Monday, 29 June 2015

Plastic Bags and recycling

I used to work in the plastics industry, so here is a rather different type of blog post. 

I got a link to an article on Spotichemi which matches my views/biases (delete to taste).  A lot of negative comments are made about plastics which take no account of the balancing benefits - such as lightweight packaging, and improved food shelf life.  In any case, though plastics are visible, they are a tiny part of overall use of petrochemicals - and packaging is a small subset of that.

The focus on eliminating plastic bags is like swapping out the bulb in your fridge for a low energy one - whilst laudable in intent there may be unmeasured costs, and it is surely not the most important thing to focus on.  In your house you should probably start with your boiler/radiator/thermostat.  In the outside world, then avoiding oil as a heating fuel and increasing car mpg would have far larger impacts and are also relatively easy to achieve.

Getting rid of plastic bags may make you feel better - but does it really achieve anything of note, apart making people feel better about themselves as they load their paper bagged groceries into their 4x4?

Feel free to disagree.

No comments: