Yesterday saw the start of the European Union Sustainable Energy Week (18th – 22nd June 2012) in Brussels.
An annual event designed to provide businesses and decision-makers from across the globe with access to new and cost-effective sustainable energy technologies, the campaign will highlight the latest smart energy and renewable energy solutions available, and award those committed to promoting sustainable energy throughout Europe.
The theme of this year’s EUSEW is “Take our future into your hands”, and many companies, public authorities, schools, and associations throughout the 27 member states are holding their own Energy Days to support the event.
One topic that is sure to be discussed at length during this weeklong event is the sustainability of carrier bags. As cities across Europe, and indeed, the world, move for a complete plastic carrier bag ban, we have to ask ourselves, what are sustainable carrier bags, and what impact do they have on the environment?
Sustainable Carrier Bags are usually made from natural, long-lasting, biodegradable fibres such as cotton or jute. Often referred to as ‘bags for life’ or ‘eco-friendly’ carrier bags, they are designed to use over and again, and once they reach the end of their lifecycle, they biodegrade without polluting the environment.
Paper carrier bags made from 100% recyclable paper from sustainable sources are also considered sustainable carrier bags, and as they are easier to recycle than the plastic alternatives, many retailers now opt for this type of bag.
Some environmental agencies claim that sustainable carrier bags, such as those made of cotton and jute, have a greater impact on the climate due to the amount of resources needed to produce them, and that an average ‘eco-friendly’ carrier bag would need to be used over 170 times for it to “better” than a plastic bag.
So while we wait to hear about the new technologies showcased at the EU Sustainable Energy Week, why not drop us a line and let us know what you think about sustainable carrier bags.