For those of you more interested in the plastic bag problem, the BBC just published a recent article explaining the different approaches countries are taking to respond to this issue. While some countries (and US cities) have gone the complete ban route, others (like Ireland) have opted for a heavy levy that is adjusted on per capita plastic bag use, and has raised $99 million for their Environmental Fund. I think both paths have merit and it’s a good study to see the different results.
It’s also worth mentioning that if you’ve switched to ‘compostable bags’ make sure you live in an area that has municipal composting, otherwise the bags won’t break down! If you’re using them to send to landfills or in your own backyard, pick ones that say biodegradable so that they will break down with simple exposure to air and time.
There is also a lifecycle assessment at the end of the report (but be wary, you can often get an LCA to say whatever you want it to), that notes paper bags are often just as damaging if they aren’t reused and recycled (we use ours as recycling bags 4-5 times before sending them with the recycling). I mentioned this in my last post, but make sure you don’t buy more reusable bags than you need, as everything has a footprint!