Being the #1 most popular-read article on the PlasticsToday Packaging Channel usually means four things:
- The topic is on-trend;
- It appeals to a wide audience;
- It’s written clearly and with authority;
- It’s a must read.
Also, there are three helpful things to know about the writer of the best-read article, Clare Goldsberry: she grew up in the plastics business and she’s long been aware of the potential pitfalls of “unintended consequences', and she cringes when she hears the term “single use” applied to plastic retail bags.
“I reuse them to carry things to take to people,” she writes. “I’ve discovered that most people reuse the plastic retail bags for a number of things, which means they are not single-use.”
An excerpt from an article in Planet Money’s newsletter noted that it was about 40 years ago that plastic overtook paper as the preferred retail bag at grocery stores. But it seems that these bags have become a problem—they end up in the environment because people tend to be litterbugs and do not put these bags into the proper recycling bin at the grocery store.
A study done by University of Sydney economist Rebecca Taylor found that bag regulations in California resulted in a classic tale of unintended consequences: “Bag leakage: The effect of disposable carryout bag regulations on unregulated bags.”