Question: Which is Better, Paper or Plastic?
click for print view
Answer: Neither. Choose reusables, which help save energy and the environment!
!!!Each year, an estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are expended worldwide. That comes out to over 1 million per minute. Billions end up as litter each year.
!!!Hundreds of thousands of sea turtles, whales and other marine mammals die every year from eating discarded plastic bags that they mistake for food.
!!! Plastic is accumulating at an alarming rate in our oceans, wreaking havoc on wildlife, polluting our beaches, and entering our food chain.
!!!It takes more than four times as much energy to manufacture a paper bag as it takes to manufacture a plastic bag.
!!!In 1999 alone, 14 million trees were cut down to produce the 10 billion paper grocery bags used by Americans. Paper bag production delivers a global warming double-whammy: forests (major absorbers of greenhouse gases) have to be cut down, and then the subsequent manufacturing of bags produces greenhouse gases.
!!!Paper bags generate 70 percent more air pollutants and 50 times more water pollutants than plastic bags.
> 2011 Table of Contents