The volume of plastic carrier bags might go down when they are taxed, but consumption of alternatives rises. The result’s that limited resources are exhausted faster and more material goes to dump, according to the Packaging and Business Films Association.
This is the result of an ill-judged taxation in many states which is doing much more environmental damage, than it helps The industry research has shown this because it results in increased exhaust emissions, more congestion on the roads and lots more waste going to dump.
In Eire, when deprived of the popular reuse of plastic bags for bin liners and pet droppings, people had to purchase much heavier gauge bin bags and refuse sacks. As a consequence, PIFA claims the tax brought no statistically major change in the total tonnage of plastic bags employed in the country. The Organisation based its conclusions, in a dispatch in 2005, on an analysis of Customs and Excise statistics.
Plastic bags are alleged to be less polluting than paper bags during manufacture also. Actually the industry claims powerful environmental certifications for plastic by emphasising studies by Winnipeg Varsity, which demonstrate that bag production uses only one third of the energy, ends up in 1/2 the pollution, and needs one eighth of the raw material required by equivalent paper bag production.
The bag industry also strongly reiterates the undeniable fact that plastic carrier bags are reused by eighty percent of homes, according to Defra research, and it fights claims that householders hoard plastic bags by pointing out that fairly high stocks of carrier bags are needed precisely due to this high reusage for everything from school lunches to bin liners and the hygienic disposal of pet crap and so on.
Even at the end of its useful life plastic waste is welcomed in several Western european nations using clean technology for waste incineration as the energy released has greater calorific price than coal.
The plastics films industry advocates more clean incineration of waste to help scale back our dependence on landfill. But , in view of the indisputable fact that carrier bags only take up 0.3 % of landfill they question why are they being attacked by legislators and local authorities at all .
The Packing and Commercial Films Organisation makes the point that public authorities and environmental groups around the world need to focus on macro-environmental issues instead of promoting ‘easy win ‘ misconceptions that will bring no real environmental improvements.
The reality is that the taxing of plastic carrier bags offers politicians a preferred fast fix, and quite probably there are votes to be gained from the ones that are easily impressed by “greenwash”, but who will not realize that there’s no real environmental benefit.