In a 2009 article in the Wall Street Journal, it was stated that research done by independent companies reported that it was actually quite a bit of a toss up about the greenness of plastic and paper bags. Although it’s a popular misconception, paper bags are not necessarily the more environmentally friendly option. They may be less of a littler problem, but plastic bags actually consume less water and energy and generally produce less pollution, including greenhouse-gas emissions. Paper bags also play a considerable role in the pressure put on forests as it takes 14 million trees each year to support the US’s 10 billion paper bag consumption habit.
Also, most people assume that it takes less energy to recycle a paper bag, when in fact the exact opposite is true as it takes 91% less energy to recycle a pound of plastic than it does to recycle a pound of paper. Either way though, recycling bags is a waste of energy and resources that could be used for something much more constructive.
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