sardia wrote:That's not completely true. There are increasing extraction costs to consider. Shale oil isn't new, it was, until recently, hard to get. As for bag substitutes, has anyone considered cardboard boxes? Aldi encourages people to use their leftover boxes as grocery containers.
I've purchased both of these in industrial quantities. Mostly, this is an expense issue. Plastic bags are purchased by the thousand, and at your local sams club, will run you around $20 for the box, which you can hold under one arm. A cardboard box of similar carrying capacity will run you 50-65 cents each, and a similar quantity will require freight shipping because they come on pallets, and require folding before use.
Even if you entirely discount the significant additional expense, the added transportation costs are significant, and will consume fossil fuels. However, I assure you that nobody buying these actually discounts the expense. Thus, cardboard boxes are only used where a bag will not do, and they would make a really terrible replacement for bags.
One might argue that leftover boxes can simply be used. Well, this entirely depends on type of business. If you sell alcohol, sizes for many things are pretty much close enough, and boxes often come in sizes that match individual purchases. This is not true for a great many places. For instance, a typical week for me will have a coupla of shipments, each of which has many boxes pushing UPS/fedex's maximum dimensions. A small person could fit into each of them. Customers, however, do not buy games in such bulk, typically buying a few small items that fit neatly into a plastic bag, but for which such a box would be ludicrously unnecessary and more hassle.
Not wanting to pay for a second dumpster, and my local HOA having ridiculous anti-dumping laws that severely limits the amount I can recycle, most of my boxes are thrown away in the trash, despite making them publicly available to anyone who wants them. The quantity, even for a small store, makes re-use utterly impractical.