I try to recycle mine into crocheted rugs or "pooper scooper" bags. I'm curious, what do you do with yours?
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Plastic bags require a very small amount of oil to produce and they create jobs. Paper bags are made from a renewable resource, but a lot of it still ends up in the landfill.
Organic material in landfills should decay in time, but it takes a lot of that. The typical one lacks the microbes and oxygen to break it down.
After you fill the paper bag with ashes or kitty litter--what do you do with it? I imagine you throw it away and it ends up in the landfill. I need to check--knew this years ago, but I think it takes more energy to make a paper bag than plastic bags.
I buy a lot of groceries (I have five kids!). I seldom wash my re-usable bags - only if something soils them.
My wife would insist on washing them frequently. I have a sister-in-law who washes her reusable bags each week.
I rarely must wash the reusable cloth bags. If nothing spills on them, annual wash seems to deal w/ natural wear and tear
When I wash one, it's often in w/ items of clothing, that would have to be washed anyway, so you don't use extra energy