ecology

Paper Bags Vs Plastic Bags, Which Is Better?

Since the state of New York banned single-use plastic bags from all retail stores, it’s time to visit everyone’s favorite question – paper bags or plastic bags?

The answer to this question is far more complicated than anyone could imagine. While everyone agrees that plastic takes decades to decompose, which can become a nasty problem in the future, does everyone agree with the fact that paper requires so much energy and greenhouse gas emissions to produce?

As you can see, neither are perfect for the environment, but which is better? In this article, we are going to try and answer that question.

Paper Bags

Img Source: easyprint.ws

We mentioned how paper bags produce more greenhouse gas emissions during production, but does that make them bad? Well, no but they are not perfect eighter.  From a global warming point of view, paper bags don’t help themselves much. On the question “how paper bags are made” we can safely say that they are made from trees, which are a reusable resource, but trees are getting chopped down at an enormous rate that it seems like a bad choice. Paper bags require more energy to produce, and they are more expensive to produce than plastic.

Paper bag making machines are the types of machines that produce paper bags. But as one study from Britain’s Environment Agency found, paper bags need to be reused at least three times if we want to match the environmental impact compared to the production process. While paper bags are easily reusable, many people don’t and they just throw them out, which is a huge mistake. The whole idea of paper bags is to be more reusable than plastic bags.

Plastic Bags

Img Source: esperanceexpress.com.au

Plastic bags are super effective for what they do, but the biggest issue with them is litter. American shoppers use more than 100 billion lightweight polyethylene plastic bags each year, and we can safely say that only a very small percentage of those are recycled. The reason why plastic bags aren’t recycled is that they clog up recycling machines. So what do we do with them? We throw them in landfills waiting to decompose for thousands of years.

However, this is still not the major reason why the world hates plastic bags. The reason why people hate plastic bags is that people don’t dispose of them properly, according to Ketegroup. You can find plastic bags around any street corner in the US, just sitting there for no reason, clogging up waterways and threatening wildlife.

Woven Bags

Multiple studies have been conducted on the topic of woven bags as a substitute for both plastic and paper. Most studies found out that woven, bags are sustainable only if people reuse them and use them frequently.

Img Source: debenhams.com

These bags are made in woven bag making machines, and they cost nothing to produce. Both woven and non-woven bags are made from recycled plastic. However, some are made from cotton, which is very cost-ineffective to produce. Cotton takes time to grow, land, fertilizer, pesticides, which all play their role in the environment. So to conclude on woven bags; if you are going to reuse them, frequently use them, and if you’re going to produce them from recycled plastic bags, then woven bags should be used as a substitute to both plastic and paper.

5 Ways to Reuse Items to Save Money and Reduce Waste

It is true that we use numerous single-use items, throw them, and contribute to waste on a daily basis. Although these items come in handy, they add up cost every time you purchase napkins or other single-use items.

It has become a habit so no one can think that this throwaway lifestyle is damaging air and environment. Not only this, but the clothes, handbags, or other electronics that you stop using after a year or so also increase waste. And, you end up spending your hard earned money.

This practice is not beneficial in the longer run. For instance, if you start reusing items on a regular basis, it will decrease waste and will become huge savings in your budget. The advantage of reusing your stuff does not end here.

It contributes to the environment and makes it greener and healthier. If you are looking for ways to reduce waste, this blog will help you.

source: moneycrashers.com

1.  Blankets and Towels

Towels and blankets are crucial for every household. If you purchase new blankets thinking your old one is not cozy enough, you do not need to throw it.

You can either donate it or create a warm bed for your pet if you have any. Plus, D-I-Y your pet’s bed will let you save extra money as well.

source: countryliving.com

Moreover, there are many shelter homes where they need blankets and towels in bulk so more and more people can use them. On the other hand, you can also donate old towels.

2.  Go Natural

It seems a tough task in current times. You can rarely find a product without simple ingredients. This way, using natural products has become a bit difficult than ever. For example, during the holiday season, you have to invest in several items that you do not use after a certain time period.

Let’s take Christmas decoration as an example. People invest a considerable amount of money on plastic platters, wreath, or even fake Christmas tree. These objects look good for a while but then you throw them away and purchase new the next year.

source: inhabitat.com

So, to reduce this waste, you can consider making a homemade wreath with pine branches and cones. Also, you can use a wooden platter to serve holiday sweets. Moreover, you can take a step ahead and get a real Christmas tree and plant your own for the next Christmas.

3.  Kitchen Utensils

Plasticware is present in every kitchen which you often discard and produce waste. You can use glass containers and straws to minimize your plastic use on a daily basis.

source: diggorylifestyle.co.uk

Apart from this, you can invest in good quality wooden utensils to keep your kitchen plastic-free as much as possible.

4. Shopping Bags

Do you know 8,000 barrels of oil is required to produce plastic shopping bags that consumers use on a regular basis? Manufacturers use a considerable amount of oil to produce plastic bags that are damaging the environment.

source: nzbagit.co.nz

You can contribute to control this condition by opting for reusable bags. Nowadays, you can find canvas or nylon bags to carry your groceries. Plus, you can fold some of these reusable bags and put it in your handbag so you do not have to use a plastic bag.

5.  Avoid Using Disposable Items

Using disposable cups, plates, or other items are convenient. You can even organize an event and use disposable utensils and cutlery. However, this convenience leads to extreme waste each year.

source: truechoicepack.com

Thus, you can contribute to reducing this waste by not using disposable items. Instead, you can use metal, steel, glass, or even wooden products in this context.

Take note that you need to purchase disposable items just to throw them after one use. Utensils that are made of other material are washable so you can use them again.

Final Verdict

There are several ways to control waste and save money. You can follow them to ensure your social responsibility and huge savings.