Environmental impact summary

All factors considered, NOAXE™ Bell bags have superior environmental benefits in comparison to alternatives – paper bags, single use t-shirt bags, non-woven bags, and compostable bags.
Greenhouse gas (GhG) - the emerging danger

Greenhouse gases (CO2 and methane) trap heat in the atmosphere. [1] A large amount of GhG is emitted into the atmosphere from fossil fuels, and from trash decomposing in landfills. It has caused devastating outcomes like sea levels rising, global temperature rise, warming oceans, and shrinking ice sheets, all of which effect ecosystems and future generations. [2] [3]

Paper bags: Emissions from pulp and paper mills are the 4th largest industrial source of greenhouse gas in the United States. [4]  
Single-use T-shirt bags: Emit fewer global warming gases, and produce substantially less acid rain emissions, and less solid wastes than traditional paper and compostable bags. [5]  
Non-woven bags: Help lower GhG potential when used a minimum of 11 times compared to a traditional t-shirt bag that is not reused. [6]  
Compostable bags: Contribute significant GhG when composted in industrial composting facilities or otherwise, generating GhG. [7] [8]  
NOAXE bags: NOAXE bags significantly reduce GhG. Every time one is reused it eliminates the manufacture of a paper bag, or the high cost of recycling it. [9] [10]  
     
Carbon Footprint

Carbon footprints are defined as the total amount of GhG produced throughout the supply chain process that directly and indirectly supports human activities. [11] It is usually expressed in the equivalent tons of carbon dioxide (CO2).

Paper: Four times the energy is used to produce a paper bag than a single-use plastic bag. [12] Seven times the fuel is used to ship to stores then reship them to the dump after only one use. Paper bags have an enormous carbon footprint. [13]  
Single-use t-shirt bags: Have a lower carbon footprint than reusable bags if the reusable bags are not reused at least 4 times. [14]  
Non-woven bags: Emit 3.6 times the GhG to manufacture than paper bags, more than twice the amount of energy to ship from Asia and reship in the US. [15] [16] Must be used at least 11 times to have an effective carbon footprint. [17]  
Compostables: Use about 2.7 times more energy per pound to produce than single use t-shirt bags. Since they are 3-4 times heavier, they burn 8-11 times the energy. [18]  
NOAXE: For every 1 truckload of NOAXE bags, 4.5 truckloads are needed for the same number of handled paper bags. When reused 5, 10, 25 times, NOAXE bags save energy and gas, radically reducing it carbon footprint. [19] Do the math. [20]  
     
Keeping bags out of landfills

The Clean Air Act of 1979 promotes the reduction of GhG emitted in landfills, the 3rd most common source. [21] Greenhouse gas emissions are caused by biodegradation of trash on or near the surface. It’s important to understand, however, that in a properly engineered landfill, nothing is meant to degrade to avoid biodegradation and premature release of GhG. [22] Preventing degradation also prevents harmful toxins from leaching into the water supply. [23]

Paper: Takes up as much as 50% of space in landfills. [24] A community of 50,000 citizens using only paper bags contributes 28 truckloads a year to the dump. [25] Ink from degrading paper bags is a known water contaminate. [26]  
Single-use T-shirt bags: Prevent premature release of GhG, but slowly degrade over 450 years, and most will be completely decomposed after 1000 years. [27]  
Non-woven bags: Add more volume to a landfill than paper, unless reused at least twice, but take 450-1000 years to decompose! [28]  
Compostables (D6400): Designed to decompose only in industrial composting facilities, of which there are few in the US. They add 50% more volume to landfills than paper. [29] [30]  
NOAXE: One use takes up 17.9% less in weight, or 69.4% - 77.3% less in volume than a regular or handled paper bags. Reuse it 10 times and save 92%-93% of paper (26.5 fewer truckloads of trash in a community of 50,000! [31]  
   
Recyclability

According to the EPA, recycling is the process of collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash, and turning them into new products. [32]

Paper: A pound of paper bags takes 91 times more energy to recycle than a pound of plastic bags. [33] The associated water pollution and air contamination is substantial. [34]
 
