The Truth About Plastic Bags


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This was created by fact checking a famous internet chain mail describing the horrors of plastic bags. It appears that most of it was never really linked to any authoritative source. But news papers like the NY times a Boston Globe as fact. It is truely an example of Escience and Ejournalism where research is conducted online and professional standards of fact checking and documentation were abandoned

Published in: Technology, Business
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  • Congratulations great work !!! .. Thanks for sharing ! …Environmental, save the planet, conserve and protect nature, awareness globally,,are a few goals of 'GREAT CAUSE and JUST CAUSES' Group. (au sens large du terme) Very nice... Great work ! !Thanks for sharing,. Best regards . Bernard (France)
    Do not hesitate to reference your slideshows on the group ''GREAT CAUSES and JUST CAUSES '. Thank
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  • Good work!
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  • The best way out would be to find ways to make use of plastic waste.

    In India there is a group of people collecting used plastic bags that are polluting their environment. to create fashionable bags and organizers to help generate income for the destitute. You can view videos I have posted about it on my blog at the following link:

    There is a process to make plastic lumbar product out of plastic ware which is 10 times harder. In fact, a Professor Alka Zadgaonkar has managed to make cheap fuel out of plastic waste. You can find links to this information at the following link:

    In Malaysia, plastic bags are commonly re-used as garbage bags. I have taught how to re-use them to create decorative items and to dress up Barbie. You will be able to find many free tutorials at the following link:
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  • For more information visit
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The Truth About Plastic Bags

