Data against use of plastic bags is flawed


Data against use of plastic bags is flawedTo the Editor:

At the recent Northborough Town Meeting Article 36 (Plastic Bag Reduction Bylaw) passed. This article is based on some poor data (causing a burden to solid waste and collection facilities). While it is true that film and heavy plastic materials don’t mix well, there are recovery systems that can handle film. Wegmans’ bags contain 40 percent scrap material. Wegmans, Walmart and Lowes Hardware have collection bin systems. I stopped at Wegmans and inquired as to how the program was going. The store manager was happy with their system.

The Article continues claiming “clogging storm drainage systems: requiring the use of millions of gallons of crude oil nationally for their manufacture.” I stopped and talked to the Town Water and Sewer Manager to find out how often this happens and he said we didn’t have a problem with the bags and the sewers.

HDPE – High Density Polyethylene comes from natural gas, not crude oil.

A final point – As to the claim that it is a single use bag is not true in my experience. We use them to line small trash cans in our bedrooms and bathrooms. Plus, my granddaughter uses them to pick up after her dog when she walks him.

Why did our distribution system switch from paper to plastic? 1000 HDPE bags weigh about 14 pounds and cost under a penny ($.01). 1000 paper bags weigh about 100 pounds and take up a lot more space and cost about 13 cents. ($.13). Plus when the plastic bags get wet from the rain it doesn’t fall apart. The plastic bag is produced with a handle so an old man (or woman) like myself can handle more bags.

I think 42 years selling and marketing plastic film for several large, international companies allows me to protest an attack on a very useful product.

Bill Halter