It’s hard to think of an industry one would be less proud to work in than the plastic bag industry.
That’s just my view of course, but there’s plenty of evidence that plastic garbage is pouring into the earth and sea at terrifying rates.
And if ever there was a totally unnecessary plastic product it’s a plastic bag.
However, those who make money from producing what is ultimately nothing more than plastic trash, have launched a federal lawsuit so they can carry on successfully making money by churning out acres of poisonous plastic that’s polluting and choking the planet.
ChicoBag is a plastic bag company that presents itself as eco-friendly. For the moment, leave aside the nonsense that plastic bags are ever anything but bad for the enviroment. The lawsuit has been filed by three leading plastic bag manufacturers who argue that ChicoBag is an unfair competitor because it overstates the environmental damage done by ‘non-reusable’ plastic bags. For the moment, leave aside the nonsense that there are reusable and non-reusable plastic bags. The three plaintiffs say that ChicoBag inflates figures such as the size of the floating plastic patch in the Pacific Ocean and the deaths caused to marine creatures by eating, or choking on, plastic garbage.
Advocate of ‘re-usable’ plastic bags, Andy Keller, is the young president of the ChicoBag company. Philip Rozenski is Director of Marketing and Sustainability at Hilex Poly, a company which makes ‘non-reusable’ plastic bags. Rozenski argues that Keller’s information, from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is outdated. It’s not true, Rozenski says, that just 1% of plastic bags are recycled. The true figure, he says, is 11.8%.
Rozenski’s lawyers are arguing that Keller and ChicoBag represent a direct competitor in the plastic bag industry “making false and misleading claims within the marketplace. When ChicoBag is making these claims, it directly benefits Chico.”
Pardon my cynicism but in my view anyone making plastic bags is in the business of making profit regardless of the polluting consequences of their products. There are plenty of alternatives to plastic when making bags. It’s not possible to make laptops, cars or phones out of paper, straw or hemp. But it’s certainly possible to make bags with those and other materials. There’s simply no social or environmental justification for making plastic bags these days.
As for the phoney distinction between throwaway, or single-use, plastic bags and re-usable plastic bags – don’t make me laugh. There’s nothing in theory to stop any plastic bag being reused. It’s still dangerous and toxic rubbish. Use it once or five times, or even ten – it’s still going to end up polluting the soil or adding to the Pacific Ocean garbage heap and poisoning sealife.
The ChicoBag case is depressing and absolutely of its time. Here we are in the 21st century and companies are going to court in defence of the manufacture of utterly indefensible and environmentally damaging plastic bags. It’s all about money and company and personal profit with not a jot of concern for life on earth. The legal action – all companies included – is unintelligent, greedy and socially indefensible.
Would you sleep at night if your life’s work was churning out plastic bags into the soil and the sea?