Single-use T-shirt bags: Recycling thin plastic bags is difficult, and the return on the effort to recycle them is minimal. [35] The recycle rate may be as little as 5%. [36] [37]  
Non-woven handle bags: According to EPA standards, they are not recyclable; there is no market for the material, no infrastructure in place to pick up and recycle them, and no cleaning and reprocessing facilities.  
Compostables: According to EPA standards, they are not recyclable; there is no market for the material, no infrastructure in place to pick up and recycle them, and no cleaning and reprocessing facilities.  
NOAXE bags: NOAXE bags may be recycled at most local supermarkets. It is far easier and more cost effective to recycle them compared to lightweight t-shirt bags. [38]  
   
Toxicity, contamination, and pollution

The toxicity of materials is based on how it affects humans, animals and plant life. The EPA's TRI list (Toxic Release Inventory) is honored nationwide, with California adding its own DTSC list (Department of Toxic Substances Committee). [39] [40] Contamination and pollution is directly related to the release of toxic substances in the air, water, and earth.

Paper: Pulp and paper mills have been known to be one of the worst polluting industries worldwide, as seen at the Fox River in Wisconsin. [41] [42]  
Single-use T-shirt bags: Filthy and contaminated t-shirt bags shipped overseas to be recycled spread disease and are frequently sorted using unfair labor practices. [43] [44] [45]  
Non-woven handle bags: May harbor harsh bacteria that could ultimately harm people. [46] Massive ink used to print these bags is also a contaminant. [47]  
Compostables: Contain toxic contaminants, GM corn (Genetically Modified) using GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) and are banned in over 60 countries. [48] [49] [50] [51]  
NOAXE bags: The manufacturing process of NOAXE bags cuts air pollution by 55% over paper bags, with no water pollution. [52] Printing also requires 1/3 the ink of paper. When incinerated NOAXE bags do not emit toxins. Download incineration report. [53]  
     
Forests and wildlife

NOAXE bags do no harm to forests and wildlife. Clear-cut forests are massive throughout North America…just google a satellite map of Oregon, Washington or British Columbia. Don’t be misled that forests regenerate themselves in only 30 years. In reality they take up to 150-500 years to regenerate. [54] According to the National Wildlife Federation, many forms of wildlife and endangered species live only in old growth forests. [55]

     

