September 30, 2008, - 12:09 pm

What Kermit Knew: It’s Not Easy Being “Green”; Real Goal of Plastic Bag Nazis: 30-Second Showers

By Debbie Schlussel
On this site, we’ve discussed the many, many examples of the hypocrisy of the “green” movement and the celebrity eco-hypocrites.
Now, there’s yet another example, based on something we’ve touched on before: various retailers’ elimination of plastic bags–or bags altogether unless you pay for them, as in the case of IKEA–in favor of those permanent coated canvas bags they ask you to buy from them and reuse.

plasticbagban2.jpg

Stupid Is As Stupid Does:

This Is Hardly Our Biggest Enemy/Panacea

It’s a pet peeve of mine. I don’t like it when I’m at IKEA and they ask me to pay a nickel for a bag because the gazillionaire old man who owns the company and lives in the United Empire of Madonnastan (what I call Europe–they love her and Islam) decides I have to subscribe to his politics, not just buy his products and make him rich. Whenever I’m at any retailer that is trying to phase out plastic bags, I make a point for asking for them, and I always say, “I want one because I’m against the environment.” Of course, I’m not. I have to live and breathe the air, too. I just don’t think my plastic bag is the horror of horrors they think it is, and I like to mock them and play the role.
Back to those coated, reusable bags they want you to use. The whole idea is not as “environmentally-friendly” as they’d have you believe, despite the enviro-Nazi politics they try to press upon you. And when you buy them, your money goes to the Chi-Coms:

It’s manufactured in China, shipped thousands of miles overseas, made with plastic and could take years to decompose. It’s also the hot “green” giveaway of the moment: the reusable shopping bag.
The bags usually are printed with environmental slogans as well as corporate logos and pitched as earth-friendly substitutes for the billions of disposable plastic bags that wind up in landfills every year. . . .
But well-meaning companies and consumers are finding that shopping bags, like biofuels, are another area where it’s complicated to go green. “If you don’t reuse them, you’re actually worse off by taking one of them,” says Bob Lilienfeld, author of the Use Less Stuff Report, an online newsletter about waste prevention. And because many of the bags are made from heavier material, they’re also likely to sit longer in landfills than their thinner, disposable cousins, according to Ned Thomas, who heads the department of material science and engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. . . .
If each bag is used multiple times — at least once a week — four or five reusable bags can replace 520 plastic bags a year, says Nick Sterling, research director at Natural Capitalism Solutions, a nonprofit focused on corporate sustainability issues.

Wow, that’s a big if.

The nonwoven polypropylene bags, made in China, should last about five years, says spokesman Steve Linders [of CVS].
The bags are made in China from nonwoven polypropylene. The materials are recyclable and decompose without contaminating groundwater, says spokeswoman Erin Pensa [of Walmart].
This new bag costs 50 cents but has less recycled content than Wal-Mart’s $1 reusable bag. The company says it wanted to offer shoppers a cheaper option.
The bags are made in China from nonwoven polypropylene that contains 30% recycled material, says spokesman Mike Black [of Staples]. . . .
The nonwoven polypropylene bags, made in China, are part of a larger green initiative, says spokeswoman Kelly Groehler [of Best Buy].

Yup, the common denominator is that China is laughing all the way to the bank at our faux-greenness bizarre-dom.

Many of the cheap, reusable bags that retailers favor are produced in Chinese factories and made from nonwoven polypropylene, a form of plastic that requires about 28 times as much energy to produce as the plastic used in standard disposable bags and eight times as much as a paper sack, according to Mr. Sterling, of Natural Capitalism Solutions.

Hmmm . . . doesn’t exactly sound more eco-friendly to me.

Some, such as the ones sold in Gristedes stores in New York that are printed with the slogan “I used to be a plastic bag,” are misleading. Those bags are also made in China from nonwoven polypropylene and have no recycled content. Stanley Joffe, president of Earthwise Bag Co., the Commerce, Calif., company that designed the bags, says the slogan is meant to point out that the bag itself is reusable, taking the place of a disposable plastic bag.

