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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Monday, 8 January 2007
Plastic bras and ribbons better than bags
Mood:  amorous
Topic: zero waste

More from irrepressible Lyndall McCormack, internet agitator and  green granny from Padstow, in the wake of high profile Ian Kiernan on the ABC 702 radio this morning calling for 'the next step' on our dodgy plastic bag habit:

Plastic bag levy failing

[To be fair Lyndall sent this through before the Herald story but I was busy cycling to Killara (see previous story) in topic 'election Australia 2007':

Why did student activist now minister Tony Abbott punch Peter Woof?]

Here are some constructive (?) uses of recycled plastic via the Lyndall net vacuum cleaner:

# 1

Bows bows bows, everywhere you look. I love it! I've not worn a ribbon in my hair since I was knee-high to a grasshopper and I don't think I could get away with wearing one now. So this Plastic Bow Barrette from Urban Outfitters is a nice grown up alternative (yeah right). Now you can wear a bow in your hair without looking like a sap or an overgrown schoolgirl. Best part is it's on sale for a paltry $6.99, bad news - only in the US [insert full on girly tantrum here].

[Indeed so popular it looks like its been sold out at the link above: editor]


# 2

JAPAN: Triumph launches shopping bag bra

9 November 2006| Source: just-style.com

In a bid to highlight waste caused by the use of free plastic shopping bags, Triumph International Japan has showcased new lingerie that can be converted into a shopping bag.


[submission login required]


Sustainability: Free Master Recycler Plastics Roundup Feb 3 2007

[How they round up the plastic waste in Washington USA]


DIY sector in UK comes under waste reduction scrutiny in UK


Sunday, January 07, 2007

WRAP turns attention to home improvement sector

Packaging use in the home improvement market is to come under scrutiny from the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) as it seeks to add to its progress in the grocery sector.
WRAP staged a dinner for some of the home improvements sector’s biggest players last month to kick off its programme of work in the area, which will include looking at how packaging can limit damage to products.
Mark Barthel, WRAP’s special advisor on retail and innovation, said the DIY and home improvement sector was “second only to grocery in terms of the impact it has on lifestyle behaviour”.
Later in the year WRAP will also turn its attention to the packaging employed by major internet retailers, including Amazon, and the grocery retailers’ web sales channels.
WRAP’s main focus so far has been on the grocery sector, where it has signed up 13 retailers and three brand owners to the Courtauld Commitment, the landmark agreement implemented to reduce packaging and food waste.
WRAP is also seeking applications for its £8m Waste Minimisation Innovation Fund in two new streams.
One will provide funding for schemes that can reduce household packaging waste. The deadline for applications is 31 January.
For more information, visit www.wrap.org.uk.


Posted by editor at 9:40 AM EADT

Monday, 8 January 2007 - 8:05 PM EADT

Name: "anonymous"

Article from www.voanews.com

"Paris to Ban Non-Biodegradale Plastic Bags Next Year"

By Lisa Bryant
10 December 2006

The city of Paris has decided to ban non-biodegradable plastic bags in large stores as of 2007, in an effort to cut down on pollution. The City of Lights is hardly the first to tackle its plastic woes. From Paris, Lisa Bryant reports for VOA that from Ireland to South Africa, the throwaway bag is heading for the dustbin - of history.

It is six p.m. on a weekday evening in northern Paris, and Charles Chetrit is fielding his usual crowd of customers shopping after work.

Chetrit rings up their groceries and then offers them an item that will soon be disappearing from the ciTY: A disposable, plastic bag.

One customer, Frederic Nogray, refuses the offer.

Nogray says he never uses plastic bags because they pollute the environment. Instead, he takes a rolling cart on his errands, which French housewives traditionally used for shopping.

That shopping cart may be making a comeback next year, when a municipal law banning stores from offering non-biodegradable plastic bags goes into effect. Sturdy, light, convenient - and best of all free - plastic bags hardly seem to be in the same pollution league as earth-warming carbon dioxide emissions or toxic waste.

But experts say these disposable bags account for 8,000 tons of waste generated in Paris each year, at a cost of more than $2 million. And burning plastic bags to dispose of them poses a health hazard.

Besides taking a bite out of the city's garbage problem, the leftist government of Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe wants to change Parisians' habits. Yves Contassot, the man responsible for environment and waste at the Paris city hall, explains.

Contassot says plastic bags are just one lesson about the dangers of overpackaging, and of using petroleum-based products to make these non-renewable bags. Parisians need to economize resources by managing them better, Contassot says. It's a question of environmental responsibility.

Contassot's arguments are increasingly being voiced by politicians elsewhere in France. Indeed, the French island of Corsica was the first to ban plastic bags in large stores, in 1999. And by 2010, these bags will be outlawed across the country. Many large French retailers have already banned the throwaway sacks, with dramatic effect. Seven years ago, some 17 million plastic bags were used in France, compared to only six million used today, says Serge Orru, head of World Wildlife Fund France, an environmental nonprofit.

It's true that plastic bags are not good for the environment, Orru says, but they're not the most polluting substance around. Just as important is that French people become aware they're living in a throwaway society.

French aren't the only ones getting that wakeup call. It's been sounding in Israel, Canada, western India, Botswana and Kenya. Countries like Tanzania,South Africa, Taiwan, Singapore and Bangladesh have also banned or are moving toward banning the plastic bag. Ireland took the lead in Europe, slapping a tax on plastic bags in 2002. The Irish government says the levy cut the use of disposable sacs there by a stunning 90 percent. The tax raised millions of dollars in revenue.

The island of Zanzibar also slapped a moratorium on plastic, arguing discarded bags were destroying its marine environment and hurting its tourism industry. The Rwandan government also banned plastic bags this year, citing environmental concerns.

In Europe, the bans are a boon for a new industRY: Creating biodegradable bags made of starches from a variety of plants, like potatoes or corn.

"We are at the beginning of this market," says Christophe de Boissoudy, head of Novamont, an French-Italian business that's Europe's leading generator of this new biodegradable substance. "For the moment, we can see [estimate our market share] at about point eight percent of the plastic bag market. But we can see a very big entrance of this new plastic."

Especially with government support, de Boissoudy says. The bags have one other advantaGE: They move Europe, and the rest of the world, one step away from depending on petroleum based products: In this case, the traditional, nonrenewable bags.

But not everybody is happy with the bans. Critics say substitute bags, made of biodegradable substances, are expensive. Others fear job losses in the plastic bag making industry. And in Rwanda, some people accused government militias of stealing goods they carried in now illegal plastic bags.

In Paris, store owner Chetrit is also skeptical about the new plastic bag ban. Not so long ago, he tried to end the use of plastic bags at his store, offering sturdier ones instead but at a price. The customers weren't pleased.

We lost a lot of clientele, Chetrit says. Some bought our reusable bags, they're only 60 centimes. But most of the clientele didn't like them. They saID: Where are the bags? They like to use them as garbage bags.

Environmentalists like World Wildlife's Orru say that mentality will change.

After getting used to a life without disposable bags, Orru says, people might start thinking twice about other throwaway products, like plastic bottles, non-renewable batteries, or kleenex. He believes life in Paris, and elsewhere, can be lived well using less.


From Ms Lyndall mcCormack
zero waste action group
SydnEY: Australia
God Bless

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