Opinion: NJ Should Be Using More Plastic
I'm not kidding when I said New Jersey should be using more plastic. I've been saying this for some time.
The recent move to ban so-called single use plastic bags is based on exaggerations and falsehoods. First of all, plastic bags are convenient, sanitary, and reusable (despite the fake name applied by the ban folks). Second, the U.S. contributes a very small fraction of the plastic waste in the world - literally less than 1 percent - and of the plastic waste, plastic bags are statistically insignificant, accounting for less than 1 percent again. So any ban doesn't free up landfill space, doesn't make our streets cleaner - actually all that will be accomplished is costs to the consumer will rise as companies will be forced by New Jersey government to provide more expensive and less environmentally friendly "reusable" bags.
Matt Seaholm, the executive director of the American Progressive Bag Alliance, shares many important facts about how the production of the current plastic bags is more environmentally friendly that the production of reusable bags, and how the plastic bags take up less space in our landfill. Plus, he discussed the inefficient manner in which the alternatives are produced, using up more water and creating more waste in the production process.
Paper bags are even more challenging for the environment if you buy into the premise that bags are in fact the problem. And plastic bags made in America are being made from clean natural gas, another huge benefit from the industry that has made America energy independent.
The bottom line is that plastic bags are reusable - pick up after your dog, line garbage cans in your house, or just recycle them into other bags. They don't contribute a statistically significant amount to pollution or landfill space, and they are the most convenient way to bring home the groceries. They're way more sanitary than that expensive reusable canvass bag that could be housing am entire community of bacteria to make you sick.
So it's time to... as my new progressive alliance friends say... "bag the ban."