But get this: The plastic bag Nazis don’t really have as their goal for you not to use plastic bags any more. Nope. Their goal is far more sinister. They want you to get used to using the reusable coated bags and then to get used to less then thorough bathing. It’s used as an analogy, but their goals are severe. The analogy is no accident:
Getting people to actually use the bags is another matter. Maximizing their benefits requires changing deeply ingrained behavior, like getting used to taking 30-second showers to lower one’s energy and water use. At present, many of the bags go unused — remaining stashed instead in consumers’ closets or in the trunks of their cars. . . .
Sarah De Belen, a 35-year-old mother of two from Hoboken, N.J., says she uses about 30 or 40 plastic bags at the grocery store every week. Late last year, she saw a woman at the supermarket with a popular canvas tote by London designer Anya Hindmarch and promptly purchased one online for about $45.
But Ms. De Belen says she soon realized she’d need 12 of them to accommodate an average grocery run. “It can hold, like, a head of lettuce,” she says. Besides, she adds, it’s too nice to load up with diapers or dripping chicken breasts.
Thank G-d Americans aren’t the complete lemmings I thought they were. Disposable plastic bags are not going to be our death. Much less so than worshipping blindly at the PC group-think alter of environmental correctness and faux-green.
Like I said, the ChiComs are laughing at us . . . all the way to the bank.
When we become their China–after generations of such stupidity–they won’t be having us manufacture reusable bags. Bet on it.

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13 Responses

Ok; this may seem odd, but I have to defend the plastic shopping bags. The reason is for emergencies and household uses. The bags are darn useful to contain human waste and other articles in the event of a natural disaster or shelter-in-place event.
The bags used to come free at shops. Excellent for single use. They can contain liquids (you know what I mean) for long-term quarantine.
It’s not that those bags immediately end up in landfills. Most folks around here keep them just for this purpose and many other household uses – and then they end up in landfills; usually containing something most folks would prefer didn’t get out.
I’m not going to use a resuable bag that says “Go Green” after the earthquake hits and I NEED to go!
Seems like the Left really knows how to screw us over.

bhparkman on September 30, 2008 at 10:58 pm

Debbie,
I totally agree with you. I was part of a campaign to rescind an ordinance that was passed by the City of Seattle. The American Chemistry Council hired our firm to collect signatures for a referendum. The council and mayor had passed an ordinance that imposed a 20 cent tax on each bag. In fact the tax didnt stop at plastic bags but also paper bags. Knowing people would just ask for paper, the council targeted those bags as well. In fact it would extend to Target, Home Depot, Office Depot and even liqour stores or 7-11. The environmentalists conjured up stories that the city was littered with bags. In fact Seattle is one of the most cleanest large cities I have been. I know they recycle like crazy but that is all voluntary. You are right those reusable bags will take eons to decompose. What they aim to achieve is to impose their ANAL lifestyle on us. These sicko liberals freak out when they see “mother earth hurt”. My god, to be in public with these nuts, saying how “evil or greedy we are.” My retort was “I smoke cigars, drink beer out of a can, drive a large SUV and go to strip bars, and I would vote for Bush over Obama anytime. Stay out of my life. I dont want your anal lifestyle.”
Well the signatures were collected in record time. We got over 22,000 signatures in 11 days. Four days was used to validate the signatures. So infuriated that so many people didnt want this tax, the liberals insisted that there was fraud and asked people to rescind their names, saying we mislead the public. There were no takers. To make a long story short. Seattle will vote on the repeal of the Bag Tax next year. Mayor Greg Nickles, who wanted national notoriety with this ordinance knows it will be overturned by 2 to 1. In fact the head of the Seattle Council Richard Conlin has pondered banning bags in any store. These guys just cannot stand the public having a say in their own governance. A couple years back the people overturned a strip bar ban in Seattle, much to the anger of the liberal council and the Mayor.
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/379278_bags16.html
Yes the Nazis of environmentalism will try and do the same here in California. One House passed a 25 cent tax, while the other House let it die in conference. Unfortunately it will reappear again next year. Also the worst way they tried to frame this argument was using the “MOM card”. “Cool moms dont want this waste for our childrens future. ”
http://coolmom.org/
I hate the notion of using children as a shield to get any legislation. In San Diego they banned alcohol on our last remaining beaches because there are children and “We cant have children around alcohol, can we?” My belief is that fascism will come wrapped in a box of pampers. “Because we cant hurt kids, can we?” This is so disgusting how liberals will play this card to take our rights away. They were successful in anti-smoking efforts now its the rest of our freedoms.

californiascreaming on October 1, 2008 at 1:02 am

I really love nature, and can even tolerate some people, but having to listen to all this preachy hippy crap every time I turn on a radio or tv is really pissing me off.

