[–] bob3333 1 points 24 points (+25|-1) ago  (edited ago)

Benning plastic bags for environmental reasons isn't to save waste or energy, it's to save plastic bag litter. You only have to use your cotton bag once to prevent that.

[–] shrink 0 points 5 points (+5|-0) ago 

Yeah, I'm not a stupid guy but I'm still having trouble trying to parse this man's point together. He spends the entire article basically talking about how anything and everything ostensibly done for environmental reasons is a joke (may or may not be the case, depending on each individual basis) only to cap it off with a single sentence saying that cotton bags aren't worth it but can't explain why. He just makes the assertion, links a study, and proceeds to avoid any discussion of the topic. It smells like some idiot who doesn't understand something using that something to reinforce his opinion, and this is without any real investigation on my part.

[–] ohgoodlord 0 points 4 points (+4|-0) ago  (edited ago)

Cotton requires a lot of water to grow, then more resources to process, then more resources to truck it to where it's going. When cotton gets wet, it also takes a really long time to dry, which is why it's being replaced in athletic wear by synthetics or even wool in some cases. Fibers like wool actually handle water better/will cause it to bead and sort of stay on the surface instead of soaking in. There's also the issue of where and how the cotton is produced. Third-world countries aren't nearly as efficient when it comes to cotton as the US. They don't always grow modern drought-resistant varieties. They use more pesticides and they don't have efficient irrigation in many cases. Using cotton to try and maximize sustainability or be more environmentally friendly is a weird choice all around, even if this particular author didn't explain it very well.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2017/11/02/are-cotton-t-shirts-sustainable-products/#3ef3b87b3aba https://agfax.com/2018/05/16/texas-cotton-less-water-for-young-plants-doesnt-hurt-yield-improves-drought-tolerance/ https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/mar/20/cost-cotton-water-challenged-india-world-water-day

[–] Hand_of_Node 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

it's to save plastic bag litter.

You can effectively do that by just not living in Asia or Africa.

[–] nothingproud 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

Not true, since China stopped taking in plastic wastes from western "recycling" schemes, a vast majority has been diverted to landfill. Over time, through erosion etc, tiny beads of plastic are making their way into groundwater and oceans.

[–] Pubiclouse 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Excellent exceptional point Bob.

[–] tendiesonfloor 0 points 10 points (+10|-0) ago 

I like them because they can carry more weight than that plastic shit.

[–] Pubiclouse 0 points 4 points (+4|-0) ago 

I love mine when I go to Starbucks to set my laptop on or when I go to Sprouts to get my silk and it is also a better insulator than plastic. It really is awesome I even have an extra one in my Prius at all times.

[–] prairie 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

If you hadn't overdone it I might have thought you were serious.

[–] C_Corax 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Not a fan of standing on the parking lot with all your groceries all over the ground, huh?

[–] Gumbatron 0 points 8 points (+8|-0) ago 

Whilst most reusable bags are a poor choice, being overall worse /using more resources per use than current disposable bags. The author of this article is not someone you could call unbiased. He is the president of the American council on science & health, which as far as i can tell is basically an industry funded shill outfit.

[–] shrink 0 points 4 points (+4|-0) ago  (edited ago)

Yeah, this author says "you'd need to use a cotton bag 7100 times for it to make environmental sense," and that's it. No explanation, no discussion, no elucidation of the facts or any deeper implications, that's all we get from him, a single declarative sentence. He linked to a 144 page study in multiple languages I simply cannot be assed to leaf through, but my main question would be "what do you actually mean by that, precisely?" To which, I bet you fifty bucks, he would not be able to answer. He just parroted the name of the study and implies the claim "it's not worth it" on a superficial level.

Whatever point the study is making may very well be true and something to consider, but the author of that article is a fucking moron, and clearly one with an agenda of some kind as well.

[–] Master_Foo 0 points 8 points (+8|-0) ago 

I went down that rabbit hole. The answer is on page 18 of the report


Conventional cotton bags: Reuse for grocery shopping at least 52 times for climate change, at least 7100 times considering all indicators; reuse as waste bin bag if possible, otherwise incinerate.5The number of times for “all indicators” refers to the highest number of reuse times among thosecalcu-lated for each impact category. For light carrier bags (LDPE, PP, PET...) the high numbers of reuse times are given by a group of impact categories with similar high values. Conversely, for composite and cotton the very high number of reuse times is given by the ozone depletion impact alone. Without considering ozone depletion, the number of reuse times ranges from 50 to1400 for conventional cotton, from 150 to 3800 for organic cotton, and from 0 to 740 for the composite material bag. The highest number is due to the use of water resource, but also to freshwater and terrestrial eutrophication. Results for the number of reuse times for each impact category, minimum-maximum ranges and average number of reuse times are provided in Appendix C.

So, basically, the report is saying cotton bags have a higher manufacturing carbon footprint than LDPE bags. Which most people already know. (The point of using a cotton bag is to reduce the amount of plastic waste, not to reduce the carbon footprint). Or in other words, 1 cotton bag has the carbon footprint of 52 (interesting how the author of the blog didn't use this number) plastic bags, or requires as much water as 7,100 plastic bags, (which nobody really gives a fuck about).

So, it seems like the author of the blog just looked at the number 7,100 and thought it would look impressive so long as he deliberately didn't explain that number because the real number (52 bags) isn't impressive.

[–] jhaluska 0 points 5 points (+5|-0) ago 

I use a cotton shopping bag because I can shove a 25 lb watermelon in it and not worry about it ripping.

[–] Stoffel 0 points 5 points (+5|-0) ago 

(((destroy the environment goys, nature is bad, move to the cities)))

[–] Elbower_of_Quants 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

If you use cotton bags wash them every time you haul them to the store. The conveyor belts at all grocery stores are notoriously fucked with meat bloods and multitudes of bacteria from this and that. All of your products get sweetly and earthly placed into cotton bags, taken home, and stored whilst the cotton bags fester with all sorts of bacterial goodies. Don't let the little ones near those cotton bags. One single Staph infection and little Nancy will be fighting for her life.

Thank goodness for throwaway plastic bags. Haul Staph home and toss it in the trash. No little Nancy fighting for her life, praise god.

[–] Master_Foo 1 points 0 points (+1|-1) ago 

Don't let the little ones near those cotton bags. One single Staph infection and little Nancy will be fighting for her life.

That's the reason to use them. Exposing kids to germs builds up the immune system. Nancy is dead because you kept her sealed inside a hyperbaric chamber all her life and never taught her that all she needs to do is wash her hands after she plays in the dirt.

[–] Pimarinesgt 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

He said staph infection not a damn cold. Staph infections can easily kill children and especially babies.

[–] VoutGuy 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

Get shopping, goy!

[–] viperguy 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

Cotton bags COST LIVES! People DIE!

Sterile one-use plastic bags are thrown out and all the juice from chicken and hamburger and pork packages gets thrown out.

Cotton breed bacteria... some of it not good bacteria (most is ok bacteria) and the soiled cotton bags cause disease. Some prior bacteria gets transferred to vegetables and fruit in later purchases.

November 2012 paper, "Grocery Bag Bans and Foodborne Illness," by Jonathan Klick and Joshua Wright

The San Francisco bag ban is "associated with a statistically significant and particularly large increase in ER visits for E. Coli infections. We find increases between one fourth and two thirds, suggesting an increase in visits between 72 and 191 annually," the paper said.

All told, the authors said, the bag ban there is "associated with a 46 percent increase in deaths from foodborne illnesses."

load more comments ▼ (9 remaining)