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Posted Sun Feb 20 2011: from The Independent:
Plastic grocery bags 'not eco-villains after all'?
Unpublished Government research suggests the plastic carrier may not be an eco villain after all - but, whisper it, an unsung hero. Hated by environmentalists and shunned by shoppers, the disposable plastic bag is piling up in a shame-filled corner of retail history. But a draft report by the Environment Agency, obtained by the Independent on Sunday, has found that ordinary high density polythene (HDPE) bags used by shops are actually greener than supposedly low impact choices. HDPE bags are, for each use, almost 200 times less damaging to the climate than cotton hold-alls favoured by environmentalists, and have less than one third of the Co2 emissions than paper bags which are given out by retailers such as Primark. The findings suggest that, in order to balance out the tiny impact of each lightweight plastic bag, consumers would have to use the same cotton bag every working day for a year, or use paper bags at least thrice rather than sticking them in the bin or recycling.
[Read more stories about: plastic problems, carbon emissions]

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Byron says: "What a silly article. The problem with plastic was never the climate."

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