Are paper bags more environment friendly than plastic bags?« Back to Questions List

You might be surprised to find out that they actually aren’t. Today many countries are trying to strictly ban the use of plastic bags and supermarkets encourage people to use paper bags instead. But is not necessary to save trees and avoid overusing paper? Yes, this has now become the most difficult choice - plastics or paper?

paper bag

While there are few advantages of using paper bags, it also has some striking drawbacks for the environment.  First, manufacture of paper bags consumes three times more water and pollutes the air 70-80% more than plastic bags. Secondly, it pollutes the water 50% more than plastic bags and generates 80% more solid wastes. Finally process of recycling paper consumes a lot of fuel.

However, plastic bags are being banned for its bad impacts on the environment. They account for litter we see everywhere on land and seaside. This poses a major threat to the animals, birds and other aquatic wildlife who mistake it for food and die of diseases. Plastic bags have recycling difficulties and take a very long time to degrade.

paper bag1

While the process of recycling can help save resources, its actual value lies in the reduction of greenhouse gas emission and minimization of waste going to landfills. So the real issue is not about deciding whether to use plastic or paper but finding ways to first reduce, then re-use and finally recycle both of them.


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