The Bag Challenge
What is more sustainable: Paper, plastic, or something else? Let’s take a spin through the options.
Paper bags are made from trees.
The good: Trees are renewable resources, and paper bags can be recycled into new paper products.
The bad: Turning trees into paper requires a lot of energy and water. When forests are cut irresponsibly in an unsustainable manner, it damages habitats for numerous plants
Plastic bags are made from petroleum (oil).
The good: Plastic bags are durable and strong. Plus they take less energy to produce than paper bags.
The bad: Oil is a nonrenewable resource and plastic doesn’t biodegrade (break down) in the environment, so it can pollute land and water for thousands of years.
Cloth bags are made from a variety of fabrics.
The good: Cloth bags can be reused again and again, keeping other
bags out of landfills.
The bad: Some cloth bags are made from nonbiodegradable materials like polyester. Once they wear out, they can stick around in landfills just like plastic bags do. So be sure to use cloth bags that are biodegradable.