ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Paper Bags Vs. Plastic Bags

Updated on December 20, 2013

Both plastic and paper bags are both widely in use today. Whilst supermarkets and convenience shops tend to hand out plastic carrier bags, paper sacks are widely used by pharmacies, or smaller independent shops. They tend to be seen as more ‘high-end’ packaging as well so are more likely to be used by expensive clothing or cosmetics brands. Each has their advantages and disadvantages and there has been some debate on their environmental impact, amongst other things, as we shall see:

Biodegradability: Plastic bags have a bad reputation in this regard. It can take literally centuries for one to dissolve completely after being put in a landfill site. In fact, some would claim nowadays that plastic does not biodegrade at all so it’s a matter of waiting for it to be destroyed by the sun’s UV rays – a process which could take anything up to 1000 years. Paper, on the other hand, decomposes in a relatively short space of time so from this viewpoint it is a more environmentally sound material.

Recyclability: However, there is an alternative to landfill – recycling – and in this regard plastic scores a little better as plastic bags can be recycled. Indeed, whilst paper is also of course recyclable it takes more energy and time to do this than with plastic. However, it should be borne in mind that some factories will not accept plastic bags for recycling because they can clog machines.

Durability: If you’re carrying heavy shopping around then you want the bags that you use to be able to hold a reasonable amount of items without breaking and spilling the contents all over the place. Contrary to belief, good quality paper bags tend to be stronger and thicker than plastic bags, which will stretch and tear more easily. They are also easier to double bag, but on the other hand they will break easily if they get wet, so you don’t want to be carrying them around in the rain.

Production Costs: Paper for bags actually tends to be more expensive to produce so the bags themselves will be slightly pricier. This is because the pulp used to produce them requires thousands of gallons of fresh water, the trees have to be harvested by the logging industry and the cutting and printing of the bags uses up a significant quantity of fossil fuels. Plastic is cheaper to produce and fewer natural resources are used in the process.

What do you think?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      nasee 

      4 years ago

      good

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)