A dilemma ... plastic or paper bags?

@gengeni (3308)
Indonesia
December 24, 2010 4:07am CST
guys probably already know that in order to reduce the impact of global warming, one way to be taken is to avoid using plastic bags and use more paper bags .. I got to thinking, his paper made from wood pulp, which means to wear a paper bag will be a lot of trees being cut down (if I'm not wrong )..... if you think how: Where better to use plastic bags or paper bags?
6 people like this
26 responses
@webearn99 (1744)
• India
24 Dec 10
Paper bags. Mostly because it is bio degradable. To prevent cutting or to just lessen the number of trees to be cut down, we can recycle paper. There are stages in this. 1. Manufacture of "Virgin" paper. Mostly used for writing, printing and such things. 2. Recycle this to make News print for publishing news papers. 3. Use old news paper for making paper bags and other utility items. 4. Use used paper bags to make craft paper for packaging cartons etc. Usually this ends paper life. Disposal of this is easy. Just bury it, and you get bio compost which is a bio-fertilizer. Active technologies are being developed to increase this life further. Plastic on the other hand, is not easy to recycle and whatever that can be recycled creates more pollution.
@owlwings (39870)
• Cambridge, England
25 Dec 10
Most writing and printing papers contain quite a high proportion of cotton fibres for strength. Newsprint is not suitable for recycling as bags because it is not strong enough and needs to be washed and bleached (which adds to the pollution problem). Newsprint is suitable only for making paper pulp packaging, such as is used for egg boxes and sometimes for packing delicate items (in place of polystyrene). Paper can often carry its own dangers when recycled. Many printing inks contain toxic chemicals and, when these are leached out, can cause pollution. If the printing industry could be persuaded to use non-toxic inks, this could be avoided.
@webearn99 (1744)
• India
27 Dec 10
What you say is true. As you recycle the quality goes down. As for De-inking, there are now Eco friendly detergents available and most recycled pulp based paper plants are using them. Strictly speaking ink removal and bleach is not necessary if paper bags are to be made. These can be used for carrying packaged goods. For food packaging however, virgin paper is the only solution. Even De inked paper's residual heavy metal content can be harmful. Plastic however is trouble from the day one of recycling. The fall in quality is so much that a second shot at recycling is not possible. It is not biodegradable so disposing of it is a problem. Here in India we usually carry cotton or canvas bags to the grocer's. Unfortunately, this is fading because of the "convenience" of the plastic.
@owlwings (39870)
• Cambridge, England
24 Dec 10
Plastic bags, even though they are made from a non-replaceable resource, are actually cheaper to produce and less environmentally damaging than paper. Trees are a renewable resource but papermaking uses a great deal of water and the chemicals used tend to cause a great deal of environmental pollution. Recycling paper uses more water and produces more pollution than making paper from new wood or other fibres, surprising as it may seem. The answer is to encourage people to use durable hessian or canvas bags (or even durable plastic). Both hessian and canvas are made from materials which are easily and quickly grown (jute and cotton, respectively), produce little pollution or waste in manufacture and can provide employment to third world countries. Durable and reusable bags can also be made from recycled plastic. EDUCATION is the answer. People need educating to use their own carriers rather than expecting the shop to supply bags. Many shops are now either rewarding people who bring their own bags or charging a small amount for supplying new bags.
• China
25 Dec 10
My opinion is almost identical with yours.The use of plastic bag and paper bag have their pros and cons respectively.No matter what be used it is important to recycle them.
• Israel
25 Dec 10
Reusable bags are great for saving the planet. We have cheep non woven bags here in Israel. They last a year or two with regular use. I wish the stores started charging for bags. Id they did people wouldn't feel entitled to take 20 or 30 extras home just because food is so expensive. We all pay for the disposable bags the stores give us through higher prices.
