Reduce, Reuse and Recycle:
Packaging is here to stay but there are ways to reduce the amount of packaging needed. First, look for products that use less packaging. Use usable plastic bags as much as possible Buying in bulk also helps reduce wastage during our production. Sometimes you can reuse lightly used bags multiple times. Reuse them at home for small trash can liners, lunch bags, animal waste holders, or containers for almost anything.
Did you know plastic grocery bags consume 40% less energy to produce and generate 80% less solid waste than paper bags? It takes 91 percent less energy to recycle a pound of plastic than it takes to recycle a pound of paper. It takes more than four times as much energy to manufacture a paper bag as it does to manufacture a plastic bag.
Paper sacks generate 70 percent more air pollution and 50 times more water pollutants than plastic bags.
Most plastic bags are made from natural gas, NOT oil. Bags are made from a waste product of refining either oil or natural gas that will exist whether converted into plastic or not. If not converted, this waste would be burned off, releasing greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.
Actions Speak Louder than Words
Qian Hu Tat Leng Plastic believes that there is more to being environmentally responsible than just mere words. We have been focusing on keeping our planet clean and healthy long before it was the popular and politically correct thing to do. With company and industry-wide policies that promote recycling, conservation, minimizing waste and promoting environmentally friendly charities, we lead the way in keeping the Earth green and healthy. We are a strong family based company that wants to hand down a better and cleaner planet to future generations.
Our bags are made from virgin FDA approved resin. No post-consumer recycled waste. When using Regrind resin you need to make a thicker bag to get the same strength of a virgin resin bag. Recycling: all plastic scraps are sold to local recycle company who regrind it and repelletize it. Then it is resold back to us that use the “recycle resin” into construction film, trash bags and other plastic products that can utilize the reprocessed resin.
Our bags are made from virgin FDA approved resin. No post-consumer recycled waste. When using Regrind resin you need to make a thicker bag to get the same strength of a virgin resin bag.
Reusable plastic bags most eco-friendly option in Singapore Next best is single-use plastic bag, instead of one made of paper or biodegradable polymers Being an eco-friendly shopper in Singapore means opting for and using a reusable plastic bag many times instead of using a cotton one, a new study has found.
Forgot the reusable plastic bag? Then the next best option would be to use a single-use plastic bag, instead of a paper one or one made of biodegradable polymers.
These findings by researchers from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and their colleagues in Finland were published in August in the Journal Of Cleaner Production.
In the paper, the researchers noted that while plastic grocery bags are one of the most common single-use packaging products, other options have been gaining traction. These include single-use bags made of paper or biodegradable plastic, or reusable bags made of cotton or polypropylene non-woven plastic.
But how do they stack up against one another in terms of how environmentally friendly they are here?
The latest study provides the answer, with the researchers modelling the environmental impact of each type of bag based on a host of factors, such as how the bags are made, transported, distributed, collected as waste, treated and disposed of. Especially in Singapore, which incinerates most of its non-recycle waste.
The production of cotton involves pesticide use, and long-term heavy metals discharge into water. Paper bag production involves generation of liquid waste, noted the authors.
In Singapore, which has a closed waste management system with incineration treatment, using plastic bags - both reusable and single-use types - may be the best option that is currently available, he said.
"This is provided that there is no significant leakage of waste into the environment," Prof Lisak added.
Plastic bags, if not disposed of properly, can contaminate the natural environment and end up in the ocean, where they can ensnare wildlife or be eaten by animals.
In a surprise finding, scientists from NTU discovered that plastic bags are more eco-friendly than paper and cotton bags.
In the study that was released on Wednesday 14 October, 5 types of bags were evaluated for their environmental impact associated with their production, distribution, transportation, waste collection, treatment and end-of-life disposal.
The finding is true for densely populated countries like Singapore where waste is eventually incinerated.
Director of residues and resource reclamation centre at the Nanyang Environment and Water Research Institute Assistant Professor Grzegorz Lisak, who led the research, said, “It is essential to evaluate the implications case by case for dealing with plastic waste.”
“In a well-structured closed metropolitan waste management system with incineration treatment, using plastic bags may be the best option that is currently available, provided that there is no significant leakage of waste into the environment,” he said.
The different types of grocery bags cause varying degrees of impact on the air and water quality. The extraction, manufacture and transport of bags via shipping cause emissions, which impact the ecosystem.
Recommendations for Singapore
In places like Singapore, where waste is incinerated, the timeline of biodegradation of paper, cotton and other biodegradable materials is irrelevant.
The study concludes that in the case of Singapore, usage of reusable plastic bags followed by HDPE plastic bags is the recommended options.
Switching to paper or cloth bags would increase the environmental footprint resulting in heightened negative effects such as global warming and eco-toxicity potentials.
It is advised to opt for reusable plastic bags that can be reused multiple times. Otherwise, single-use HDPE bags are recommended over kraft paper and biodegradable single-use options, the report said.
Minimizing the overall consumption would facilitate a substantial lowering of environmental impacts. Reusing or reprocessing the single-use HDPE bags may be an option to prevent excessive consumption of the plastic bags.