Paper Nor Plastic
“Paper or plastic?” We’ve all been asked this question at the grocery store and the fact of the matter is, we shouldn’t be using either. The production of paper and plastic bags uses an incredible amount of renewable and non-renewable resources. After the materials are extracted/harvested, transported, manufactured and transported again to be brought to you the consumer, they’re most likely used once and thrown away.
Paper comes from trees, which are probably clear-cut, causing habitat destruction and weaken the soil composition; large trucks need to come and take the logs away; heavy machinery is used to strip the bark, cut it into chips and turn it into pulp. Then many, many gallons of clean water is used to wash, bleach and color the pulp to make it into paper.
Typically plastic bags are made from oil, the oil is heated up to 750 degrees Fahrenheit and at this temperature it can be separated into its various components and molded into plastic bags.
Here are some frightening facts from reusablebags.com about plastic bag usage.
- As a society, we consume almost 1 million plastic bags per minute
- The average family accumulates 60 plastic bags in only four trips to the grocery store
- Plastic bags will accumulate and persist on our planet for up to 1,000 years
- 100,000 sea turtles and other marine animals die every year because they mistake the plastic bags for food.
So what should you use when shopping? You can use a reusable bag. I’d like to recommend using a Chico Bag, it’s a small pouch that fits in your pocket and holds 20-25 lbs. when opened. So do your part by reducing your disposable bag consumption and go get your reusable bag today so you can say neither, I brought my own.
To read a full article about paper and plastic bags you can visit Treehugger.com