Tuesday, May 05, 2009
Biodegradable Plastic Bags
"Paper or Plastic?" That is something we had all grown accustomed to hearing from the bag boy for several years when ringing up our groceries at the checkout counter. Nowadays, you are not likely to hear either as society gravitates toward more eco-friendly alternatives.That alternative at the moment seems to be cloth bags.
The reason for the change is because paper, although recyclable, uses up valuable energy to produce for something that gets discarded most likely after a single use. The production process of paper bags also causes considerable air pollution.We decided that we have better uses for our dwindling tree population.
The replacement for the paper bag, was the versatile plastic bag. I say versatile because, if you were like me, after carrying your groceries from your car and storing the food, you used them as garbage bags. The problem is, these bags are not recyclable, use too much energy to produce and take an eternity to break down in landfills. Once a landfill gets full, a new landfill site is needed and the process starts all over again. The problem with that is they are not making any more real estate, folks. What we have is all we get and it gets a little more crowded on this big, blue marble as the world's population continually increases. Therefor, a replacement bag was sought.
The cloth or canvas bag was introduced as the ideal solution. Reusable and durable, the only drawback seems to be remembering to take them with you on your next shopping trip. But can we eliminate the plastic bag completely?
Where cloth is not ideal to use is when packages are sent through the mail. Most courriers use corrugated boxes or plastic wrapping which takes us right back to the original dilemma. However, some companies have introduced biodegradable plastic packaging to ship out their orders. Skreened is one such company.
Skreened is an online print-on-demand service which allows you to design and purchase your own t-shirts and tote bags. Not only can you order one of the reusable tote bags or their equally earth-friendly organic t-shirts they offer with your own design on it, you can also have it shipped to you in a biodegradable plastic wrapper. The description claims it will break down in 75 days with no toxic vapors or dust. That means less time and more room in our current landfills which in turn would mean less need to search for new landfill sites. Heck, you can even throw them in your composter and feed your garden.
More and more shoppers buy online every year. More and more people are environmentally conscious. More and more, this is making a lot of ecological, moral and business sense. More and more, companies should be following this example.