Paper vs. Plastic

Tue, Jun 27, 2017
Paper vs. Plastic (© EcoMamma)
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Being a residence of the Bay Area, I have lived in a place where the legislation actually passed a law that requires large supermarkets and pharmacies to distribute shopping bags made from recycled paper or biodegradable cornstarch! Those of us living here have been doing summer salts and giving each other hi-fives ever since, as this is a small but clear victory over our landfill pile problem. But…(and there is always a but) although this law encourages a progressive sustainable lifestyle, it also gives grocers a route of distributing paper bags exclusively. So this got me pondering… is paper really better then plastic? The answer is clear if you look at the comparisons below… neither, buy a re-usable tote!
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Plastic
  • Takes 1000 years to biodegrade
  • Costs approximately two cents to produce
  • The manufacturing process gives off high pollutants
  • Requires less energy to produce then paper
  • Consumes about a tenth of the landfill space then paper bags
  • Rarely recycled, about 1 % of the time
Paper
  • Takes one month to decompose
  • Costs between four and nine cents to produce
  • Even though it is made from a renewable source, the manufacturing of the bags creates water and air pollutants
  • The energy to produce is about 40% more than plastic and 90% more to recycle
  • Recycled 20% of the time
Tip! Curb Your Consumption with Reusable Shopping Bags
Replace your paper and plastic grocery bags with ChicoBags. These are a stylish and sustainable alternative to single-use plastic and paper bags. Stuff it into its integrated pouch and throw it in your pocket, purse or glove box. It's a cinch to pack and carry. Compare prices online.
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