I think the ability to build a sustainable business around a cause is remarkable; and to have this cause to preserve the earth and ensure we all have a shared future is truly worthwhile. Truth is often more complicated than a simple rallying call or a catchphrase however.
Recently a friend asked if it is more carbon intensive to produce biodegradable plastic bags compared to ordinary plastic bags. And whether it is worthwhile especially in Singapore where most waste are incinerated. The truth is, paper bags need to be reused at least 3 times compared to a plastic bag in order to be more environmentally friendly. And since in Singapore, we typically reuse plastic bags at least once (except maybe those used to hold food), paper bags are not more environmentally friendly. As for those compostable bags, or plastics that dissolves in water, and so on, it depends on the manufacturing processes and the energy intensity.
For those that have more complex processes and takes up more energy, then it might be more carbon intensive, particularly if they are actually produced in developing countries where the generation mix of the grid-drawn electricity leans heavily on coal. So truth is complicated, but then I think any businesses looking to drive forward the movement of getting people to care more about the environment is worth applauding.
So just a note here that this conversation by the friend was sparked off by telobag.
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