Plastic bags are choking Peter Garrett
Here we go again another green crusade in which facts are invented to scare you into doing something dumb.
This time our evangelical Environment Minister says he’ll this year take away your plastic shopping bags the ones that are so useful that we use more than 4 billion of them each year to cart home our shopping.
Pardon? We have 4 billion bags just floating around as if tossed out of a window? In fact, the Productivity Commission in 2006 reported that of the 4 billion shopping bags we use each year, just 0.8 per cent becomes litter.
The rest are buried in landfill, recycled or reused, and aren’t “floating” anywhere.
And how handy those bags are even when buried. The Commission marvelled: “It appears that plastic bags may have some lan fake rolex dfill management benefits including stabilising qualities, leachate minimisation and minimising greenhouse gas emissions.”
You really want some litter to clean up, Peter? Crack down instead on those billions of foul cigarette stubs.
Garrett claim 2:
“I remember that incredible story about a whale, I think it was beached somewhere in France, and it had 800 kilos worth of plastic bags and rubbish inside it, when they opened it up.”
Wow, a whale that can fit almost a tonne of plastic bags in its stomach must be so gargantuan as to make Moby Dick seem a tadpole.
But lets peer more closely into the gut of Garrett’s giga whale, which washed up on a beach in Normandy in 2002, and count all those shopping bags found inside by researchers from the University of Caen.
Here we go: One, two . . . Er, two.
Two. Yes, that’s Garrett’s incredible 800kg of plastic bags. Oh, and then there was that other unspecified “rubbish” he mentioned: two Engl fake rolex ish plastic and foil crisp packets, seven bin liners, bits of seven transparent plastic bags and one food container.
Total wet weight: 800 grams, not Garrett’s 800kg.
Conclusion: Ban bin liners instead.
Garrett claim 3:
“There are some 4 billion of these plastic bags floating around . . . ending up affecting our wildlife . . .”
Here Garrett refers to the greatest hoax of all those endless claims that a Newfoundland study found plastic bags killed more than 100,000 marine mammals every year.
This claim originally made by environmental consultants Nolan ITU in a report commissioned by the then Howard gover fake rolex nment was accepted as true by a credulous Senate environment committee inquiry in 2002, and has been hyped ever since by green groups such as Planet Ark.
South Australia’s Labor Government even peddles the claim today on its Zero Waste website to justify its own planned ban on bags.
Small problem: the claim is completely false. As Nolan ITU belatedly admitted four years later, it had misread that Newfoundland study, which actually said 100,000 animals might be killed or injured by discarded fishing nets and lines, and not by plastic bags, which it hadn’t mentioned at all.
Conclusion: Ban fishing nets instead.
Yet how fast that fake story of the mammal choking bags raced around th fake rolex e world. The reason so many green campaigners greedily repeated it was that no other study has to this day linked plastic bags to widespread animal deaths, no matter how hard those little Garretts looked for proof.
And, my, how hard they did look. Judge that by Planet Ark’s founder, Jon Dee, who two years ago claimed he’d been “inundated” with calls from farmers whose calves had died after grazing on plastic bags. In fact, the National Farmers Federation last week said it knew of no such thing.