Is a biodegradable alternative to the plastic bag an alternative to the culture of consumption that plastic bags represent?
Convenient, cheap, and disposable—the ubiquitous plastic shopping bag is one of the most flagrant examples of our modem throwaway culture. Made from petroleum, between soo billion and 1 trillion plastic bags are produced annually, consuming valuable energy and nonrenewable resources in both their manufacture and transport. Anything but free, plastic bags are estimated to cost retailers in the U.S. alone some $4 billion, a hidden cost passed on to the consumer. Plastic bags also take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade, so they persist in landfills and in gyres of refuse in the world’s oceans. [...]