bags without running them through the laundry? Will fruit still be held in the plastic bags that they give you in the produce section?

Agreed. My family reuses plastic bags as mini trash bags for the house to dispose later outside into the large black bags. It greatly decreases the chance of spillage if the larger bag rips and trash doesn't accumulate inside the house to add to odor. It sure beats wasting the plastic bags and you can also use them for other things. Spending money on expensive sprays to try to get rid of the odor is kind of uneconomical to me. I rather get something free that is able to multipurpose than to pay for something that's just going to take more cash out of my pocket.

Rizzo May 31, 2012 2:32 AM

The City of Chicago does not accept plastic bags in recycling but all the stores around me will take them back for recycling. Paper is better, but it performs badly in certain weather conditions. I think I've seen some compostable "like plastic" bags before that may work.

I'd adjust the ban to say this. All stores with zero parking may continue using plastic bags. All stores that do have parking are prohibited from using plastic bags and must pay a tax for every space they own to be used toward a recycling facility that handles these bags. Oil is oil, fair is fair...right?

Boquillas May 31, 2012 4:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 5717837)
You've got a narrow view of the world then, buddy. Plenty of us real people need to do real work and make real contributions to the world and don't really appreciate being told that small conveniences that make life easier and have very little real impact (I've read the anecdotes and the sob stories and, frankly, they're overblown and compared to other, bigger, more important issues, are NOT where we need to be focusing efforts).

Thanks for putting me in my place. I'm sorry, I didn't know real, important people like you couldn't possibly be expected to use a reusable bag. It's got to be hard being a real working person who makes real contributions, and then they take away your plastic bags?

I wish I were a real person, who made real contributions, but I'm just a naive hippie.

mhays May 31, 2012 4:11 AM

Way to completely not understand what you read.

J. Will May 31, 2012 4:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChrisLA (Post 5718059)
I live in the LA metro, but within my city of Long Beach they banned them a little over a year ago. It wasn't a big deal, although it took a few times to not forget I need to bring them with me. When I we did, my wife refuse to pay 10 cents for paper bags (no plastic available at all) and we just carry it out, or put it in the basket and unload when we get to the car.

Oh btw we could also walk to the supermarkets in the neighborhood and just take our personal shopping cart, but the wife rather not. Actually when I live in Chicago I walked to the supermarket, and I hated those plastic bags. Carrying a butch of groceries those 4 blocks killed my fingers trying to hang on to all those bags. I ended up purchasing one of those personal shopping carts, which help save the hands.

I have to say I'm glad Long Beach go rid of them, nothing changed with the majority of people habits as some folks threaten they would shop in the nearby cities, it didn't happened.

I'm tempted to get one of those carts, but I only ever see elderly with them. Are people going to wonder what I'm doing with a "granny cart"?

Boquillas May 31, 2012 4:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mhays (Post 5718340)
Way to completely not understand what you read.

What don't I understand? I should've included his whole quote, granted. Go back and read it. He posits that only people who aren't busy, wear jeans, etc. can be expected to bring reusable bags with them, but his lifestyle and schedule prohibit this, as if his lifestyle weren't a set of choices just like everybody else.

The other false scenario he's pushing is that he is expected to make sacrifices when the biggest offenders aren't. I totally agree, the car-dependent culture is a much bigger problem, but you can't just say "I won't change until they do." That's exactly what the other side is saying.

Rizzo May 31, 2012 4:57 AM

J.Will, I got one of those because I saw people using them and didn't feel so awkward.

Then the wheel broke off, rolled into the street, and got smashed by a bus. I was like f-this and now just carried groceries (in plastic bags) on my bike handles. I can do the same with paper bags so as long as they have sturdy handles.

I have reusable bags, but they aren't convenient unless you're strictly on a mission to go grocery shopping or taking a car. Most of my trips for food are daily or every couple of days. They happen at random when I'm passing by the grocery store or coming back from a bike ride. So carrying a reusable bag is not very convenient for these habits.

I hate the fact that I'm trying to justify plastic bags....but stores must offer alternatives that are just as durable.

213 May 31, 2012 5:39 AM

Hearing all the same objections I heard back in the '70s when Michigan (where I grew up) introduced a dime deposit on bottles and cans: a pain for consumers, puts costs on businesses, marginal benefit, government trying to run our lives, etc., etc. Thirty-five years later the deposit is still a dime, consumers and businesses regard it a simple matter of routine, and the benefit to the state's environment has been anything but marginal.

L.A.'s plastic bag ban is a comparably good law that other large cities hopefully will emulate.

mhays May 31, 2012 5:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Boquillas (Post 5718377)
What don't I understand? I should've included his whole quote, granted. Go back and read it. He posits that only people who aren't busy, wear jeans, etc. can be expected to bring reusable bags with them, but his lifestyle and schedule prohibit this, as if his lifestyle weren't a set of choices just like everybody else.

