Policymakers continue to miss the boat when it comes to plastics and proactive solutions to combat litter and clean up the environment — even as data continues to prove them wrong.
Bans and taxes on single-use plastics are the order of the day based on the assumption that it’s worth paying more to save resources and the environment. But as long as these products don’t end up as litter or in the ocean — problems that can be addressed without bans — more affordable, single-use plastics often have a better environmental profile than their alternatives.
The lower price of plastics reflects the fact that they require fewer resources — less energy, less water, and less raw materials — to make than the alternatives. For example, paper straws are as much as 10-times more expensive than plastic straws, according to packaging company PacknWood CEO Adam Merran. That’s because paper uses more resources associated with harvesting of timber, transporting materials, and processing it into a final product than does plastics.
In comparison, the raw materials for plastics are chemical byproducts of fossil fuel production, basically making waste products into valuable goods. They don’t require farming, mining, or harvesting for production. In addition, plastics are lighter in weight than many alternatives, so their transport is much more energy efficient, reducing costs further.
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Yet for some reason, most policymakers don’t understand basic economics. Fortunately, there are other tools that can help them understand, such as life-cycle assessments (LCA). LCAs consider each product’s environmental impact from cradle (production) to grave (disposal), and they provide solid data policymakers should heed before banning plastics. These studies validate what price signals already illustrate: Lower priced plastic products have smaller environmental footprints than their alternatives.
Consider plastic grocery bags: They are far less bulky than paper bags, which means you can transport more bags in fewer trucks — saving energy, making less air pollution, and eventually requiring less landfill space than paper bags. According to one plastic bag retailer, if his company switched to paper bags to meet a state ban on plastic bags, he would need four- to eight-times more warehouse space to store them and would have to fill four to eight more trucks to deliver them.
Statistics developed from LCAs quantify these values. According to a 2008 Progressive Bag Alliance study: Single-use polyethylene plastic grocery bags use 71 percent less energy than paper bags; paper bags require 96 percent more water; paper makes about 86 percent more solid waste than single-use grocery bags; and single-use grocery bags generate 39 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than regular paper bags.
Only when reusable bags are used many times do they yield any net environmental benefit, and few people use them long enough. For example, a 2019 RECYC-QUÉBEC study noted that cotton bags are “not recommended,” as they require “between 100 and 2,954 uses for its environmental impact to be equivalent to the environmental impacts of the conventional plastic bag.”
University of Victoria chemistry professor and researcher Martin Hocking produced a seminal LCA regarding polystyrene foam cups, finding that, as with grocery bags, alternatives must be used many times more before they have a lower environmental impact. For example, a reusable ceramic cup must be used 1,006 times, a glass cup 393 times, and reusable hard plastic cup 450 times before any one of these products can match the environmental performance of the foam cup. So, a reusable cup could potentially be better, but if it’s likely to break or be thrown away before those many uses, it is worse for the environment than a foam cup.
The excellent environmental performance related to a foam cup’s much lower resource use is also reflected in a much lower price. In fact, when New York City considered banning foam cups in 2013, an MB Public Affairs, Inc. economic impact study showed it would cost businesses as much as $100 million a year to switch to paper cups.
The cacophony of calls for plastics bans regularly belie the reality that plastics products play a crucial role in conserving energy and water, reduce environmental impacts when compared to alternatives, and are less expensive for consumers. Until state and local governments wake up to the fact that mounting life-cycle studies that consistently confirm such realities, their misguided “solutions” will continue to damage the environment — and do so with a hefty price tag.
Dr. Angela Logomasini is a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the author of “How Plastics Benefit Wildlife and the Environment.” Article cross-posted from Real Clear Policy. Photo by FLY:D on Unsplash.
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Plandemic, Voter Fraud, Afghanistan: All Parts of The Great Reset
If you still consider “conspiracy theorist” to be a pejorative, you’re not paying enough attention.
What do Covid-19, 2020 (and beyond) election fraud, and our disastrous abandoning of American citizens in Afghanistan have to do with one another? They’re all parts of the globalist plan to usher in a new era of Neo-Marxism in a depopulated world. This is The Great Reset unfolding before our eyes, and the only way we can stop it (other than through constant prayer) is to stand together and spread the truth.
