Are paper bags really “greener” than plastic bags?

About paper bags and plastic bags
As you know, always defaulting to green paper bags over plastic bags is a misconception that comes from the propaganda of many organizations and units. In fact, producing paper bags requires significantly more resources than plastic bags. Specifically, paper bags require about 4 times more water to produce than plastic bags, and also produce 3.1 times more greenhouse gases (due to the need to plant trees and then cut them down).
In addition, many plastic bags are made from polyethylene (PE), which is a by-product of natural gas filtration. That is, humans do not need to create a separate process to produce this material. PE if not utilized will also be burned and discarded without creating any active use.

1. Usability
Another important aspect when talking about sustainability is reusability. In this respect, it is easy to see that paper bags or paper products are often somewhat of a loser. Because they are not waterproof and can be easily torn and damaged. Besides, the bearing capacity of paper products is not high, which is considered a major weakness. To overcome this drawback, people have to use a larger amount of paper when producing. And this goes back to the problem above, creating a vicious circle with the point I just mentioned above.
Plastic bags, of course, do not have the above disadvantages, but on the contrary, they are also strong, waterproof and not easily damaged during use. Therefore, they are much more reusable.

2. Recyclability
Since paper bags are biodegradable, this is the main reason why paper bags are actually “greener” than plastic bags. But in reality, that’s not the case, paper bags are about 8 times heavier than the average plastic bag, meaning they’ll be significantly harder to transport. For example, transporting 2 million paper bags to a recycling facility would require 7 times as many trucks as 2 million plastic bags. The emissions impact of this difference will become larger over time.

Besides, plastic bags are not easily damaged, so they can be remanufactured from one material indefinitely. Meanwhile, the lifespan of paper is very limited because their fibrous structure is easily broken when reaching the recycling life.

Please contact us via email if you have any questions. We will try our best to support you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!