The other false scenario he's pushing is that he is expected to make sacrifices when the biggest offenders aren't. I totally agree, the car-dependent culture is a much bigger problem, but you can't just say "I won't change until they do." That's exactly what the other side is saying.

So if you're busy you're covered by his explanation.

fflint May 31, 2012 6:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 5717837)
Plenty of us real people need to do real work and make real contributions to the world and don't really appreciate being told that small conveniences that make life easier and have very little real impact....

Are you under the impression there are no "real people" who "need to do real work and make real contributions to the world" in places that have banned plastic bags? That people stopped walking and/or buying food in cities that banned plastic bags?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hayward
I was like f-this and now just carried groceries (in plastic bags) on my bike handles. I can do the same with paper bags so as long as they have sturdy handles.

I carry paper bags on my handlebars. Never had a problem--in fact, they keep their shape better and don't ride down on my wheels like plastic bags did back when they were legal--back when I was a real person.

all of the trash May 31, 2012 8:09 AM

Someone get emathias a plastic bag to collect his tears in.

awholeparade May 31, 2012 1:34 PM

I usually carry a reusable bag when on my Xtracycle (cargo bike), and when I'm not on that bike, I'm on a bike that has removable panniers. If Denver adopted this ban, too, I couldn't care less. That said, I know my situation is not very common.

matthew6 May 31, 2012 2:08 PM

What did people do before plastic bags were invented?

Whatever it was, they managed.

Private Dick Jun 1, 2012 4:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pesto (Post 5717786)
Aren't these sold for about 1000 for $2 when you buy in mass? Assuming this includes a profit margin, the cost of production of 9 is almost too small to calculate.

Did you make this up or did the NAS?

Huh?

Who's talking about retail price of plastic bags... much less profit margin?

I stated a finding based on an NAS/Carnegie Mellon study about how much energy it takes to produce LDPE bags -- which related energy use by an automobile to drive 1 km to plastic bad production. Considering all energy inputs in the production, producing 9 grocery-sized LDPE bags requires the same energy consumption as driving 1 km in the average mpg vehicle on the road in 2010.

Private Dick Jun 1, 2012 5:04 PM

Whatever personal feelings and experiences regarding single-use plastic bags may be, we should all be able to realize that their wasteful overuse does represent economic and environmental problems which are significant. We know this to be fact.

Simply put, we are paying for the convenience of plastic bags -- and that's not referring to the included cost of the bags in retail prices or for bag fees.

pesto Jun 1, 2012 6:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Private Dick (Post 5719864)
Huh?

Who's talking about retail price of plastic bags... much less profit margin?

I stated a finding based on an NAS/Carnegie Mellon study about how much energy it takes to produce LDPE bags -- which related energy use by an automobile to drive 1 km to plastic bad production. Considering all energy inputs in the production, producing 9 grocery-sized LDPE bags requires the same energy consumption as driving 1 km in the average mpg vehicle on the road in 2010.

Sorry to pick on you, since economics doesn't seem to be your thing.

First, we're not talking retail, we're talking the manufacturer's wholesale price of selling bags to large purchasers.

The amount of energy that goes into making 1000 plastic bags MUST be less than the sales price less the profit margin. Otherwise the manufacturer would go out of business. Using my numbers above, the purchase cost of 9 bags is about $.018. Removing profit margin and costs other than energy (people, machines, marketing, etc.), let's say $.01 of energy costs.

This is substantially less than driving a car one kilometer, which I would estimate for an average car is about $.15 ($4.50/gallon; 30 kpg)

Vlajos Jun 1, 2012 7:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Private Dick (Post 5719864)
Huh?

Who's talking about retail price of plastic bags... much less profit margin?

I stated a finding based on an NAS/Carnegie Mellon study about how much energy it takes to produce LDPE bags -- which related energy use by an automobile to drive 1 km to plastic bad production. Considering all energy inputs in the production, producing 9 grocery-sized LDPE bags requires the same energy consumption as driving 1 km in the average mpg vehicle on the road in 2010.

How much energy was used to produce the car?

Gordo Jun 1, 2012 7:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pesto (Post 5720005)
Sorry to pick on you, since economics doesn't seem to be your thing.

First, we're not talking retail, we're talking the manufacturer's wholesale price of selling bags to large purchasers.

The amount of energy that goes into making 1000 plastic bags MUST be less than the sales price less the profit margin. Otherwise the manufacturer would go out of business. Using my numbers above, the purchase cost of 9 bags is about $.018. Removing profit margin and costs other than energy (people, machines, marketing, etc.), let's say $.01 of energy costs.

This is substantially less than driving a car one kilometer, which I would estimate for an average car is about $.15 ($4.50/gallon; 30 kpg)

I agree that the study seems off, but you're comparing a retail gasoline (a portable and relatively expensive) energy price to what is likely a wholesale price for bulk electricity. That would be like trying to figure out the cost of energy for a factory by extrapolating the cost/kw of the AA batteries used in your flashlight.

