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Paper Bag or Plastic BagThe date of:2016-03-19     Popularity:137

"Paper or plastic?"

Every time we go to the grocery store, we hear this question. How do you answer? Why?


Paper bags are made from trees; plastic bags are made from petroleum products. Both of these natural resources, we are told, need to be conserved. Last week at the health food store, the person bagging my groceries actually asked me, Kill a tree or choke a fish? Wow. Now there is a question. In just a few words he put my paper bag or plastic bag dilemma into sharp focus.


Going back to the ireduce, re-use, recyclei  injunction I started looking at my paper bag/ plastic bag choices.


Reduce is first for a reason. Why take a bag for something that is self-contained? I can see no reason at all to put a plastic bag of apples into a paper bag or a plastic bag. There is just no sense in that. It is wasteful, plain and simple.


Yesterday, while I wasn it looking, the checker put one of those rectangular plastic tubs of lettuce into a bag. I pulled it out, handed her the bag back and tried to lightly make note that it was already fully contained in its box and needed no bag. She told me that everyone wanted them bagged. I doubt she asked everyone. But that means that I am unusual here. I stood out because I refused a bag. That worries me a little.


Plastic bags are great for frozen foods and things that might leak or stain my car seats. When Iive got something like that, I take a plastic bag.


Both paper bags and plastic bags can be re-used. Do you? I have a paper bag full of paper bags and a plastic bag full of plastic bags under my kitchen sink. Anytime I need a bag for something, I¡¯ve got plenty. The problem, of course, is that I am given far more paper bags and plastic bags than I can ever use. What then?


Take your used paper bags and plastic bags to your local thrift store. You know, Goodwill, Salvation Army, Savers, or other used clothing and knick-knack store. They will love you for it. They use your bags for merchandise and it saves them a ton of money. Of course, it is also great for the environment. One more use out of the bag!


Recycling paper bags is pretty easy. They go with mixed paper, if your city allows it. Some don it. Plastic bags are harder. As far as I know, they have to go to the trash, which goes to the landfill. Hmm. So there is a big difference when we get to the recycling part of my goals.


My decision then: paper bag, all the way, unless I am carrying something that could leak. Paper bags win.