Paper Bags or Plastic Bags, Which Are More Environmental Friendly

Thứ ba - 07/06/2016 11:39
Most of the people think paper bags are more environmental friendly than plastic bags because they are made from wood, a renewable organic resource. Meanwhile, plastic bags are made from oil or gases, non renewable resources and must be produced through a chemical process. Please have a look at some comparisons between production process of both and we will see that plastic ones seem to be much more environmental friendly.

1. Both of them cause environmental pollution: making paper bags emit 70% waste gases much more than plastic ones and 80% of which are greenhouse gases. Besides, the process of cutting tree to get raw material to make paper is one of the main reasons leading to an increase CO2 in the atmosphere. Finally, making paper bags generate a 50 times larger volume of industrial waste water than making plastic ones.

2. Generate solid waste: both bags generate a larger volume of solid waste into environment but paper bags are higher with up to 80%. It means they occupy a bigger spaces to be buried in the ground and not easy to get absorbed in the earth.

3. Waste of energy: during production, making plastic bags must use 4 times as little energy as making paper bags even they made from oil and gases.

4. Waste of water: production process for both materials need water. However, with 200 liters only, we can make 1000 pieces of plastic bags, meanwhile paper ones require up to 3800 liters of water to make the same amount.

5. Inefficient recycling: the fact show that ability to recycle of both bags are low, but the cost of recycling one kilogram of paper bags require 91% more energy than recycling one kilogram of plastic ones. To recycle them, the people must use a lot of chemicals for bleaching and separation of fibers, then these fibers are cleaned and checked to ensure that they no longer contain contaminants. However, this process is easier for plastic ones because they just need to be melted by heat and go into reproducing.

6. Long decomposition: plastic bags take 500 years or even thousands of years to decompose completely. Nowadays we can shorten this process by using biodegradable ones. With 1 - 2% additive, they can complete their life within 12 - 18 months without any trace on earth. However, this process is not faster for paper bags because they still retain their shape after buried in the ground for a long time.

Based on positive and negative aspects, paper bags seem to be a better choice. However, if we overlook usefulness, ability to reuse and price, plastic ones are surely more popular.

Article Source

Author: Jenny Thao - Vietnam Poly Bag Import Export JSC


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