The EU Parliament agreed to reduce thin plastic bags in the EU by at least 80% by 2019. The stomachs of most birds in the North Sea area contain plastic. How do we avoid using millions of carrier bags, which are all environmentally unfriendly?
Bags made of paper, bags made of cloth, bags made of virgin or partly recycled PE and bags made of bioplastic have huge environmental impact. Each solution has its own disadvantage regarding the environment.
The production of a paper bag has the highest cumulative energy demand, due to material quantity and less re-use phases compared to plastic bags.
PE bags show the highest resource consumption. Resource consumption of bag production (processing) has the highest contribution.
The highest impact of Ozone depletion potentials are shown by bioplastics, this is caused by the manufacturing of Polylactic acid (PLA) beeing a pre-chain of most bioplastic bags.
Bags made of cloth need a lot of water and other resources in the production phase.
All existing solutions improve their environmental performance by extending the use phase. But not all bags are made to be used more than a couple of times.
How can we change consumer behavior to avoid waste, landfill, resource and energy consumption, and pollution. Is there a service or product, which can eliminate all those negative environmental impacts? For the solutions to be successful, they have to be accepted by the majority of consumers in the EU.
WHAT DO WE EXPECT FROM THE CHALLENGE?
Have a look at more background material and how to enter the challenge here