Covid-19’s attachment to The Great Reset is obvious, though we continue to post about it daily. Voter fraud is a bit less obvious but nonetheless easy to recognize when we understand that people like Joe Biden, Justin Trudeau, and Emmanuel Macron are pushing to “Build Back Better” under the precepts of Neo-Marxism.
The Afghanistan betrayal in August, 2021, is harder to associate with The Great Reset, but it’s definitely just as attached. We can see this is the unwillingness of the Biden regime to extend the deadline to withdraw despite American lives put clearly in harm’s way. We can see it in the needlessly abandoned military equipment that was conspicuously left intact; disabling a Black Hawk takes minutes but they were given to the Taliban in pristine working condition. Then, there’s the pallets of hundred dollar bills left for them. If you think all of this was just irresponsible governance, you probably think Barack Obama is out of politics, too.
Weakening America’s standing in the world and empowering the Chinese Communist Party and others to engage fully with our enemies in a globalist cabal are beneficial to the architects of The Great Reset, and both happened in one fell swoop in August.
These truths need to be spread. As a conservative network of news outlets, we are swimming upstream against the forces of mainstream media. We are getting canceled across the board by Big Tech. We will continue to spread the truth to millions, but we desperately need help to spread the truth to a wider range of people. This is where you come in.
The best way you can help us grow and continue to bring proper news and opinions to the people is by donating. We appreciate everything, whether a dollar or $10,000. Anything brings us closer to a point of stability when we can hire writers, editors, and support staff to make the America First message louder. Our Giving Fuel page makes it easy to donate one-time or monthly. Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal or Bitcoin as well. Bitcoin: 3A1ELVhGgrwrypwTJhPwnaTVGmuqyQrMB8
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We know we could make a lot more money if we sold out like so many “conservative” publications out there. You won’t find Google ads on our site for a reason. Yes, they’re lucrative, but I don’t like getting paid by minions of Satan (I don’t like Google very much if you couldn’t tell).
Time is short. As the world spirals towards The Great Reset, the need for truthful journalism has never been greater. But in these times, we need as many conservative media voices as possible. Please help keep NOQ Report and the other sites in the network going. Our promise is this: We will never sell out America. If that means we’re going to struggle for a while or even indefinitely, so be it. Integrity first. Truth first. America first.
Thank you and God Bless,
Yes, We Need Your Help
I hate being “that guy” who asks people to donate because I think our conservative news network is so crucial, but here I am…
When I left my cushy corporate job in 2017, I did so knowing that my family would have to make sacrifices. But I couldn’t continue to watch the nation slip into oblivion and was inspired by President Trump’s willingness to fight the good fight even at his own personal expense. What I didn’t realize then is that conservative media would be so heavily attacked, canceled, and defunded that the sacrifices would be extreme.
Many in this nation are struggling right now even though we weren’t struggling just a few years ago. I’m not alone. But I wake up every morning and operate the sites we’ve been able to build because there’s really no other choice. I refuse to be beholden to Big Tech like so many other conservative news outlets, which is why you won’t see Google ads here. With that said, it’s often challenging to pay the bills and it’s even harder to expand so we can get the America First message out to a wider audience.
The economic downturn has forced me to make a plea for help. Between cancel culture, lockdowns, and diminishing ad revenue, we need financial assistance in order to continue to spread the truth. We ask all who have the means, please donate through our Giving Fuel. Your generosity is what keeps these sites running and allows us to expand our reach so the truth can get to the masses. We’ve had great success in growing but we know we can do more with your assistance.
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I would even be willing to entertain investments and partnerships at this stage. I’ve turned them down in the past because editorial purity is extremely important. I’ll turn them down again if anyone wants us to start supporting RINOs or avoid “taboo” topics like voter fraud, vaccines, or transgender supremacy. But I’d talk to fellow America First patriots who want to help any (or all) of our 10 news sites. Hit me up at jdrucker (at) substack (dot) com if you’re interested.
For those who have the means and just want to help keep the mission of spreading a conservative, Christian message to the nation, please consider a generous donation.
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