Customers often choose paper bags because they believe that they are better for the environment, and are also more convenient for shoppers, but they may not be helping themselves when they invest in paper bags.
Although you may not realise it, there are several reasons why shops and businesses should consider stocking plastic rather than paper bags. One of the most significant of these is the environmental damage caused by the production of these bags.
Paper bags consume significantly more energy
It takes a lot more energy to make a usable paper bag, as opposed to a plastic one. Despite the fact that petroleum is used in the making of plastic, the total amount of energy consumed by making paper is more than four times as much, meaning that paper could be burning more petroleum than plastic. So although the plastic bags made here do use energy, making paper bags would be more environmentally damaging.
Paper bags pollute the environment
Despite the fact that environmental lobbyists are keen to support paper bag production, in fact paper manufacturing creates a great deal of air pollution. It is estimated that paper bags make over 70% more air pollution than plastic bags, and 80% more toxic greenhouse gasses. In addition, making paper also reduces the amount of trees on the planet, lessening carbon dioxide absorption. So plastic bags made here contribute less to pollution and environmental damage.
Less recycling efficiency of paper bags
Surprisingly, considering how much effort goes into recycling, the steps involved with paper recycling can make the effort inefficient. Paper recycling consumes yet more fuel, so there is repeated fuel-usage at both ends. It also takes over 90% more fuel energy to recycle paper bags than it does to recycle our plastic bags.