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Old 09-07-2008, 12:29   #31
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Down here they have just brought in no free plastic bags (at most food outlets) - it's not the law, just one of the "Benefits" of Island Cartels........I was bit p#ssed at first....but the good news is that the quality of the plastic bags has in general gone up

A few times I have been asked "do I want a plastic bag" - so far I have refrained from asking WTF do they think I am going to use to carry them home?.......instead I just say "Yes. I can afford them".

Yer get what yer pay for and whilst we do not have a "Plastic bag problem" here (I think the idea is to stop the sun exploding. or something?).........I look at this as pre-emptive measure by pricing Chavs out of the Plastic Bag market
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Old 09-07-2008, 13:52   #32
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The bags themselves are not the problem. The problem are irresponsible people who do not dispose of them properly. Too often we ban the item causing the problem instead of working out a solution to the problem. I guess its easier that way.

Personally I prefer plastic bags over paper or bringing your own bag. Talk about the potential for cross contamination...the public bringing their own bags to a place where other peoples food is handled. Imagine where some people might store these bags at home. It could be anywhere in the house including next to the cat box or next to their toilet. The idea of people bringing their potentially soiled bags into a grocery store is a gross thought.
Good point about the potential of dirty bags! My next door neighbor owns the biggest grocery store on South Whidbey. I just forwarded your post to her, and will post her reply.

Thanks,

Steve B.
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Old 09-07-2008, 14:57   #33
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Further to David's comments there is also the question of cross contamination between products put into the bags - eg between raw meats (especially poultry), cooked meats, dairy, icecream, cleaning products.

That if the shopper packs their own bags (although not all market packers are good at that either) and especially if they reuse bags (whether plastic or natural fabric, but especially natural fabric, if reused unwashed).

Of course, these things could be separated by putting them into plastic bags then in the fabric ones. Would at least LOOK as if one is a good greenie then .
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Old 10-07-2008, 16:25   #34
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I just paid an additional $35 to recycle a small little refrigerator and 5 bucks to recycle a computer keyboard when I took a trailer load of junk to the dump last weekend. I wonder how much stuff is smuggled in so that people do not have to pay? The thought certainly went through my head for the next time I have to make a dump run.
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Old 10-07-2008, 16:58   #35
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On behalf of all the residents of Bretagne (Brittany, on the nw coat of France) I must encourage you all to use plastic shopping bags, and let them blow down into the Atlantic. For years, the Brettons have made a meager but honest living by harvesting millions of slightly used US plastic shopping bags from their coast, and carefully folding and pressing them, sorting them by color and brand, and reselling them to hundreds of europeans who are not so fortunate as to have a free supply of plastic goods at hand.

The bag you recycle today, is tomorrow's food taken off a Frenchman's plate! Please think twice before attempting to recycle, your trash is someone else's treasure.
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Old 10-07-2008, 18:54   #36
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Good point about the potential of dirty bags! My next door neighbor owns the biggest grocery store on South Whidbey. I just forwarded your post to her, and will post her reply.

Thanks,

Steve B.


[Original Message]
From: (Steve B.)
To: (store owner)
Date: 7/9/2008 1:02:54 PM
Subject: A post from the Cruiser's forum

(store owner)

There's a thread on The Cruiser's Forum about plastic bags.
Most of them are from the global warming fan club, but here's one I think has some merit.

[quote]"The bags themselves are not the problem. The problem are irresponsible people who do not dispose of them properly. Too often we ban the item causing the problem instead of working out a solution to the problem. I guess its easier that way.

Personally I prefer plastic bags over paper or bringing your own bag. Talk about the potential for cross contamination...the public bringing their own bags to a place where other peoples food is handled. Imagine where some people might store these bags at home. It could be anywhere in the house including next to the cat box or next to their toilet.

The idea of people bringing their potentially soiled bags into a grocery store is a gross thought." [quote]

I remember hearing recently that the bacteria count on the bottom of women's purses was usually off the chart. This is a a matter of concern because when using a public restroom, most
women place them on the floor.

The gross part comes when they come home and where's the first place they set it down? THE KITCHEN COUNTER!!!!
When Janet [Steve's wife] heard this, she said she usually hung up her purse or held it, but she still washed it and vowed to never again set it on the counter. She now has a special spot for it. The checkout counters at grocery stores are places where apples and other stuff which isn't packaged can mingle with these potentially nasty bags.
I'm not a clean freak, but it's still something to ponder.

Steve
----------

Here's her reply (store owner name and addresses edited for privacy)

Wow, we really need to keep food separate on the checkout counters from people's bags...........I'll pass this on to Tom and no more setting my purse on the kitchen counter!! albeit, on the other side, but still...........

(store owner)
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Old 11-07-2008, 08:42   #37
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Talk about contamination, how about THESE 2:

You put your chicken, in a package, on the belt. Or, the folks before you did. Does anyone decontaminate the belt? At best, they throw some paper towels at a leaking package. But, the PACKAGE isn't clean. How about picking up a package of meat, and then sampling the freebies in the store, with those same hands...

This one drives me NUTS: The bagger licks her fingers to separate the plastic bag openings, then dumps YOUR groceries into her licked-bag.
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Old 11-07-2008, 09:25   #38
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For people who are cruising or living on boats, the plastic bags are a non-issue. They barely work at all when you carry your groceries from store to land transport to dinghy, up over the transom and into the galley.

By then... they are half torn to shreds.

Nearly all cruisers and liveaboards use their own bags. This is more of "land person" controversy, I think.
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Old 11-07-2008, 09:51   #39
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Couldn't live without the plastic grocery bag. Once on the boat they collect trash to cart to the next dumpster. Why should I have to buy plastic bags?

