Many people understand the reasons why you should never use a disposable plastic bag to carry home goods from the grocery store or after shopping somewhere else. But some people are under the impression that if they simply choose paper over plastic, they won’t be doing much harm to the environment.
Unfortunately, that’s just not the case.
In fact, paper bags can cause just as much—or more—problems as their plastic counterparts. Don’t believe us? Here are a few facts about paper bags that will have you reaching for your reusable shopping bag quickly.
They’re Killing our Trees
We all know that paper bags are made from trees, but do you know how many trees it takes to supply the U.S. with them? Experts agree that our nation cuts down approximately 14 million trees a year just to produce the paper shopping bags that consumers use—and then throw away.
Think plastic bags are the only type of shopping bag that’s toxic? The truth is that paper bags are produced with chemicals that are released into the atmosphere during manufacturing at the exact same rate as plastic bag production.
They Take a Toll on Energy Production
Another little known fact is that it takes about 13 percent more energy to produce just one paper bag as it takes to product two plastic bags. So much for paper bags being more environmentally friendly than paper.
Speaking about the toll they take on our environment, did you know that paper bags weigh ten times as much as plastic bags? That means it takes more fuel to get them from the manufacturing plant to the all the retails stores where they’re given out.
They’re not Recycled
Even though paper bags are easier to recycle than plastic bags, only about 20 percent of them ever make it to the recycling plant. The remaining bags end up in our landfills and city streets, where they produce more than twice the amount of atmospheric waste as plastic bags do.
If you want to make the more eco-friendly choice for your shopping bag, the clear winner is reusable shopping bags. When you carry your own bag and use it over and over again, you’ll never have to decide between paper and plastic—two choices that are clearly detrimental to our world.