Paper or plastic? The famous grocery store question. I usually opt for canvas, but if you forgot your reusable bag at home, the answer is…well, I’ll let you decide.
Plastic Shopping Bags
- Each year, an estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic shopping bags are consumed worldwide.
- Plastics do NOT biodegrade. Rather, they photodegrade, a process in which sunlight breaks down plastic into smaller and smaller pieces.
- It can take up to 1,000 years for a high-density polyethylene plastic bag to break down in the environment.
- Plastic bags are on the top 10 list of most common trash items along the American coastline
Paper Shopping Bags
- Paper bags generate 70 percent more air pollutants and 50 times more water pollutants than plastic bags.
- 2,000 plastic bags weigh 30 pounds, 2,000 paper bags weigh 280 pounds, making transportation of plastics cheaper & more eco-friendly.
- It takes 91 percent less energy to recycle a pound of plastic than it takes to recycle a pound of paper. It takes more than four times as much energy to manufacture a paper bag as it does to manufacture a plastic bag.