Iowa Green Idea Falls Flat!

It’s sad that good motivations could bring bad rules regarding plastic bags to the USA’s heartland.

A measure designed to discourage merchants from providing plastic bags is being considered in Dubuque, Iowa.  If it is enacted and plastic bag use is reduced, the environmental consequences will be opposite of what is intended.

That’s because the most frequent “reusable” bags, made of non-woven polypropylene, have a greater carbon footprint than plastic due to fossil fuel usage and poor durability.  Their failed remnants present disposal problems worse than plastic.  The social consequences of their use are severe because they are made in Chinese sweatshops.

Current research shows most plastic bags are reused at least once or are recycled.  An ingenious British analysis shows that you would need to use most “reusable” bags dozens of times to achieve better eco-friendly results than with a plastic bag that is reused only once.

The more expensive and durable cotton reusable grocery bags are probably the least earth-friendly because of the huge quantity of fossil fuel required in growing, processing and manufacturing.

Merchants pushing the cheap reusable bags gain an undeserved reputation for being green-oriented.  Their customers are lured into believing that they are trendy by being seen acting “green”.  We all suffer due to environmental damage from this massive fraud.

The Dubuque Council and other governments will serve citizens best by encouraging reusable bags made from organic cotton, hemp, jute, or JungleVine™ (kudzu).  Earth’s Greenest Bag, which is crafted in homes without agriculture or manufacturing, is durable, elastic, minimalistic, and lightweight.  In the unlikely event the Khmu’s kudzu bag ever becomes unusable, burying it will help your garden grow!

Bill Newbrough

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