I used to hear this question every time I went to the grocery store. I have not been asked *Paper or Plastic?* in years. What surprises me is the fact that we, as a whole, are so strongly pushing for a healthier ecosystem but many grocery stores still default to plastic bags. I’m no expert but I am pretty sure plastic bags are not good for the environment.
Turns out, paper bags aren’t nearly as eco friendly as we like to think they are. As a finished product, paper bags are much better for the environment than plastic bags. Paper can be composted and only takes a short amount of time, in comparison, to degrade. Plastic bags, traditional plastic bags, take hundreds of years to break down and can cause countless problems for animals that may come across them. The process of making paper bags, on the other hand, has a much higher impact on the environment that does the process of making plastic bags. Some sources (I used This Site) say that making paper bags produces a whopping 70 percent more pollution than plastic. Not to mention all the trees that get felled in the process. These factors create a serious rift at the counter when trying to decide on Paper or Plastic.
So, now that I have gotten you thinking, what do we do? One expert, who spoke to NBC, says it all depends on where we live. Those of us closer to the coast should go with paper for the reduced risk to the environment when we throw our bags in the trash. Those of us in the central states should go with plastic for the reduced risk to the environment in the production of the bags.
The biggest thing to remember is that neither bag is realy any better than the other in the whole scheme of things. There are pros and cons to both paper and plastic and we need to determine what is best for our individual situation. My answer tho, invest in some canvas totes and avoid Paper or Plastic all together.