As an aside, there was a study done a few years back at the Great Kills landfill on Staten Island, NYC. What was found was a bit surprising: garbage dumped in the landfill 20 years ago was unearthed and found to be nearly intact, banana peels barely decomposed, newspapers still readable, etc.

As far as the longevity of plastic, how many plastic parts on the boat, when exposed to the sun, decompose faster than we can replace them?
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Old 11-07-2008, 10:06   #40
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What was found was a bit surprising: garbage dumped in the landfill 20 years ago was unearthed and found to be nearly intact, banana peels barely decomposed, newspapers still readable, etc.

As far as the longevity of plastic, how many plastic parts on the boat, when exposed to the sun, decompose faster than we can replace them?

Hmmm... that's specious reasoning - how many bananas and newspapers, when exposed to the sun, outlast our plastic boats?

(meant to be friendly, not an attack)

Probably burying everything way down in the Earth like that caused the normal processes that break down things not to occur. That's more likely.

BTW: For the record, I'm no greenie. I don't recycle, don't use a holding tank often and eat plenty of meat. I just don't enjoy liter in the ocean and this is the most frequent offender, apart from those mylar baloons.
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Old 11-07-2008, 10:50   #41
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I just don't enjoy liter in the ocean and this is the most frequent offender, apart from those mylar baloons.
Hey Sean, I went for short sail on LI Sound (Port Jeff to Stratford Shoal Lighthouse (Middle Ground)) last Sunday. I must have counted at least 8 regular balloons and 6 mylar balloons.


Good luck with your "Liquidation Sale"

Paul
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Old 11-07-2008, 10:59   #42
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"The bagger licks her fingers" That's just called someplace that needs a professional food manager. I can't remember the last time I saw baggers that didn't have something better--often a plastic tub with a half lemon in it--so they didn't have to LICK to moisten their fingers.

Mylar balloons do even mroe damage, some of them manage to land on power lines, especially the "drop lines" that run into homes, and cause blackouts and fires.

Plastic shopping bags do have some redeeming value: I haven't bought plastic garbage bags in ages. If shopping bags are banned, I'm just going to be buying replacements to line the trash can. Net benefit? Net loss, for many of us.
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Old 11-07-2008, 18:33   #43
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We have road side recycling starting here in a couple of weeks. Previously we put garbage out at the gate and could take recyclables to recycling stations around the town, the costs for all of which we pay a fee for garbage collection.

To pay for road side recyclable collection the garbage collection fee is being doubled - which infers to me that introducing roadside collection of recyclables has doubled the total costs of all garbage handling and disposal here over that before, which included the costs of operating the previous recycling stations.

So it would seem that the recyclables instead of having any value making them worthwhile to collect from the roadside, in fact impose a very large cost burden - like doubling the previous total garbage handling and disposal budget. So, compared to just disposing of them with the rest of ones garbage the recyclables are actually turned into a liability of negative worth by collection, sorting, and disposal.

The economic decision should be just to dump them but the greenie idiology that is driving our local government does not consider economics or wider systems based analysis, just their idiological social engineering objectives.

Paper has been collected from the roadside here for some years but similarly to what others have mentioned, it just goes into the rest of the garbage because it is too costly to process. One of the main costs being the transportation of it, so I guess dumping it at least saves oil .

Roll on the revolution . Errr, wait a moment, someone is making money out of this, must get into the recycling business to get my share from ripping off the public .
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Old 11-07-2008, 19:06   #44
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As an aside, there was a study done a few years back at the Great Kills landfill on Staten Island, NYC. What was found was a bit surprising: garbage dumped in the landfill 20 years ago was unearthed and found to be nearly intact, banana peels barely decomposed, newspapers still readable, etc.
I think it was actually the "Fresh Kills" landfill. There was an article on it a few yrs back (late 80's or early 90's) in National Geographic. Being the largest man made landfill in the world it's been the subject of a lot of studies. Archaeologists have excavated it frequently and documented the results in many journals and magazines. They can date the layers of refuse easily from readily readable newspapers etc. One interesting thing they found was a layer of still identifiable meat. What happened during an extended blackout in the NYC area (I can't remember the year) was everyones freezers thawed out and they dumped all the meat from them in the trash. This ended up as a layer of meat in various stages of decay that dated that layer. There are also areas of the Fresh Kills that are being mined today for their materials, glass, plastic, paper etc. and being reprocessed as recycled materials. Some landfills will also collect methane that's produced from the rotting biodegradables and use it to power generators etc.

Fresh Kills Landfill - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 11-07-2008, 20:14   #45
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It was in the news the other day that they are going to start charging 10 cents per bag at the supermarkets here in OZ. We always reuse the bags for rubbish disposal at home and on the boat so are not too happy about this. They actually do produce biodegradable plastic bags (our pineapple lady at the local markets always offers us one), so why can't the supermarkets do the same?
We wont be paying the 10 cents per bag, instead we will go to the plastic bag aisle and purchase a hundred pack for about $1.50 as described on TV.
We did the right thing and purchased a couple of green bags but did you know that these supposed "green bags" are actually made of polypropylene and will not biodegrade in a mllion years, so when they are a bit too tatty and grubby to use anymore, what happens then?
I agree that something should be done to halt the scourge of the plastic bag in our oceans etc but the politicians need to do better than to pay meagre lip service to the problem with short term solutions. But there enlies the problem, I think it is all a matter of economics. The plastic bags are produced very cheaply from a by product and nobody wants to upset the applecart.

Phew! Not sure if all that makes sense but at least I got it off my chest.

Cheers ;-)
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