Paper vs Plastic, Which Is Better?

Topics: Plastic shopping bag, Plastic bag, Landfill Pages: 2 (519 words) Published: March 30, 2011
Paper vs. Plastic: Which is better?
Thousands and thousands of people are shopping in grocery stores each day using either plastic or paper bags. They think of it as something that just holds their items. What they don’t know is how much it harms our environment. So the question is which is better? “3.14 billion Plastic shopping bags and 53 million Kraft paper bags are produced annually to satisfy the national market, consuming 28.5 million kilograms of plastic and 4.8 million kilograms of paper”( Goldbeck 333). A man named Shropshire in Annapolis had a campaign to get rid of plastic bags and is referred to as the “the bag man.” “12 million barrels of oil are needed to produce 100 billion plastic bags used in the United States each year,” He said. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency only 5% of those bags are being recycled and the rest are thrown into landfills. He also says that plastic bags from Annapolis land in Chesapeake Bay and marine animals swallow them, mistaking them for jelly fish. “Estimates prepared by the New York City Department of Sanitation suggest that if each New Yorker would use one less grocery sack per week, the city’s garbage could be reduced by 2500 tons every year, saving 250,000 taxpayer dollars “(Goldbeck 333). Some officials say. that producing the bags takes too much energy and they create environmental hazards. The only problem is that plastic is cheaper and create less landfill waste than paper bags. Plastic bags are made with polyethylene. 80% of polyethylene is made from natural gas; a non-renewable resource. According to the Boustead Consulting Association polyethylene uses less water, oil and energy. Plastic bags use 40% less energy than paper and plastic sacks. The alliance says, they generate 80% less solid waste. Donna Dempsey of the Progressive Bag Alliance, a group representing plastic bag manufacturers, says that an...
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