Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Plastic bags or paper bags?

Why not replace plastic bags with paper bags?

Here's a defence of the plastic bag in terms of environmental impact:
All About Bags - Paper Versus Plastic Bags - Which is More Environmentally Friendly?

Meanwhile, supermarkets in the UK are going ahead to reduce plastic:
Are paper bags really better for the planet than plastic bags? | The Week UK

For example: 

Morrisons is introducing 20p paper bags, and Waitrose will spend £1m on tackling plastic pollution

The supermarket hopes customers will reuse and eventually recycle the environmentally friendly paper bags

US-style paper grocery bags, priced at 20p (Mikael Buck/Morrisons /PA Wire)

Monday January 28th 2019

Morrisons and Waitrose will today each step up their attempts to curb plastic waste, with the former introducing paper carrier bags to stores and the latter unveiling a £1m grant fund to tackle the environmental problem.

US-style paper carrier bags will be trialled in eight Morrisons stores this week following a poll of its customers that found reducing plastic waste was their number one environmental concern.

Recyclable paper bags

The paper bags have handles and are a similar capacity to standard plastic carrier bags. Priced at 20p each, they are also 100 per cent PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) accredited, meaning they are sourced from forests that are managed responsibly.

Morrisons is encouraging shoppers to reuse and eventually recycle them.

The supermarket did away with 5p plastic carrier bags in 2018, leading to a 25 per cent reduction in overall bag sales. They were replaced by 10p bags made from recycled material from Morrisons stores. From this week the price of the standard plastic carrier bag will go up to 15p.

Morrisons supermarket introduces US-style paper grocery bags 

Ultimately, it's what you do with these bags - whether plastic or paper:

Plastic or paper: Which bag is greener?

But the key to reducing the impact of all carrier bags - no matter what they are made of - is to reuse them as much as possible, says Margaret Bates, professor of sustainable waste management at Northampton University.

Many people forget to bring their reusable bags on their weekly supermarket trip, and end up having to buy more bags at the till, she says.

This will have a much bigger environmental impact compared with just choosing to use paper, plastic or cotton.

Plastic or paper: Which bag is greener? - BBC News

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