Shopping bag

Shopping bag

Estimates of worldwide plastic bag consumption top out around 1 trillion per year, or close to 2 million bags per minute.[1] Americans use 100 billion disposable bags yearly—over 330 bags per person—and recycle only 0.6 percent of them.[2]

Pollution and natural resources

Plastic (polyethylene) shopping bags are made from petroleum, a non-sustainable resource whose extraction and production has caused major environmental damage to soil, surface and ground waters, and local ecosystems. The production of petroleum also contributes to global warming and pollution: about 71 million pounds of toxins are released into the air and water annually during petroleum refinement. The plastics industry as a whole releases millions of pounds of toxic waste into the air, water, and soil each year, and represents 7 percent of the 5.7 billion pounds of toxic chemicals dumped by all manufacturers each year.

Paper bags actually cause 70 percent more air pollution and 50 percent more water pollution than plastic bags.[3] Most paper bags are made from virgin pulp, which contributes to deforestation and loss of biodiversity. In 1999 alone, it is estimated that over 14 million trees were cut down to produce 10 billion paper shopping bags in the United States.[4] This means there are fewer trees to serve as a sink for greenhouse gases like CO2, while the energy use associated with paper bag production or recycling increases those same greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere.

Landfill waste and litter

When paper and plastic bags are discarded after a single use, they persist in the environment for up to 1,000 years.[5] When it comes to disposal, one paper bag actually generates 72 percent more landfill waste than two plastic ones.[6] But, as polyethylene plastic bags photodegrade over periods of up to 1,000 years into smaller and smaller particles, they create what can be described as plastic dust, which is harmful to animals that ingest it. Polyethylene particles work their way into the foodchain via filter-feeding marine organisms like jellyfish and salps. Plastics have the ability to concentrate harmful hydrophobic pollutants, such as DDT and PCBs, at up to 1 million times the rate at which they are found as free-floating substances. When plastic bags do not make it to the landfill and instead end up as litter in our waterways, they harm marine creatures, such as sea turtles and whales, clogging the digestive system of animals that ingest them.

Controversies

Biodegradable plastic bags can be made from polylactic acid (PLA), which is produced from renewable resources such as corn, wheat, sugar-beets, or other vegetable products rich in starch. PLA is both biodegradable and bioresorbable, which means that biological systems are able to break it down and assimilate it. While PLA breakdown products will not contaminate the food chain in the long-term (as with polyethylene), PLA bags still may threaten wildlife when discarded into the environment as litter. Criticisms of PLA include the use of fossil fuels in its production (harvest and transport of corn), relative high cost, the need for an industrial composting process for use in its breakdown, and its release of greenhouse gases (CO2 and methane) upon biodegradation. When these bags are buried in landfills, the amount of sunlight and air exposure they receive is normally insufficient, and they may still take months to years to biodegrade.

Glossary

 

  • DDT:Dichloro-Diphenyl-Trichloroethane , or DDT, is a hydrophobic pesticide used for insect control.
  • PCB: Full name Polychlorinated Biphenyls, PCBs are chemicals that are highly-toxic, persistent organic pollutants that contaminate waterways and accumulate in fish populations, working their way into the human food chain.
  • photodegradation: The breakdown of a molecule (like LDPE polyethylene) into smaller pieces due to the absorption of a photon from sunlight's infrared, visible, or UV light, resulting in a fine particulate dust.
  • polyethylene: A non-biodegradable substance, consisting of long chains of ethylene, used to produce materials with different densities, strengths, and flexibilities.

External links

Comments

06/06/2008
1:39pm
Mateo

some additional facts i read on Fortune (issue may 12, 2008)
- the size of the US plastic bag industry is estimated at $4 billion/year
- 28 cities in the US ave proposed laws restricting the use of plastic bags
- Bangladesh and Taiwan have banned plastic bags!
- San Francisco now requires retailers with revenues over $2 million to offer only compostable or reusable bags
- 2% of plastic bags used in the US were recycled in 2006 according to the American Chemistry Council.

07/21/2010
1:20am
belly

Introduction

 
   At present,the demand for bio-degradable materials is huge both in China and in the world. The quantity needed at home in the packing industry and catering industry alone totals more than 3million tons.The international market demands even more, with a 30-50% year-on-year increase.,the  domestic demand in 2010 is expected to reach 13.437million with a total market value of over 150 billion, while that of the world will be about 20million ton. Recent years, the bio-degradable industry has witnessed a rapid development. National policies are made to escalate the industry to a high-end one, which would hopefully be the key areas in bio-degradable and abosorbable material industry by 2015. 
   The 2009 Shenzhen China International Bio-plastic Exhibition, is the most time-honored and professional of its kind in China. It serves as a platform for trade and technology exchanges for business people from all over the world. In 2009, enterpreneurs from about 20 countries and areas paticipated in this fair, many of which were from the U.S.A., the U.K., Germany, Italy, Tailand, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan and Hongkong. During the exhibition, world-renowned coropetations like as BSF and INNOR had discussions on the application and future of biodegradable materials.
   To meet the demands of many bio-degradable enterprises, we will hold the Second Shenzhen International Bio-plastic Exhibition will be held in Great China Exchange Plaza from 16th the 17th, November 2010. We will invite business people in plastic manufactoring ,catering, packaging, machine building, and top officials form star-rate hotels.Besides, officials from local government departments for economic development and International Investment Organization will also be invited to the fair. The fair is expected to be of high-level and distictive feature with an inflence on the world bio-degradable industry.
 
 Scope of Exhibits:

Bio-plastic products: Biodegradable Bags, Biodegradable Bowls, Biodegradable Cups, Biodegradable Containers, Biodegradable Plates, Biodegradable Trays,Biodegradable Cutlery, Biodegradable Knives, Biodegradable Forks, Biodegradable Spoons, Biodegradable Sporks, Cornstarch tableware,Oxo-Biodegradable masterbatches,Bio-plastics additives,Corn Starch Bags, plastic container, Sugarcane Plates and Bowls, Biodegradable plastic bowl,Biodegradable Catering Serving Fork,Biodegradable Compostable Bagasse Plates,Biodegradable Forks, Biodegradable Heavy Duty Picnic Pack,Biodegradable Knives, Biodegradable Catering Salad Tongs,Biodegradable Catering Serving Fork,Biodegradable Catering Serving Spoon,Biodegradable Catering Small Tongs,Biodegradable Spoons,Biodegradable Cutlery,Biobased substitutes to traditional plastics, 100% Biodegradable,100% Compostable,100% Biodegradable Cardboard,Biodegradable shopping bag, Bio-degradable plastics,Biodegradable bags,Pulp environmental tableware,Molded Pulp,Molded Pulp Cup,Medical bio-plastic products,E-Bio Plastic Products,Plastic Food Biotechnology,Bio-plastic cell phone case,Bio-plastic cartridges,Bio-plastic toothpaste box,Bio-plastic comb,Bio-plastic toothbrush,Bio-plastic toothpick,Bioplastics Cup,Bio-plastic products and other products.
Fees:
Cost to exhibitors
 standard booth(3m×3m): 2700USD,corner adds 10%  
 spare room: 250USD per  sqm 
 Ads in EXPO magazine : cover:2500USD  bottom :2000USD   inside:1500USD
 

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