What to choose instead of a plastic bag to be more eco?

No more leniency for plastic bags. From September, you will have to pay more to put your shopping in a plastic bag.

On January 1, 2018, the time for free plastic bags in stores was over. Not counting the so-called "Skidding", i.e. small bags, e.g. at fruit racks, a shop was charged 20 PLN + VAT for each bag issued.

Of course, stores had to transfer this payment to customers, but this did not prevent them from further combinations. To avoid recycling fees, many stores introduced ... thicker foil bags over 50 micrometers that were not included in the fee. Of course, the consumer still had to pay for them, the store earned on them, and at the same time pinned himself the "bio", "eco" and "environmental responsibility" patch, because a thicker bag = a bag that can be used many times.

It's just that it's true. Fortunately, the Ministry of the Environment also sees it and ends it with indulgence - from September 1, every plastic bag except skidding will be covered by the recycling fee.

As the head of the Ministry of the Environment said in radio "Jedynka":

We also did not achieve ecological effects, hence the decision to cover all plastics above 15 micrometers with fees.

The ministry also estimates that the stores that have bypassed the trash act have received several dozen million zlotys less than expected in the budget. It will change now - in 2020, thanks to the recycling fee, the state budget is to receive as much as PLN 1.4 billion (estimating that every Pole uses 150 plastic sheets a year).

Recycling fee 2019 - what will this change for the consumer?

Well, for us it means, above all, a higher price for plastics. Retail chains will undoubtedly compensate for the loss by transferring the fee to the consumer, and as a result instead of paying 55 groszy. for the commercial we will pay 80 gr.

Of course, the Ministry of the Environment counts on this exactly when it comes to the ecological dimension of the entire trash act - the amendment that has been in force since September is to further motivate us to gradually abandon plastic bags in favor of reusable bags or paper bags. Either way - sooner or later the plastic has to go away, and the introduction of increasingly stringent taxation is quite an effective form of pressure, both on stores and on the consumer.

What instead of a plastic bag?

Contrary to appearances, there is no simple answer to this question.

Plastic bags have many disadvantages - first of all, they cruelly pollute the environment, because consumers instead of using them for recycling simply throw them away into general waste, or just throw them wherever they fall. And then we see dramatic pictures of folios floating in the oceans, folios eaten by birds, folios littering the coast of Bali, etc.

Paradoxically, however, they are more ecological than the touted reusable cotton bags. Already in 2011, the British Environment Agency showed that you need to use a cotton bag 131 times more often than a plastic bag to have a lower impact on climate change.

In its report from 2018, the Danish Ministry of the Environment clearly stated that a thick LDPE foil bag (made of low density polyethylene) is the most ecological of the materials used for the production of carrier bags.

The most ecological alternative for him are unstained paper bags or bags made of biopolymers. Unfortunately, when it comes to paper bags, the environmental impact is raised by logistics, because as a material much heavier than plastic bags, paper uses much more fuel in transport.

As for bags made of organic cotton, they not only do not have the lowest environmental impact rate in any of the tested categories, but also - according to the same report - they must be used as many as 149 times before reprocessing to have the least impact on change climate and up to 20,000 (sic!) times to offset their impact in other areas (e.g. pollution, material and water consumption).

Inorganic cotton is no better - you have to use it up to 52 times to even out the impact on climate change and up to 7100 times to even out the impact of production on other environmental aspects.

If we assume that the average Pole uses 150 plastic bags a year, then in order for the use of an inorganic cotton bag to be equally ecological, such a bag would have to be in constant use for almost 48 years!

Regardless of the material chosen, the report recommends that you either recycle the bag or use it as a garbage bag. In this way, we limit the use of plastic in another area of ​​life, while slightly balancing the impact of shopping bags on the environment.

What commercial should I choose?

Until scientists working hard to overcome the plastic crisis don't come up with anything better, the best solution is to continue using LDPE plastic bags or paper bags and using them as often as possible. Cotton bags, while fashionable, nice and give the environment a clear signal that we are "eco", are not "eco" at all - it is better to drop them at all and use plastic baskets instead, which can be recycled instead.

The war on plastic is in full swing , also in Poland. The government started with disposables, then with plastic bottles, now it goes with plastic bags, then probably time will come for other plastic products. At the same time, there is a growing public awareness and pressure for effective waste recycling, thanks to which we will reduce both the consumption of plastic and the number of garbage scattered around the world.

Let's just not throw the baby out with the bath, because - as the example of the impact of cotton bags on the environment shows - plastics are not always bad and you don't always have to fight them at all costs. And more than new taxes is needed to educate the public and change our habits.

What to choose instead of a plastic bag to be more eco?


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