Bag Wars -- Paper vs Plastic: The Real Truth
November 06, 2008
Spread the Word to
Friends And Family
By Sharing this Article.
"Paper or plastic?" It seems like it should be an easy choice, but from durability and reusability to life cycle costs, there's a lot more to each bag than meets the eye.
Paper comes from trees -- lots and lots of trees. The trees are found, marked and felled in a process that all too often involves clear-cutting, resulting in massive habitat destruction and long-term ecological damage. It takes approximately three tons of wood chips to make one ton of pulp. The pulp is washed and bleached, and both stages require thousands of gallons of clean water.
If you throw them away, they'll eventually break down over many, many years. But if you choose to recycle the paper bags, then things get a little tricky. The paper must first be re-pulped, which usually requires a chemical process involving compounds like hydrogen peroxide, sodium silicate and sodium hydroxide, which bleach and separate the pulp fibers.
Unlike paper bags, plastic bags are typically made from oil, a non-renewable resource. Plastics are a by-product of the oil-refining process, accounting for about four percent of oil production around the globe. Like paper, plastic can be recycled, but it isn't simple or easy. Recycling involves essentially re-melting the bags and re-casting the plastic.
According to a life cycle analysis, plastic bags create fewer airborne emissions and require less energy per 10,000 equivalent uses. But paper bags can hold more stuff per bag -- anywhere from 50 percent to 400 percent more, depending on how they're packed, since they hold more volume and are sturdier.
Ultimately, neither paper nor plastic bags are the best choice; choosing reusable canvas bags instead is the way to go. From an energy standpoint, canvas bags are 14 times better than plastic bags and 39 times better than paper bags!
Effortless Healing – One Step at a Time – NOW AVAILABLE!
My newest book, Effortless Healing is now available! I've organized this book into a guide that will help you avoid the many pitfalls of the conventional approach to health. Rather than relying on expensive and potentially dangerous drugs, I will help you effortlessly make small shifts in what you eat and how you live to achieve your health goals. I promise, Effortless Healing isn't a book that will overwhelm you. On top of that, ordering the book today entitles you to 3 exclusive bonuses:
A sneak peek of my new book! You won’t need to wait for the book to arrive to get started. Begin reading my new book right away with your free sneak preview!
My most popular video interviews, all in one place. I’ve compiled 18 of my BEST expert interviews for you to watch and listen to at your leisure, and in the comfort of your own home or office.
Receive 15% off your next Mercola.com order. Depending on your order, your savings from this one bonus alone could more than cover the cost of your book!
All My Profits from This Book Will Be Donated
That's right. When you order a copy of my new book Effortless Healing, you'll be making a much-deserved donation to the key organizations that work quietly and efficiently behind the scenes to make the world a healthier place for you, your family, and your community.
Among them, you'll be benefiting and supporting the actions of:
- National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) – A non-profit organization that seeks to prevent vaccine injuries and deaths through public education and defending your right of informed choice.
- Organic Consumers Association (OCA) – A grassroots public interest organization campaigning for health, justice, and sustainability, and addressing food safety, GMOs, the industrial agricultural complex, children's health, and more. The ONLY U.S. organization focused exclusively on the interests that you and I share!
- Consumers for Dental Choice – Children, the unborn, and employees in the dental field are particularly vulnerable to mercury. But so is everyone with a mouthful of amalgam fillings (which are 50% mercury) at risk. Consumers for Dental Choice is working to phase out amalgam use and to promote access to mercury-free alternatives.
- Fluoride Action Network (FAN) – An international coalition aimed at ending water fluoridation and alerting you to fluoride's environmental and health risks. FAN keeps you informed about fluoride toxicity, and monitors government actions that may expose you to fluoride.
Are you ready to get started? The timing has never been better. Order your copy of Effortless Healing today, collect your free gifts, and let your journey begin!