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    Recently, cotton bags have become a means for brands, retailers and supermarkets to convey a planet-friendly mindset with their customers. However, they are not as earth friendly as people expected. Actually, embracing cotton totes wholeheartedly may have created a new problem. “Cotton is very water intensive,” said Travis Wagner, an environmental science professor at the University of Maine. According to a 2018 study by the Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark, an organic cotton tote needs to be used 20,000 times to offset its overall impact of production. That equates to daily use for 54 years — for just one bag.

    近年來,使用棉布環保袋儼然成為品牌、零售商和超市傳達給消費者,他們對地球友好態度的一種方式。然而,環保袋真的這麼環保嗎? 答案可能和大家的想像不同。全心全意地提倡使用環保袋可能帶來另一個新的問題。「棉花非常耗水」緬因大學環境科學系教授說。根據丹麥環境和食品部2018年的一項研究,一個有機棉環保袋須被使用兩萬次才能抵銷生產它所產生的整體影響。這相當於每天都要使用同一個袋子,長達54年,才能抵銷產生它造成的環境影響。



    Also, figuring out how to dispose of a tote in an environmentally low-impact way is not as simple as people think. For example, you can’t just put a tote in a compost bin and it’s hard to find a municipal compost that will accept textiles. Even when a tote does make it to a treatment plant, most dyes used to print logos onto them are PVC-based and thus not recyclable and are extremely difficult to break down chemically. The cotton tote dilemma is a good example of unintended consequences of people trying to make positive choices, and not understanding the full landscape.




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