The recent letter to the editor from Zachary Taylor (Page A11, July 29 edition of The Frederick News-Post) regarding the consequences of plastic bag regulation is to be expected. After all, the organization that he represents, the American Recyclable Plastic Bag Alliance, is funded by U.S. plastic bag manufacturers.

Mr. Taylor claims that “when properly disposed of," single-use plastic bags have the lowest environmental footprint. This is disingenuous. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, less than 10% of plastic bags are recycled. They aren’t accepted by municipal recycling facilities as they damage sorting equipment. Reusable bags, on the other hand, are designed to be used multiple, often hundreds of times. They are durable, washable and hold several times the volume of a single-use bag. A report by the Environment Agency shows that, although the initial energy consumption to produce a reusable bag is higher, after using a polypropylene reusable bag as little as 11 times, the carbon footprint is equal for reusable bags, and decreases with each use. In addition, the enormous environmental problem of litter and microplastics associated with single-use bags must be factored into the equation.

(20) comments

mrnatural1

If you can't trust a paid employee for a petroleum-based plastic bag manufacturer, who can you trust? [cool]

mrnatural1

If you can't trust a paid employee for a petroleum-based plastic bag manufacturer, who can you trust? [cool]

pdl603

I thought we had a shortage of trees. How many trees are Wegmans and Aldi willing to cut down? How often should a re-usable bag be machine washed? Once a week? Extrapolate the gallons of clean potable water needed by Americans to wash re-usable bags like you did plastic bags. Folks on the west coast facing water shortages would like to know if they will be able to clean their bags. Finally, dog poop what do you propose? I know there are biodegradable bags, but if worried about micro plastics in the environment should we ban dogs?

Hayduke2

Trees are capable of being sustainably managed. Your comment on the water usage is laughable and a stretch bro. ( It takes about 22 gallons of water to produce one pound of plastic, far less than cotton or other products but the other products are NOT single use items.) Dog poop - really? Compost it if you are really concerned.

Greg F

Piddle, reusable bags don’t take trees to make. Are you that daft? If you want your fur baby then you pay for the consequences of ownership and buy some bags, of which, there are biodegradable dog waste bags. FMP really need to muzzle piddle for the absolute nonsensical posts. This tops them as one of the most idiotic so far. Oh, and reusable bags can be washed easily and mine have lasted almost 6 years so far. Stop being part of the problem, piddle.

DickD

Many places give you free reusable bags for the advertisement on them.

Dwasserba

They mail them now too as incentives to continue to donate.

gabrielshorn2013

PDL, reusable bags are made from many different materials, including cotton, polyester, nylon, and yes, recycled single use bags and bottles. No need for the paper bag at all, but if you do, a nickel won’t kill you. Time was when all groceries were put into paper bags. Paper use has decreased significantly as electronic communications have become the norm. Haven’t you noticed a significant drop in junk mail and an increased amount of spam ads in your e-mail? Washing them? I’m assuming you are already doing your laundry, right? You can throw the cloth bags in the laundry with your other clothes. Hay is absolutely correct regarding the amount of water used to produce plastic, and even on the west coast they do regular laundry, so no increased usage there either. As for the poop, a single-use plastic grocery bag is the last thing you should be using for that. If you’re walking your pooch, bring a degradable bag made out of cornstarch (sold most anywhere) just for such purposes, and then put that bag in a “doggie dooley” in your backyard. No microplastics generated whatsoever with that.

Dwasserba

I wash bags in hot water by themselves. Have you ever fully wiped off a grocery cart?😱 Unmentionables that I wash in hot I would not mix with bags for food. Maybe it’s just me, haunted by one of the family cautionary tales. Short version: 5 children dead and 1 born all in the same year and mom Delphine died the next. Typhoid. The survivor baby was my grandfather.

Frankle1

We wash the reusable bags with the towels 🤷🏼

Greg F

Piddle would rather complain.

public-redux

“ I thought we had a shortage of trees.”

Um, they literally grow on trees.

Dwasserba

We could take a foldable wheeled cart and load items directly into that then dump it into the trunk. Reload the cart to go inside. Not a perfect solution from the human view. Our dog only poops in our yard, I use a shovel and enclosed composter.

threecents

Pdl, I don't think the biodegradable bags contribute to microplastics.

gabrielshorn2013

Very good, and factual, LTE. There is simply no good reason to use single-use plastic bags anymore.

gabrielshorn2013

https://www.wegmans.com/reusable-bags/

threecents

We are doomed

Greg F

With comments like piddle makes, you may be right.

Dwasserba

But if wrapped in plastic, we stay fresh forever

mrnatural1

[beam] Dwasserba.

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