Paper or plastic?

29 10 2014

The use of plastic bags is still bugging me. We use 1,000,000 plastic bags on this Earth every minute.

According to The Earth Policy Institute, the plastic bag was invented in Sweden in 1962.  The single-use plastic shopping bag was first popularized by Mobil Oil in the 1970s in an attempt to increase its market for polyethylene, a fossil-fuel derived compound.

And the question is not paper vs. plastic, because they’re both bad:

• Both plastic and paper bags gobble up valuable natural resources for a single use, disposable product.

• Both have negative impacts on wildlife and pollute our environment.
• Both create significant toxic by-products during their lifecycles
• Neither is effectively recycled.

The answer is to use something that can be used again and again.   And that means remembering to bring the reusable bag with you.  You can also carry small items without a bag, especially if you’re just going to your car.  So it’s really whether you – and I – will change our single use habit and put reuseable bags in our cars, purses and homes so that they’re available to use when you need them! The following graphic appeared in The Washington Post in 2007 and helps put this all in perspective:

Paper vs. Plastic


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6 responses

29 10 2014
The Snail of Happiness

I stopped using plastic bags years ago and now always carry cloth or string bags. Indeed, here in Wales, it is illegal for retailers to give plastic bags free of charge and paper shopping bags are rare. This means that most Welsh shoppers are used to carrying their own bags… and no none seems to mind.

30 10 2014
Md. Minul Islam

I am Bangladeshi,Our country have more rules to avoid poly bag.But it is not strictly maintain. U.N.O will force the country to maintain the rules then it will be better result. on the other hand there is no organization who will advise people to come back from poly use. somehow will advise but people not take it. It will be possible if we can stop corruption.

2 11 2014
emma lloyd

I live in Wales where disposable plastic carrier bags are 5p at the checkout so we all carry our own bags. England is also phasing out free plastic carriers. I make heirloom shoppers from canvas to sell.

3 11 2014
Jens

Thank you ladies, for this timely reminder!
Growing up in Europe, we used baskets and reusable bags.
Now living in the Pacific NW, I’m retraining myself to plan ahead and bring the bags.🙂 It’s so easy to do.

3 11 2014
LeslieK007

I LOVE your idea of baskets! I remember that from travelling to Europe as a child, visiting relatives. Great idea- MUCH easier to keep clean, too. I just cannot stand seeing one more, nasty, grimey and disgustingly, dirty “reusable ” cloth shopping bag- being used by a shopper. YUCK. You wouldn’t wear clothes that dirty- out in public- lol… I wish I could print on every reusable, cloth or vinyl bag— “Please make sure you wash me on a weekly basis- to prevent spreading filthy germs, to other people and things… ! Thank you.” Jens- great idea! Thanks! : )

4 11 2014
Gautam B

Thanks .

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