One question that has been lingering in everyone’s minds for some time now is if you should use plastic or paper carrier bags. The choice seems to be easy but isn’t as there are lots of positive and negative aspects associated with each bag type.
Paper bags are more expensive than plastic bags and take up more transportation and storage space. They also tear or disintegrate when wet. While plastic bags are more durable, cheaper, versatile and easier to store and transport than paper bags, its low quality bags are flimsy and easily tear.
The Manufacturing Process
It is the general belief that paper bags are more environmentally friendly than plastic bags. This is because paper comes from wood; an organic and renewable resource while plastic comes from the non-renewable resource oil or gas, through a chemical process.
However on comparing the manufacturing processes of both bags, paper bags are produced in a less environmentally-friendly manner than plastic bags. While both use water for manufacture, 1000 paper bags require 3800 liters of water and the same number of plastic bags, only 220 liters. Plastic bags also emit comparatively less greenhouse gases and use less energy.