  1. 1. Are We Ready For The Truth? … about plastic bags
  2. 2. <ul><li>This research project is the result of fact checking an internet presentation being circulated as fact to raise our emotions to ban plastic bags. The author wants to forgo recycling and ban plastic bags… </li></ul><ul><li>Most slide quotes are common internet plastic myths </li></ul><ul><li>The myths presented here come from: </li></ul><ul><li>Poorly researched articles </li></ul><ul><li>Printed opinions are presented as facts </li></ul><ul><li>Out dated statistics </li></ul><ul><li>Out of context quotes </li></ul><ul><li>— The internet myth claims a school teacher wrote this. After investigating I find it hard to believe any science teacher would abandon the scientific method to confuse us about documented science… so it is my belief that the true author is a mystery </li></ul><ul><li>— Be warned his words are in WHITE </li></ul>
  3. 3. Here we go…..
  4. 4. Data released by the United States Environmental Protection Agency shows that somewhere between 500 billion and a trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide each year. National Geographic News September 2, 2003
  5. 5. What was really said in the National Geographic article…” According to Cobb's calculations extrapolated from data released by the United States Environmental Protection Agency in 2001 on U.S. plastic bag, sack, and wrap consumption, somewhere between 500 billion and a trillion plastic bags” …Cobb was as an entrepreneur selling a reusable bag… The author presented the data as if it was endorsed by the National Geographic Society (NGS) and the EPA when the NGS truly presented it as an opinion. Additionally he never mentioned the quote may have been inflated for monetary gain
  6. 6. Less than 1% of bags are recycled. It cost more to recycle a bag than to produce a new one. - Christian Science Monitor News Paper
  7. 7. The 1% rate often reported is almost 10 years old. In the past few years many recycling plants have come online and the industry capacity grew 500% and continue to expand year over year. Most recently rates were at 5-6%...with almost all of the others being used for bin liners and disposed of properly
  8. 8. “ There's harsh economics behind bag recycling: It costs $4,000 to process and recycle 1 ton of plastic bags, which can then be sold on the commodities market for $32” - Jared Blumenfeld (Director of San Francisco's Department of the Environment)
  9. 9. One ton of plastic bags returned to a grocery store has a market true value between $300 and $500. The same amount of new plastic would cost about $2000. In San Francisco they were only referring to impact on consolidated collection only. Since bags are customarily returned to stores the quote was not relevant to the debate presented
  10. 10. Then… Where Do They Go? Although this was the right question to ask…many agenda groups never give you all of the facts…
  11. 11. This slide has been added to help provide the missing data of where bags go <ul><li>When Ireland taxed shopping bag, bin liner sales jumped 400% it was just cheaper to buy them than pay the tax! </li></ul><ul><li>The Australian government pointed out that ”60% of bags taken home are reused as bin liners or waste bags, lunch bags, and general carry bags” </li></ul>P L A S T I C S H O P P I N G B A G S I N A U S T R A L I A National Plastic Bags Working Group Report to the National Packaging Covenant Council 6 DECEMBER 2002
  12. 12. This slide has been added to help provide the missing data of where bags go <ul><li>In 2006 plastic bag and film recycling increased 26% to 812,010,000 lbs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>American Chemistry Counsel </li></ul></ul>One ton bails of plastic bags being prepared for recycling
  13. 13. A study in 1975, showed oceangoing vessels together dumped 8 million pounds of plastic annually. The real reason that the world's landfills weren't overflowing with plastic was because most of it ended up in an ocean-fill <ul><li>U.S. National Academy of Sciences </li></ul>The National Academy of Sciences Report never said land fills weren’t over flowing because we were ocean dumping.
  14. 14. <ul><li>-No report has ever linked ships to a an epidemic of retail bag debris. The UNEP even states that 80% comes from the land. </li></ul><ul><li>-In 1975 plastic bags were not in grocery stores </li></ul><ul><li>-But I did find a Greenpeace report titled “Plastic Debris in the Worlds Oceans” </li></ul><ul><li>When addressing entanglement items they stated “ The most problematic debris are fishing nets and ropes, monofilament lines, six-pack rings and packing strapping bands ” </li></ul><ul><li>The report did mention plastic bags can be debris, but not as a focus issue </li></ul><ul><li>2005) </li></ul><ul><li>The United Nations Environment Programme </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Many sites like repeat the following myth … In the marine environment, plastic bag litter is lethal, killing thousands of whales, turtles and other sea life every year Australian government has said claims by environmental groups like comes from a Newfoundland study that actually links the deaths to marine debris not bags The Australian government has even retracted reports that had said the same thing
  16. 16. Bags find their way into the sea via drains and sewage pipes - November 16, 2007 Did you notice there are no plastic bags in this picture? Maybe the problem is liter and not bags?
  17. 17. Plastic bags account for over 10 percent of the debris washed up on the U.S. coastline - National Marine Debris Monitoring Program You may notice this picture has many Litter items but no plastic bags!
  18. 18. Actually, in 2007 bags accounted for only 8% of the items collected by count and only 0.1% by weight during the Ocean Conservancy's International Coastal Cleanup Bags also trailed more common litter by count…like cigarette butts, caps, lids, food wrappers, and fishing debris… Is the problems bags or all litter? And if we want to make a real difference shouldn’t we start at the top of the list? Here is the real data…
  19. 19. Plastic bags photodegrade: Over time they break down into smaller, more toxic petro-polymers - November 16, 2007
  20. 20. Although CNN did say that… they have never provided a link to a study…and no mainstream report can be found showing that plastic bags are toxic! The FDA even has a non objection letter for food contact with plastic bags that are made from recycled plastic..they are not toxic! By the way, did you notice the man? Although he is standing in trash, there are no shopping bags? Here is the CNN article: FDA non-objection to plastic grocery bags
  21. 21. These pictures were presented as arguments to ban plastic retail bags. But did you notice they only show garbage bags and no retail bags ?
  22. 22. Reducing plastic bags will decrease foreign oil dependency Actually in the United States bags are made mostly (80%) from natural gas and not oil ! If we actually switched other alternatives like paper or compostable plastics we would use more fuel in processing and transportation than we would save
  23. 23. <ul><li>The original presentation contained even more myths… </li></ul><ul><li>Come join the debate at </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Its your world don’t let someone else debate its future without you </li></ul>