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    Plastic Bags

    Myths: Fact or Fiction

    Degrade in Landfill Myth

    The Single Use Myth


    Paper vs. Plastic Bags

    Paper vs. Plastic Studies

    Reusables Greener?

    Types of Bags

    Litter: The Facts
    Public Health

    Canada Update

    Bags Around the World

    The Oil Myth

    Made in Canada
    Ireland's Bag Tax

    Degrade in Landfill Myth

    Fiction:  Bags that go to landfill should degrade, and not last thousands of years.

    Fact:  No. In a properly engineered landfill, nothing is meant to degrade. Bags of all materials - cotton, paper, plastic and reusables - will not decompose.

    The Facts:
    • This myth is based on a common misunderstanding of the purpose of landfills and how they work.
    • No bag – reusable or conventional plastic bag – will degrade in landfill.

    • Modern landfills are designed as low-oxygen environments so that the waste cannot decay. This environment helps to prevent decomposition which produces harmful greenhouse gases like methane and carbon dioxide, as well as leachate, which pollutes ground water and soil.

    • Even with strong preventative measures in place, fugitive emissions from landfills are a concern. In Canada, according to Environment Canada, landfills are still responsible for 20% of national methane emissions.

    • Methane is a greenhouse gas that is more harmful than carbon dioxide in terms of its global warming potential because it traps 21 times more heat than a molecule of carbon dioxide.1

    More Detail ?

    How Landfills Work

    How Landfills Work

    1  http://ec.europa.eu/environment/waste/compost/index.htm
    2 http://archive.defra.gov.uk/environment/waste/localauth/lats/documents/latsfaq-02.pdf
    3  Bans on Plastic Bags Harm the Environment - WSJ.com


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