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UK – Published a new report on life cycle environmental impacts of carrier bags. / El Reino Unido publica un nuevo estudio sobre el ciclo de vida y el impacto ambiental de las bolsas de supermercado 2011-03-02 - 2 Comentarios

In February 2011, the UK Environment Agency  published a study on  Life Cycle Assessment of Supermarket Carrier Bags” that ompares the carbon footprint for carrier bags.

The report shows that commonly-used plastic 'bags for life', if used four or more times, will have a lower carbon footprint than single-use carrier bags.

If a lightweight plastic bag were to be used three times, a cotton 'bag for life' would need to be used for almost 400 trips to tip the environmental balance in its favour. Lightweight single-use carrier bags have the lowest carbon footprint per bag based primarily on resource use and production. Paper, heavyweight plastic and cotton bags all use more resources and energy in their production. A key issue, however, is how many times bags are reused.

The popular plastic 'bags for life' (low-density polyethylene), provided by many supermarkets, need to be used only four times to ensure they have a lower carbon footprint than lightweight bags used only once. Premium, heavier weight 'bags for life' that look like fabric and are made from woven plastic if used 11 times will have a lower carbon impact than single use bags.

The report - Life Cycle Assessment of Supermarket Carrier Bags - was requested by the previous UK Government, and was undertaken by Intertek Expert Services. It was part of an overall study they were carrying out on how to reduce the environmental impact of retail and food packaging. It has been published today following a period of peer review and discussion with the retailers.

Copies of the Environment Agency report Life Cycle Assessment of Supermarket Carrier Bags (2 MB) can be downloaded from:

1 John
Interesting report, its conclusions may be aplicated in other EU contries
2 Guaje
In you can see what is done with plastig bags in Asturias


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