NOAXE Bell Bags



harms no trees

or wildlife


Photos & more
     
 
References - footnotes
   
1
Greenhouse Gas Emissions. USA EPA. 2014. http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/
2
Climate Change: How do we know? NASA. http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/
3
Climate Change: Basic Information. USA EPA. http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/basics/
4
Impacts on Climate. Green Press Initiative. 2007. http://www.greenpressinitiative.org/impacts/climateimpacts.htm
5
Life Cycle Assessment for Three Types of Grocery Bags - Recyclable Plastic; Compostable, Biodegradable Plastic; and Recycled, Recyclable Paper. The Hartland Institute. http://heartland.org/policy-documents/life-cycle-assessment-three-types-grocery-bags-recyclable-plastic-compostable-biode
6
Life Cycle Assessment of Supermarket Carrier Bags, Report: SC030148. Environmental Agency of Great Britain, pg. 7. http://heartland.org/policy-documents/life-cycle-assessment-supermarket-carrier-bags
7
Performance Evaluation of Environmentally Degradable Plastic Packaging and Disposable Food Service Ware – Final Report. Zero Waste California and CSU Chico Research Foundation. June 2007. http://www.cptoolkit.org/Toolkit/tabid/58/Article/139/Performance-Evaluation-of-Environmentally-Degradable-Plastic-Packaging-and-Disp.aspx#.VNzgsnQ5C04  
8
Compostable bags fall under ASTM D6400, establishing standards for composting in industrial composting facilities. There are no known facilities that have a means to capture the escaping greenhouse gas.
9
A NOAXE bag uses 55% less energy to manufacture than a paper bag. Each time a paper bag is recycled, then remanufactured, it requires a minimum of 6 times the amount of energy to ship back and forth, plus four times the energy to remanufacture a bag.
10
Life Cycle Assessment of Reusable and Single-use Plastic Bags in California. California State University Chico Research Foundation. January 2011. http://www.readbag.com/keepcabeautiful-pdfs-lca-plastic-bags
11
What is a Carbon Footprint – Definition. Time for Change. http://timeforchange.org/what-is-a-carbon-footprint-definition
12
J.C. Lewis. Facts About Paper Bags. EHow.com: http://www.ehow.com/about_5079972_paper-bags.html
13
Environment. Bag the Ban Coalition. 2013. http://www.bagtheban.com/learn-the-facts/environment
14
Life Cycle Assessment for Three Types of Grocery Bags - Recyclable Plastic; Compostable, Biodegradable Plastic; and Recycled, Recyclable Paper. The Hartland Institute. http://heartland.org/policy-documents/life-cycle-assessment-three-types-grocery-bags-recyclable-plastic-compostable-biode
15
Life Cycle Assessment of Supermarket Carrier Bags, Report: SC030148. Environmental Agency of Great Britain. http://heartland.org/policy-documents/life-cycle-assessment-supermarket-carrier-bags
16
One Container Ship Pollutes As Much As 50 Million Cars. Gas 2. http://gas2.org/2009/06/03/one-container-ship-pollutes-as-much-as-50-million-cars/
17
Life Cycle Assessment of Supermarket Carrier Bags, Report: SC030148. Environmental Agency of Great Britain, pg. 7. http://heartland.org/policy-documents/life-cycle-assessment-supermarket-carrier-bags
18
Life Cycle Assessment for Three Types of Grocery Bags - Recyclable Plastic; Compostable, Biodegradable Plastic; and Recycled, Recyclable Paper. The Hartland Institute pg.4. http://heartland.org/policy-documents/life-cycle-assessment-three-types-grocery-bags-recyclable-plastic-compostable-biode
19
There are 160,000 to 216,000 paper bags in a truckload depending on whether or not they have handles. There are 704,000 NOAXE bags in a single truckload.
20
Do the math: 1 truckload of 700,000 NOAXE bags = 3-4 truckloads of paper bags and uses 55% less energy to manufacture; reused just 1 time, NOAXE bags save an additional 6-8 truckloads plus the energy to recycle and remanufacture a new paper bag quadrupling the energy savings to a whopping 86%. If a single truckload of NOAXE bags is reused 5 times, the truckload requirements for the equivalent in paper = 27-36 truckloads, and the energy savings is 95% to recycle and remanufacture; if the NOAXE truckload is reused 10 times, the truckload requirements for the equivalent in paper = 57-76 truckloads, and the energy savings climbs to 97.5% to recycle and remanufacture.
21
Landfill Methane Outreach Program: Basic Information. USA EPA. http://www.epa.gov/lmop/basic-info/index.html
22
Biodegradation Won’t Solve the Landfill Crunch. Epic, Environment and Plastics Industry Counsel. http://www.plastics.ca/articles_merge/wontsolve.php
23
Drinking Water Contamination by Dumps and Landfills. http://extoxnet.orst.edu/faqs/safedrink/dumps.htm
24
Landfills: Teacher Fact Sheet. USA EPA pg. 167. Visit the EPA website.