Vlajos Jun 1, 2012 7:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gordo (Post 5720095)
I agree that the study seems off, but you're comparing a retail gasoline (a portable and relatively expensive) energy price to what is likely a wholesale price for bulk electricity.

Off? It sounds like pure propaganda.

pesto Jun 1, 2012 8:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gordo (Post 5720095)
I agree that the study seems off, but you're comparing a retail gasoline (a portable and relatively expensive) energy price to what is likely a wholesale price for bulk electricity. That would be like trying to figure out the cost of energy for a factory by extrapolating the cost/kw of the AA batteries used in your flashlight.

Not worth pursuing, but I think I have faithfully stated the energy costs implicit in a market obtaining a bag which they intend to give away as part of their service (just like parking, use of carts, lighting, heating, etc., are services provided to their customers) vs. the costs a person incurs driving his car one kilometer.

My approach does not confuse wholesale and retail. Yours does, by assuming that the value of a gallon of gas at the well-head is equivalent to one in your gas tank.

Vlajos: How funny! You must be a silly man; or woman; or whatever you are.

Gordo Jun 1, 2012 10:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pesto (Post 5720177)
My approach does not confuse wholesale and retail. Yours does, by assuming that the value of a gallon of gas at the well-head is equivalent to one in your gas tank.

???

How did I assume that?

Not sure what giving away the bag has to do with it - you stated the price that bag manufacturers were selling them for and then compared this to the retail cost of the gasoline needed to drive a kilometer. I think it's pretty clear that if the bag manufacturer was running their plant using gasoline electric generators, their production cost would be significantly higher.

Private Dick Jun 2, 2012 3:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pesto (Post 5720005)
Sorry to pick on you, since economics doesn't seem to be your thing.

First, we're not talking retail, we're talking the manufacturer's wholesale price of selling bags to large purchasers.

The amount of energy that goes into making 1000 plastic bags MUST be less than the sales price less the profit margin. Otherwise the manufacturer would go out of business. Using my numbers above, the purchase cost of 9 bags is about $.018. Removing profit margin and costs other than energy (people, machines, marketing, etc.), let's say $.01 of energy costs.

This is substantially less than driving a car one kilometer, which I would estimate for an average car is about $.15 ($4.50/gallon; 30 kpg)

Don't be a nipple. Whether it is retail price, wholesale price, or whatever monetary price you want to put on plastic bags, it does not matter -- monetary cost is irrelevant to the amount of energy necessary to produce LDPE and HDPE plastic bags in comparison with the energy required to operate an auto.

The study deals with the respective amounts fossil fuel-derived energy. That's it. Economics are not part of it. We are talking megajoules not dollars... and yet you bring sales price, profit margin, marketing, etc. into it. Get a clue.

xzmattzx Jun 2, 2012 4:09 AM

Will garbage bags be banned? They are clearly single-use, after all.

Private Dick Jun 2, 2012 4:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by xzmattzx (Post 5720625)
Will garbage bags be banned? They are clearly single-use, after all.

Eventually, we will likely recycle just about all non-organic waste... once the technology exists and a market is created for it.

Though I doubt garbage bags will be banned anytime soon, if ever. They do not cause anywhere near the pollution issues that plastic "carrier" bags do. True, garbage bags are "single-use", but that use is being filled with waste bound for landfill or incineration. Plastic bags that you get to carry goods from the store are mainly just thrown away -- and their numbers are MUCH greater. That's the issue... the incredible amount of waste involved... for the relatively high amount of energy which goes into producing a plastic bag, such little utility is gained from its use since the majority of the bags just go right into landfills or end up in bodies of water.

HurricaneHugo Jun 2, 2012 7:56 PM

We re-use the plastic bags as trash can liners.

I think a better approach would be to charge 5 cents or so per plastic bag used.

TarHeelJ Jun 2, 2012 11:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneHugo (Post 5721043)
We re-use the plastic bags as trash can liners.

I think a better approach would be to charge 5 cents or so per plastic bag used.

There are other uses for the plastic bags as well...I take most of mine to the local humane society where they use them for cleaning up after the dogs when they are walked. Whatever the reuse, I don't just throw them away.

emathias Jun 3, 2012 12:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Private Dick (Post 5720597)
Don't be a nipple. Whether it is retail price, wholesale price, or whatever monetary price you want to put on plastic bags, it does not matter -- monetary cost is irrelevant to the amount of energy necessary to produce LDPE and HDPE plastic bags in comparison with the energy required to operate an auto.

The study deals with the respective amounts fossil fuel-derived energy. That's it. Economics are not part of it. We are talking megajoules not dollars... and yet you bring sales price, profit margin, marketing, etc. into it. Get a clue.

It's called error-checking, friend. When someone makes a "joules" argument it has to line up with the cost of the energy, or it's false. There's no way around that because - as was pointed out - bag producers don't produce at a loss of money. Energy costs money, so if their cost of sale is lower than the cost of the claimed energy of manufacturing, then the claimed cost is false. That's neither economics nor joules, that's pure logic.


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