Say No to non-woven bags! ’Thanks for taking your own recyclable bag! ’ many sales of retail shops say this as to reduce the use of plastic bags. Nowadays, it is not difficult to find at least one non-woven bag in each single family in Hong Kong and its usage has been skyrocketed. But does it mean they are more environmentally friendly than plastic bags?
By contrasting plastic bags and non-woven bags in the degree of needs, space-consuming difficulties and the content of plastic contained between two types of bags, it would be able to figure out which one is more environmentally friendly. Many non-woven bags have not been fully-used and become a kind of wastage which lead to a surplus. Non-woven bags have been highly produced by an increase of 96% and turns out a situation of supply larger than demand.
Since a survey has conducted that 40% of interviewed families in Hong Kong have over 10 non-woven bags at home, more than half have been used once only. Also, a group of environmentalists had collected over 1000 non-woven bags within 2 weeks in Hong Kong too. Unlike non-woven bags, plastic bags have been decreased by 68%. And they can be used as trash bags, to line waste cans and to pickup dogs’ waste, which are recyclable as well. Moreover, plastic bags can be used to pack the used-umbrellas in rainy days too.
Therefore, it depends on how we use the bag, it is not a MUST for non-woven bags are more useful than plastic bags. Apart from the halfly-used problem, non-woven bags also required more space for storage than the plastic bags. In size, non-woven bags are larger, which are obviously required more space than plastic bags since they contained more materials. And the government admitted that once they have been abandoned, like since 2009, the number of non-woven bags that filled into the landfill has gone up by 70% to more than 17 million.
In contrast, carrying plastic bags out for shopping is more convenient than non-woven bags as they are lighter and smaller in size and easy to store or put into hand bags. Therefore, they put less pressure on the landfills in Hong Kong. So, for the spacing problem, plastic bags do bring us a larger degree of convenience than non-woven bags. Last but the most importantly, the non-woven bags contain more plastic and made by non-environmentally friendly materials. Scientifically, the non-woven bags are made by non-renewable resources by burning fossil fuels, for example, coal and petroleum, which harm our Mr.
Earth a lot. And the truth is, the manufacturing process of non-woven bags required more plastic than traditional plastic bags, by more than 30% to 50%. And afterward, the former would be nearly impossible to decompose due to the high containing of plastic, than the later which release much more green house gases, like carbon dioxide and methane. All in all, the plastic bags are relatively more recyclable than non-woven bags indeed, so how can everyone claimed to be environmentally friendly but keep using the non-woven bags?
The bad news is that, many people do blindly and unwisely use the non-woven bags which lead to another environmental problem. Base on the necessity question, space-requiring and the non-environmentally friendly sources, the non-woven bags have been proved less should be used. Officially, the government should set levy on non-woven bags but not just plastic bags with education on citizens, and to support and keep harmony with the environmentalists, like the Greener Actions or the WWF.
Individually, minimize the use of non-woven bags and maximize the environmental concern is what we need to do now. Want to be a clever and environmentally friendly customer? Say No to non-woven bags!