Last month’s Nature Bag Khmu/Lao Poverty Reduction newsletter talked about those bags that retailers are pushing (or giving) to customers to enhance the image that they (both customers and retailers) are thinking and living green by abandoning plastic “disposables.” We mentioned the large amount of petroleum needed to make the bags, that they were likely manufactured in Chinese sweatshops, their inferior durability and the environmental costs of their disposal.
Now there’s some compelling data based upon the fact that the “disposable” plastic bags actually are reused by perhaps as many as 90 percent of those who receive them. Most people reuse plastic bags to line garbage containers, pick up after dogs, wrap items for storage/transport or for recycling
Considering only the carbon footprint factor (energy required to produce) , the increasingly common cheap reusable bag will need to be reused 11 times to be on equal footing with disposable plastic THAT IS NOT REUSED. If 40 percent of the plastic bags are reused only once, then you would need to use the cheap “green” bag 14 times. And if every disposable bag were reused, 26 uses of the cheap bag are needed to be equivalent in reducing carbon in the atmosphere.
The shocking numbers for cotton market bags are: No reuse of plastic, you’d need to reuse cotton 131 times; for 40 percent reuse of plastic, you’d need to reuse the cotton 173 times; and were 100 percent of plastic reused, the equivalent number of cotton is 327 reuses. Note that this data assumes non-organic factory-made cotton bags.
The typical Nature Bag, which involves no manufacturing or agriculture and weighs about 50 grams (less than 2 ounces), could have a NEGATIVE carbon footprint as measured delivered to any address on the planet. This is because it’s up to 100 percent made from wild-growing Jungle Vine™ fiber (tropical kudzu), which purifies the air as it grows, removing carbon & producing oxygen.
Its durability promises years of break-proof versatile stretchable use. And should you ever need to dispose of one, not only will it quickly biodegrade; it also will nurture the soil you bury it in.
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