Paper has a higher rate of recycling than plastic. For instance, lets take paper bags, 10-15% of paper bags are recycled when only 1-2% of plastic bags are. However, when comparing recycling statistics between paper and plastic, we find that they are equal when weighing in the pros and cons.
Take the fact that we recycle paper bags at a higher rate the plastic bags; though true, it takes much more energy and pollutants to recycle and produce paper than plastic.
I believe paper has a higher recycling rate, mostly because of two factors. The first is that there is a visual impact on people when trees are cut down to make paper, which is a great marketing tool for recycling paper. The other factor is that recycling paper has been made much more accessible in terms of facilities and opportunities to recycle paper. Office buildings, libraries, and other public areas all have pronounced bins for recycling paper more so that plastic. Another thing to consider is that most plastic products having to do with food are viewed as dirty and used, and there is considered by many to be simply trash instead of recyclable material.
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