25
A truckload of 160,000 to 216,000 paper bags takes up approximately 2560 cu. ft. A community of 50,000 people typically consists of about 18,500 families. The average family uses about 300 grocery sacks a year. In one year, a paper-only community would be contributing 28 truckloads of paper waste to their local landfill.
26
Landfill Problems. We Green – USA. http://www.wegreen-usa.org/landfill-problems.html
27
28
Life Cycle Assessment of Supermarket Carrier Bags, Report: SC030148. Environmental Agency of Great Britain. http://heartland.org/policy-documents/life-cycle-assessment-supermarket-carrier-bags
29
Performance Evaluation of Environmentally Degradable Plastic Packaging and Disposable Food Service Ware – Final Report. Zero Waste California and CSU Chico Research Foundation. June 2007. http://www.cptoolkit.org/Toolkit/tabid/58/Article/139/Performance-Evaluation-of-Environmentally-Degradable-Plastic-Packaging-and-Disp.aspx#.VNzgsnQ5C04
30
Very few industrial composting facilities exist in the US. There are nearly 170 in California (in April 2014 171 last year). Of the 171, 51 were surveyed. The results showed only one facility, in all of Central and Northern California, claims it degrades D6400 plastics. It is located in Watsonville, CA, which supports a population of roughly 51,199, less than 1/10 of 1% of the total state population. CA compost and mulch map. Download the report.
31
In a community of 50,000 residents, if its citizens reused NOAXE bags only 5 times it would reduce landfill volume by 26.5 truckloads a year. It is simple math.
32
33
Energy Efficiency. American Chemistry Council. 2015. http://www.aboutbagit.com/EnergyEfficiency.html
34
Interesting enough, less than 15% of paper bags are recycled, which begs the question, where do they get all the recycled content used in present day paper bags? J.C. Lewis. Facts About Paper Bags. EHow.com: http://www.ehow.com/about_5079972_paper-bags.html
35
EPA 2009 Municipal Waste Characterization Study. Plastic Bag Laws, Pg. 53. http://plasticbaglaws.org/get-involved/plastic-bag-recycling/
36
Keep plastic out of the Pacific. Environment California. http://www.environmentcalifornia.org/node/63/content/report
37
Recycling thin-gauge plastic grocery sacks is difficult, as they are difficult to clean, and have very little weight. They are rarely recycled back into bags. 95% are usually exported overseas where they are sorted using unfair labor practices, or are burned to produce energy, making them essentially a useless component in the recycling stream.
38
US recyclers greatly prefer heavy weight NOAXE bags over thin single-use bags. The heavier weight makes them easier to reprocess back into pellet form, similar to the ease of recycling plastic milk bottles.
39
40
DTSC: Who We Are and What We Do. State of California. https://www.dtsc.ca.gov/InformationResources/DTSC_Overview.cfm
41
Environmental Impacts of the Paper Industry. Clean Water Action Counsel of Northeast Wisconsin. http://www.cleanwateractioncouncil.org/issues/resource-issues/paper-industry/
42
Paper also requires 3 times the ink than a NOAXE bag due to absorption in the porous cellulose structure.
43
What’s Plastic got to do With Clean Air? Mom’s Clean Air force. http://www.momscleanairforce.org/whats-plastic-got-to-do-with-clean-air/
44
Toxic Shock: UK Waste in China. Sky News. http://news.sky.com/story/584081/toxic-shock-uk-waste-in-china
45
Clear violation of SB 657 Supply Chain Act 2007 prohibiting unfair labor practices.
46
Getting to the Bottom of the Bag. Gazetteer News. March 4, 2013. http://www.upenn.edu/gazette/0313/gaz04.html
47
Just like porous paper bags require 2-3 times more ink to print on, than the smooth surface of NOAXE bags, so do non-woven bags, but even more, since the surface is even more porous than paper.
48
'Superweeds' linked to rising herbicide use in GM crops, study finds. Science Daily.  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121002092839.htm
49
GMO Corn Linked To Cancer Tumors. Food Matters. http://www.foodmatters.tv/articles-1/gm-corn-linked-to-cancer-tumors
50
51
Portland Bans Compostable Bags. Bag Ban Facts. http://bagbanfacts.com/verification.html
52
Based on industry standards, American Plastics Institute: http://www.plasticsinstitute.org/
53
The polyethylene used to make NOAXE bags is derived from natural gas. It is common knowledge in the printing industry that printing on polyethylene requires only 1/3 the amount of ink required to print the same copy on a paper bag. The inks used to print them contain no toxins listed on the EPA's TRI and California's DTSC lists.
54
55
National Wildlife Federation. http://www.nwf.org/search.aspx
   
Photos & more
 
Download the NOAXE Environmental Statement