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January 23, 2008

Comments

Jon K

I love Remarkable's stuff, I have one of their "I used to be a car tyre" mouse mats - it's great for optical mice :)

bob_d

Er, "biodegradable bin bags"? Is that an oxymoron like, say, "nonbiodegradable compost"? Even completely biodegradable substances don't tend to break down in land-fills, so unless you're using the bin-bags for something other than garbage...

Alice

Depends if you believe the product info, but for example.. here.

bob_d

The product info is completely true- they specify that the bags degrade in "normal environmental situations." It isn't particularly honest, however, as "normal environmental situations" means "not in a landfill," which they fail to mention. Even the most biodegradable material is preserved in the abnormal environment of the landfill. Check out: http://www.worldwise.com/biodegradable.html

Alice

Hard work, eh :/
Still - if everything in a landfill were biodegradable, surely that would be a better situation than what we have currently.

Every little helps, I'm sure.

bob_d

The problem is that the nature of landfills means that nothing degrades in them, biodegradable or not. (Composting requires a completely different set of conditions, and would have its own environmental problems at that scale.) The "better situation" is to not put things in landfills to begin with (and there are a few municipalities in the UK that have plans along those lines).

Unfortunately "biodegradable" bin bags are part of a class of "green" products that are, to be blunt, a scam- they provide NO environmental benefit *whatsoever* but assuage our consciences. The things that actually are of benefit are: a reduced consumption of goods; buying locally grown food; buying goods that are sustainably (and ideally locally) produced; recycling and composting one's waste as much as possible; reducing or eliminating the consumption of meat (raising cattle is an especially huge waste of resources); reducing air travel; reducing travel by car in favor of public transport.
On the consumer side this requires staggering amounts of research, however, and this makes buying random products with "green" labels rather attractive, but unfortunately it usually doesn't make a jot of difference. So go ahead and buy the cheaper bin bags. ;)

Alice

LOL

It's okay - I can afford the biobags, and you never know when they'll start to reroute 'em. I'm vegetarian, my local council picks up our recycling and compost, so we do both a LOT; a lot of Sainsbury's organic food packaging comes in compostable packaging, which is nice. Baby steps, my friend, baby steps.

I get your logic completely, but what if one day they invent a way to dump two trillion worms onto existing landfills? My biobags will live in hope...

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