10 March 2008

The sin of plastic bags?

The Sunday Times reports on how the great campaign to "ban plastic bags" now occupying the likes of great populist rags like the Daily Mail, is based on flimsy evidence.

"The widely stated accusation that the bags kill 100,000 animals and a million seabirds every year are false, experts have told The Times. They pose only a minimal threat to most marine species, including seals, whales, dolphins and seabirds."

The central claim of campaigners is that the bags kill more than 100,000 marine mammals and one million seabirds every year. However, this figure is based on a misinterpretation of a 1987 Canadian study in Newfoundland, which found that, between 1981 and 1984, more than 100,000 marine mammals, including birds, were killed by discarded nets. The Canadian study did not mention plastic bags.

Now you can choose not to use plastic bags yourself, but those who want people to not use them shouldn't use exagerrated false claims to do so. Frankly most people recycle them, using them as rubbish bags for household waste.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Liberty.

You'll love this then: http://www.stuff.co.nz/sundaystartimes/4431343a6005.html

Not content with Saving Whales, Fairfax now combating the global 'issue' of plastic bags.