The answer is neither.
Many people are under the impression that replacing the use of plastic bags with paper bags is doing the environment a favour, but when we take a closer look it’s actually not the case.
Here’s some reasons why using paper bags is not a better alternative:
- In the US alone, over 14 million trees are cut down to fulfil the demand for the production of paper bags
- Paper bags cause pollution when they’re produced. In fact they emit 70% more air pollution and 50% more water pollution than the production of plastic bags
- Paper bag production also consumes a great amount of energy and fuel – four times as much as plastic bag production to be precise
- Paper also doesn’t biodegrade that much faster than plastic and despite their high recyclability factor, only 20% of paper bags are recycled
Want to know more about the truth behind paper bags? Here’s a great TED talk on the topic
Right about now you’re probably wandering what the solution is, whether there’s even any option left. After all, you thought reducing your plastic foot print by opting for paper bags was helping didn’t you? Never fear, all hope is not lost.
Here’s where the humble reusable canvas tote bags come in. Just looking at the information above proves that there’s no better option than to go reusable! If you need further convincing though…
- The average reusable bag has a lifespan that beats over seven hundred single-use plastic bags
- If just one person uses a reusable bag for their whole life, they’re avoiding the use of 22 000 plastic bags in total alone
- You’re becoming a part of the solution when you prove that there’s little need and demand for plastic or paper bags!
So come on, what are you waiting for. Tote simple, totewise.
Were you surprised by these facts about paper bags? Share with us some of your experiences in using different forms of bags and which one you think worked best holistically.