So....my previous post of brown paper....has got us all asking the question.....
Paper V's Plastic?
Which is better and what is a TRUE cost?
With many of our shops going plastic free, and people returning to string bags (sort of and of a fashion), will we,
and in fact,
should we, see a return of the paper bag?
I have had the very good fortune last year of meeting (and making my friend) Lee from Killiecrankie Farm.
She is an extraordinary woman; holds her own in an industry typically populated by males (forestry), is a qualified horticulturalist of highest calibre, juggling motherhood and new entrepeneurealships. She upholds the old crafts and the pursuits of la vie simple (being also a self-confessed Francophile) and often is found pondering (inside her head) the modern term of "green".
Sometimes she lets me in but today...
without further ado....
she lets us all in....
"So folks this is my first guest blog.
It’s a bit daunting,
it could be blog Harri kauri by being so topical
but here goes....
Tanya has asked me to say why I like brown paper bags;
it's not just the wonderful crisp stiffness of the paper,
the warm cosy smells of the raw brown carrier,
but because it meets my criteria for a good cradle to grave product.
Good grief what is that !
Sounds a bit weird and heavy for a blog ramble!
If you put it in simple terms think of the question "how?"
How do we get a paper bag ?
How does it get used ?
How does it end its life ?
So if we had a plastic bag (or even one of those reusable green bags)
it started as a dinosaur (cradle)
yup, squished and crushed and stewed below the earths crust to form a natural gas
then we drill it out of the ground, probably far out to seas where no-one can see it
ship it to a refinery,
cook it up into some stretchy goop
add a few stabilisers and there you have it a plastic bag
(simple and inaccurate I know).
Now you can say it is renewable getting out natural gas and petroleum's
but we are going to have to wait a few million years and we are going to run out of dinosaur goop at some stage.
So that’s why we are so keen on bio fuels.
Then the bag goes to landfill to "degrade" - which basically means it’s the same thing just smaller bits.
It won't disappear or become worm food - it will end as plastic.
You can recycle it,
but it will still be plastic (grave)
(simple and inaccurate I know).
So take a brown paper bag.
Many of my favourite things involve paper;
my wooden floorboards,
the box around my chocolate,
a birthday card.....
So you take a tree,
mash it up, wash it (even recycled paper), mash it some more, wash it some more
add some stabiliser
roll it out, dry it, cut it up and fold it
whack-o you have a brown paper bag.
That bag, if unbleached can go straight in the compost
be eaten by a worm as it is "BIO degradable"
pooped out and then fertilize my garden.
It is still cellulose (that fibre stuff from the tree)
(simple and inaccurate I know).....
BUT that tree can be replanted,
grown again in a life cycle of about 15 years.
But what about the forest ?
What about all the energy that goes into turning a tree into paper ?
Well that’s another whole new story . . . . .
the moral of the story is . . . . . use less ?
Ask do I need this ?
Next week meat VS vegetarian and the case of the belching cow (no just joking).
Some other discussions:
What's with you: so I am an environmental scientist, with a bend on sustainability, when not answering to "Mum" I ride a bike for fun (?) and ponder the great arguments of the modern term of "green"."