• Indonesia
24 Dec 10
If I have to choose between a plastic bag or a paper bag, I'll definitely choose a paper bag, since plastic one is cannot be recycled. Compare the two situation: 1. Using a plastic bag. There will be less trees being cut but it takes hundred years for these to degradate and will create a pile of plastic waste. 2. Using a paper bag. There will be more trees used but it only takes some years to grown ones. It will be better if you use only one bag, and then reuse it again and again whenever you go shopping.
@kanchan10 (3537)
• Kolkata, India
24 Dec 10
the damage done by removing a grown up tree can never be replaced.try to be more civilised
• Indonesia
13 Jan 11
Indeed, both can be recycled.Stay government as the supreme ruler, willing or not to invest / build wastewater treatment system.
• India
9 Jan 11
I some time used to think that which bag should I use. Becausedue to global warming plastic should not be used. And due to Go Green, paper usage is reduced. Os what should I use? so I use only the carry bags which are provided from the shops and I recycle them means I always reuse them.
@rifnee (1713)
• Indonesia
5 Jan 11
I think the net just use them both because they are giving effect to such a distinguished global warming have you mention. we can switch to using shopping bags durable and can reply using that recurs. so that every shop we do not need to ask for plastic or paper bag to the seller. either to market or to the supermarket, we bring the container itself. Do not be ancient, container like that right now is nice and funny. so we can reduce waste and reduce global warming good luck .....
@MsTickle (24994)
• Australia
31 Dec 10
People make the mistake of thinking if they use a plastic shopping bag as a rubbish bag that they are recycling them. This is so wrong. Sending the plastic to the rubbish dumps is where they sit and don't break down, lots of these bags used for rubbish end up in the sea, choking the life out of fishy things when the fishy thing decomposes the plastic goes on the choke the life out of another fishy thing. If you must use plastic bags, please return them to the store for recycling. If your local store doesn't recycle them, badger the manager till they do. As well as being made into bags again they are also made into many other products that are quite serviceable. Most paper is recycled and tree plantations are managed and therefore the trees are replaced. It's the water and chemicals used to create the pulp that is more of a problem. Better still, use a silk bag, a calico bag, a hemp or Hessian bag. People, you have other choices...please consider them carefully.
@jdyrj777 (6556)
• United States
27 Dec 10
How about cloth bags? Thats what im changing to. I have lots of cloth shopping bags. Sometimes i end up shopping without my cloth bags with me. In that case i end up with a plastic bag. Its ok because i use them for small trash bags. So what happen when there are no more store bags in our house? We have to buy trash bags? I would like to know if anyone has given thought to that. So whats the difference if we use the store bags for trash cans or we have to buy them. The store bags are prefect for small trash cans in our houses. Since i moved in July everytime i get a store bag i save them if they dont have holes. I put one inside the other and now its the size of a small ball. I believe thats enough for now. So i must remember to take my cloth ones for awhile.
@cerebellum (3871)
• United States
27 Dec 10
Both paper and plastic are bad for the planet. The best thing is to have one of those cloth bags that you take yourself and reuse. I am handicapped and I can't carry the paper bags, so I always get plastic as they have handles. I could use most of the cloth bags, but I reuse the plastic bags for a bunch of other things. One of the things I use them for, is to line trash cans and I couldn't use material for that! I also recycle them if I have a lot of them.
@chertsy (3804)
• United States
27 Dec 10
I ask for plastic when I go shopping. I use the plastic bags for a lot of things. They come in handy when I have to clean up the yard from where the dogs go potty. I also use them to line the smaller trash cans in my home. I also give a lot of mine to my neighbor across the street, because she uses them as regular trash bags, instead of buying the big bulky ones. I used to return them back to the store to recycle, but since my neighbor takes a lot from me, I don't do that any more. I wish I had more of the cloth bags, because I shop at a store that takes 10 cents off my total or puts it towards me getting 10 cents off gas at their stations. I went to a paper making company and it's sad how they destroy the water systems around it. The river I grew up around used to be clean with a lot of fishing. Now I wouldn't want to eat any of the fish caught in the river. I'm amazed none don't come out looking like the fish off the Simpsons.
