Monday, June 18, 2012

Paper or Plastic?

I have often seriously thought of looking for the "correct" answer to the ubiquitous "paper or plastic?" question that greets so many of us at the end of each grocery trip.

As I've always suspected, it is a trick question: the correct answer is this:
for sale at
A little bit of surfing brought up these two links and some startling facts therein. MSNBC also has a decent interactive presentation.

If you have to choose however, my take is that - other than biodegradability - plastic trumps paper.  Biodegradability is certainly important, but perhaps there is some hope.

To make those innocuous paper bags it takes:
  • 4x more energy
  • 20x more fresh water
  • far more toxic chemicals that cause greater air and water pollution
In addition, they aren't recycled significantly more.

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