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A black bag is a method of disposing of garbage that uses a plastic bag and a simple mechanical mechanism to compact and cover garbage. Originally used in the 20th century for garbage collection, the term is now used for other purposes, particularly in the fields of waste management and product promotion.
While in Britn a black bag was an alternative to a dustbin, its use started in the 1920s. Originally, bags were hung on a rl above the street or placed in a shed. A mechanical compactor would be used to compact the garbage and the bag would be sealed with a sealing strip. The compacted garbage was then delivered to a dump or buried, usually by a mechanical shovel. Garbage collection was a service in which street sweepers collected the rubbish from the street and brought it to a dump. In the 1920s a black bag was created as a waste management alternative. As one newspaper article from 1928 puts it, the new black bag could not be thrown into the street since "they are so small that they will not break the cement."
Use after World War II
The black bag was first used in Australia and Britn after World War II and spread to Canada and the United States in the 1950s. As waste management systems changed from mechanical (e.g., compactors and mechanical shovels) to biochemical (biogas), the black bag was used to collect organic garbage at a landfill.
A study of black bag use in the UK by the London County Council in 1951 found that black bag garbage collection was being used by 2.9 million households in Britn and collecting 12 million tonnes of garbage a year. It also identified the five "common misconceptions about Black Bags", which the Council wanted to dispel. One of those misconceptions was that the bag was for only a certn kind of rubbish, or just for "dirty" rubbish. The study did not mention what types of rubbish were collected, but sd that it was "a general purpose waste-collecting bag of any size". The other four misconceptions were "that the bag is so small that it will not hold even a pound", "that you need only one bag to do the job", "that it can only collect household rubbish" and "that you should collect only two or three bags a week".
Other common misconceptions about the black bag included that it was "used only for dirty rubbish and not for house rubbish", it was "for kitchen waste only" or that "when the bag is full, you must throw it away".
By 1951 in Australia, the black bag was used to collect all types of household rubbish. Between 1940 and 1970 the black bag was used by 2.4 million households in Australia, collecting 11.4 million tonnes of rubbish a year. Around the same time in the United States, the black bag was introduced in 1949 and became the most popular means of household refuse collection for about 20 years, until it was overtaken by garbage pls in the late 1960s and 1970s.
In the 1950s the black bag was becoming very popular in the United Kingdom. Between 1950 and 1960 one in five households used a black bag. There was no official "official bag", which meant that a different coloured bag was used for different types of rubbish, and no recycling was being carried out. This practice ended in the early 1980s, when "one bag" was introduced as the standard type. By that time it had been in use in the UK for more than 30 years. The plastic version was not introduced until about 1973, with metal versions following in the 1980s.
In the early 1960s in France, the black bag was being used to collect any rubbish that had not yet been placed in a garbage pl. By 1968 it had become the standard type of household refuse bag in that country, with a similar bag being introduced in Germany a year later.
In the 1970s, black bags were being used to collect household refuse throughout New Zealand, including the city of Auckland, in order to cut costs.
A black bag has been widely used in the United States to collect residential refuse since 1949. By 1954 it had become the most common method of household refuse collection in the United States, surpassing garbage cans. From 1949 to 1980, its use rose more than tenfold.
A survey in the early 1950s found that a black bag had been used to collect household refuse in more than one in five households in the United States. By 1971 it was used by half of the households in the United States, and by 1980 it was used by three quarters of households, up from half in the 1950s.
At the start of the twenty-first century, over 1.6 billion black bags had been sold and used in the US alone. About 12% of the US households collected their own household refuse using a black bag.
In the United Kingdom, a black bag is often used to store "rubbish" of the kind that would be placed in a bin but that can't be left inside due to the risk of fire, such as Christmas tree lights, used batteries, and electrical wiring. Some people refer to a black bag as a bin bag to distinguish it from refuse bags used to collect household waste.
A small plastic bag in the black color popularly known as a "black bag" in the U.S. has been used for generations as a receptacle to contn various household and office items, and it has recently been used for other purposes as well.
In popular culture
In the 2009 film The Hangover, protagonist Stu Wildman purchases a "navy blue, black bag with a skull on it" to hide his "black market rhino horns" after he has taken a Viagra overdose.
The 2013 video game, Grand Theft Auto V, contned references to "black bags" for the player to acquire during the game's many missions.
The 2015 film, The Interview, references a "black bag" as a key piece of evidence for the plot.
An episode of the television series Parks and Recreation, "Recreational Paperwork", has Leslie Knope, the show's mn protagonist, attempt to convince her co-workers to use black bags instead of paper bags as a means of recycling.
Bag of trash, a slang term
Bin bag, a type of trash contner
Black bin (disambiguation)
Black bag, in the US a slang term for a large plastic trash bag