@bellis716 (4806)
• United States
27 Dec 10
Our local stores promote the use of reusable bags. Not sure what they are made of, but they are very strong. When I buy more groceries than my collection of reusable bags will hold, I ask for plastic bags. We use the plastic bags to line our trash cans with and give any left over bags to our local charity thrift store.
@Hatley (164471)
• Garden Grove, California
26 Dec 10
gengeni hi but I use my plastic grocery bags for everything under'the 'sun and do not throw them out.to store things, carry things' and always keep recycling.I hate the paper bags as they tear so easily and plastic will holp up.for me this is one big plus as I have a bad left arm and use a guad c ane so have to carry loads with my less usable left arm. I have a shoulder joint'replacement which left me with an almost useless left arm as the muscles will not lift my left arm up like my right one. so a tearing bag os a disaster for me.
@ifa225 (11098)
• Indonesia
26 Dec 10
even i know that plastic need hundred time to recycle, but i tend to use plastics because it is more easier to carry. but i always keep the plastic and use it again for another purpose. i hope i can help to reduce the plastics by doing that way
@millertime (1398)
• United States
25 Dec 10
I honestly don't know which is worse, the paper or the plastic. Everybody seems to think the plastic bags are worse for the environment but the paper bags use wood pulp which means cutting down trees. I guess the idea is that the paper is from a renewable resource and will more readily break down in a landfill where plastic doesn't. I can see that logic. Where I live, the landfill part doesn't really come into play because all trash goes to a giant incinerator where it's burned and the heat is used to produce electricity, so either product ends up the same way. I usually get the plastic bags but I always re-use them somehow so I'm at least getting more out of it than a "one use and throw it away" thing. I always use one to carry my lunch to work in and if I didn't use that, I would probably be buying and using up more paper bags instead. The best way to solve the "paper or plastic" dilemma is not to use either one. Buy canvas or cloth re-usable grocery bags and take them to the store with you every time. They are much sturdier than paper or plastic and have the convenient handles too. I think that's what I'm going to do and I'll also get a lunch bag and use that as well. That should help a little.
@Neriz69 (1042)
• Philippines
25 Dec 10
Here in the Philippines majority still use plastic bags, though they are trying to implement this no plastic bag day in big supermarkets, but it's still on the initial stages so it's kinda difficult to bring your own bag at the grocery. I've also seen bioderadable printed on some plastic bags we use here. I think it's ok to use plastic if they reaaly can come up with biodegradable ones.
• United States
25 Dec 10
Paper or plastic? Hmmm, how about cloth bags. They last longer and you can use them for just about anything. I would have loved to been the guy that came up with that one, making money hand over fist because we're all worried about the earth.
@asliah (11148)
• Philippines
25 Dec 10
hi, i prefer to use paper bags than plastic bags, as you said we need to save our planet, and through of this, we reduce the impact of global warming. and those paper bags are recycled from trashed papers and not should came from tress.
• China
25 Dec 10
As far as I'm concerned, paper bags should be used more than plastics bags. you know, plastic bags contains some materials which are none-biodegradable. they don't decompose naturally. In my country, in the past , people used more paper bags and they could decompose naturally. So even if people threw them away, they soon disappeared... and there were very few poisonous chemilcals in them that could harm the soil .
@lingli_78 (12844)
• Australia
25 Dec 10
i still prefer paper bag because we can re-use it again and again whereas plastic bag you can only use it once because it is not durable... also, it is harder to recycle plastic and i heard that it can take up to 100 years to degrade.... in this sense, paper is more environmentally friendly compare to plastic... take care and have a nice day...
@anitoton (390)
• Kolkata, India
24 Dec 10
we should use a paper bags.because when one tree is cut down they are simultaneously planting 2 tree in my country so there is no problem at all.but if we use plastic then i think its a problem..