Ron Taylor on October 1, 2008 at 1:40 am

As an avowed enviromentalist, I always use the plastic bag twice. For dog shit and to toss out the garbage. The local free lib paper which they can no longer charge for, but comes in plastic wrap( we live in a wet area) is tossed as delivered, unwrapped.

Pat on October 1, 2008 at 3:23 am

Debbie says “…the ChiComs are laughing at us . . . all the way to the bank.”
How true. According to a September 8 Reuters report from Beijing, ìChina owned $376 billion of debt issued by US government agencies, principally Fannie and Freddie, as of mid-2007.î
So all these past bailouts of Wall Street banks and financial institutions were done mostly to “reaasure” foreign investors like the Chinese – to the detriment of the U.S. taxpayer.
The Senate is voting on the bailout plan today (and the House will again soon follow) and the American people must once again rise up and voice their opposition to this “rescue plan” for the super-rich bankers and elitists.
Call and e-mail your two Senators and your Representative and urge them to cast their vote against this dangerous legislation. Use the
resources from the following “Action Alert:”
http://www.campaignforliberty.com/blog/?p=608
And you can e-mail your Senators and Representatives using the
following:
http://capwiz.com/jbs/issues/alert/?alertid=11963861
The following articles provide more information as to why you should oppose the bailout plan:
http://www.jbs.org/index.php/jbs-news-feed/3218 (a must-read)
http://www.campaignforliberty.com/blog/?p=642#comments
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/09/29/miron.bailout/index.html
http://www.chuckbaldwinlive.com/c2008/cbarchive_20080926.html
http://www.jbs.org/index.php/jbs-news-feed/3095
http://www.campaignforliberty.com/blog/?p=597#comments

ramjordan on October 1, 2008 at 5:00 am

Debbie, at least with the Jews, not recycling is now an official sin, much worse than failing to support Obama or gay marriage. Also being anti-Islam is a big no-no, and any statement unsupportive of Muslims must be accompanied by a slur against Orthodox Judaism, etc.

Anonymous1 on October 1, 2008 at 10:29 am

There’s also a sinister ulterior motive behind the whole “30-second shower” business – and it has nothing to do with saving either energy or the environment. As some commentators have noted, many on the Left are, to put it delicately, “hygienically challenged.” Not to mention their being generally slovenly in appearance. In short, these enviro-fascists want us all to live like dirty, smelly hippies.

ConcernedPatriot on October 1, 2008 at 12:48 pm

You know what? There is a middle ground to all of this. Do people realize that by just doing things like using ceiling fans to reduce your AC comsumption and changing from incandescent to flourescent light bulbs would save incredible amounts of energy? So is turning your computer off, rather than leaving it onon stand-by. All these little things add up. A collective change and we can all give the middle finger to the middle east and their oil. And I’m sorry, but properly inflated tires do result in incremental fuel efficiency. People forget that one of the reasons the late 70’s fuel crisis resolved itself was that Americans reduced their demand as a result of high prices through carpooling and more efficient vehicles. An incremental change here in the U.S. can and will influence the market, even with increased demand from India and China. The cost for our stupidity and laziness is the undue importance of fossil fuel rich countries like Saudi Arabia and Venezula. What would these backwaters be without such a high energy demand? Nothing to us. How interested would we be then in the plight of democracy for their oppressed peoples? About as interested as we are about it in Africa.
Not wasting energy and becoming a little more efficient are not hallmarks of liberalism, but of fiscal conservatism. Energy is a bottom line business, hence why corporations are shifting to greener solutions: the less you spend on that lightbulb, the more in your pocket. Why wouldn’t Americans want to manage their money wisely.
Charging for plastic grocery bags to encourage their reuse will not work, though, nor will its eliemination. Gorcery stores have tried it before and lost customersI can carry about six or seven plastic grocery bags in each hand. I can’t do that with canvas totes, people want them. If retailers want to be environmentally friendly, the solution would be to have a conveniently located recycling bin for that type of plastic bag.

