Saturday, March 8, 2008

"Paper or Plastic?" - Environmental "Science" Gone Wrong

Interesting article about how the commonly held view that plastic bags are environmentally harmful. It started with a study in Canada that found discarded fishing nets killed 100,000 animals including birds over a three year period in the eighties. This study was incorrectly referenced by another study in Australia that alleged the 100,000 deaths occured in a one year period, only targeted birds, and were due to plastic bags. This "error" was not corrected until 2006 when it was revised to read "plastic debris."

Albeit, this is one anectdotal example... however, it is one that has had a major global impact. How many other "typos" have lead us to other common mistaken beliefs?

5 comments:

meagan said...

I can tell you a personal story of why I try not to use plastic bags. Back in high school, our environmental club (Earth Watch) visited several landfills. At each one, we'd see the same thing- plastic grocery bags lining the fences surrounding the landfill and blowing across all of the service roads. I'm not talking a few hundred- more like thousands. They looked almost like intentional mulch piles against the fences. It was sick, and made me switch to reusable bags immediately.

Jeremy said...

When I go to the store and they ask me for paper or plastic, I ask myself, "What Would Jesus Choose?"

Clearly, if Jesus was around today, he would have reusable grocery bags and shop the organic section at Whole Foods Market.

Sorry, I think I went off on a tangent, but I'm really into Jesus today for some reason.

Sarah said...

Whole Foods has actually discontinued plastic bags - I think they're using what is left in the stores and then going paper only.

Plus, as discussed on Meg's blog a million years ago, they give you $0.10 everytime you bring one back.

Nate said...

Sooo.... I suppose at whole foods the question isn't "Paper or Plastic?" it's "Paper or Expensive Reusable Canvas Sack?" Proving once again that everything is more expensive at Whole Foods...

Anyway Jeremy, who are you kidding... If Jesus was around today he would be shopping at Trader Joe's like the rest of us...

Jeremy said...

He would go to Trader Joe's, but only to buy the Organic Greek Style Yogurt.

He would buy the 2 buck Chuck, but, ya know, the whole "water into wine" thing.