Paper or plastic?

Whenever I’m asked whether I’d like to bag my groceries in paper or plastic bags, I’m never sure which answer to give. Which option is more environmentally savvy?



  1. ben
    0 Votes

    Generally, I would say paper if only because it decomposes in a couple months versus hundreds of years. The exception being if you are able to reuse the plastic bag once or more. In those cases, it’s possible that the downside of the inability to decompose is offset by, say, the smaller amount of water used in the creation of the plastic bag versus the paper.

    Some ways to reuse plastic bags:

    • As trash bags
    • To pick up after your pets
    • Alternative to zip loc bags (doesn’t, of course, work for all foods)

    Ideally, I would recommend getting a few of those big, beach bags preferably at a second hand store. They will last you years and years, which is far better than the reusable bags that you find in the store or either disposable bag option.

    Reference: I sell campaign signs, so I have a good handle on the environmental impact of plastic and cardboard in addition to the best methods of disposal and reuse.

  2. 0 Votes

    definatley paper as it can be recycled and it is biodegradable (meaning it can decompose quickly) 

    no-one has ever lived long enough to know if plastic can decompose. 


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