Staypositive on October 1, 2008 at 3:36 pm

I forgot to mention that according to “ProLibertate” by William Norman Grigg, “At the beginning of the year, Russia had about $100 billion (roughly one-sixth of its gold and forex reserves) invested in Fannie and Freddie paper. Moscow made a tidy $1 billion off that paper during the first half of the year.”
And remember that Treasury Secretary Paulson is a former CEO of Goldman Sachs and was dubbed ìChinaís man in the Bush cabinet.î One of the many deals that Paulson concluded with Chinese state-owned businesses was when in 2006, Goldman Sachs bought into Chinaís biggest bank, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, for $2.58 billion, netting Paulson himself, as CEO, a personal stake worth a reported $25 million.
We must reject the bailout plan so taxpayer’s money will NOT “rescue” super-rich Wall Street bankers AND foreign bankers – especially those bankers from countries who are our enemies.

ramjordan on October 1, 2008 at 4:57 pm

Why are people painting this as either plastic bags or Chinese polypropylene products? I have several old cotton bags that have found a new life and they hold a lot more goods. I do hate plastic bags. What do we use, about a billion of them a year? What are plastic bags made from? Oil? Do we really want to give our friends in the Middle East the business of a quarter million or so barrels of oil a year for our “convenience” of using throw away plastic bags? What a spoiled society we have become.
We all need to conserve resources for our grandchildren and their children and we have to start now. It took me a while to keep my old bags in a place where I can remember to bring them to the store. When I end up with plastic bags, I make sure to reuse them several times before tossing them into the recycle bin

RealConservative on October 1, 2008 at 9:37 pm

Debbie, I agree with the folks above. I use the bags from Target to clean out the cat box and as liners for the trash cans in my bathrooms (the kids will throw food in there, and I hate to have to clean the trash cans all the time. The ones from the grocery store and Wal Mart are so thin, they usually rip along the bottom seam and don’t always get used a second time, since they won’t hold anything small. But, the grocery store will recycle those and I drop them off when I shop. I saw on This Old House a deck built out of boards made from wood chips and plastic bags. So my old ripped plastic grocery sacks DO get a new life somewhere. I’m trying to track down the manufacturer of those deck boards because I live in a hot climate that is hell on real wood. Deck and fence boards splinter really easily and turn gray and weathered overnight. I’d love a color stable product like that with no splinters!!!! If there’s no plastic sacks, where are they going to get their raw materials from?
I also agree with your commenters that I’m not “green” to protect the little birdies, I’m much more interested in domestic production of any and all forms of energy so we can tell the Arabs to go farm their sand and see how it works out for them. Too bad the ChiComs have so much of our money because it would be great to push Greater Barbaria to bankruptcy, like Reagan did to the Soviets.
Terror free oil, baby!

lexie1 on October 2, 2008 at 4:14 pm

The truth is the environmentalist movement has nothing to do with clean air or clean water. It is all about politics. I don’t see any of these “greenies” pushing their ideas any were else. They wouldn’t dare push their ideas on China or even Mexico. The Rio Grand river is much worse than the Cuyahoga. We clean up our messes while countries such as Mexico continue to pour raw sewage into the Rio Grand.

Burt on October 3, 2008 at 9:54 am

Wow. Thanks for taking the mantle on this plastic-bag-banning fervor that’s sweeping the faux-liberal community (and the mainstream community, unfortunately, now), Debbie.

Besides the excellent points you’ve made on this matter in this as well as previous articles, I also like to point out to people that American bag manufacturing has to operate under some of the strictest environmental and pollution-controls guidelines in the world. Not to mention that it provides American jobs.

China, OTOH, has zero environmental constraints and manufacturers routinely pump highly toxic industrial, human and heavy-metal waste directly into the ocean. Also, Chinese manufacturing plants belch and spew an ever-increasing and mind-boggling amount of unfiltered soot and toxic emissions directly into the atmosphere.

In fact, it’s created a very-real pollution hazard that affects the rest of the world and is increasing daily: the Asian Brown Cloud –

http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2012/05/asian-brown-cloud-threatens-us.html?ref=hp

Stick that in your filthy reusable sacks, you f**king green liberal jagoffs.

DS_ROCKS! on June 1, 2012 at 2:43 pm

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