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Paper bags or plastic bags: that are best?

From Topshop to Nike to Primark, brown paper bags are back in abundance on the high street. however are they any higher for the surroundings than plastic bags?

When we tend to are spending extra money than we must always in robust economic times a minimum of we are being served the right item during which to cover our guilty purchases: the discreet paper bag.

The war against plastic bags appears to own been won on the high street this Christmas. everybody from stylish French label APC to the likes of Nike (complete with swoosh), Topshop and even Primark hand out brown paper bags. An armful of paper bags feels most less trashy than a
swaddling of plastic; they recall the classic brown paper groceries bag of recent.

So victory for paper bags – they’re the kids of trees! – within the war against decadent, dolphin-smothering plastic. Except, like most wars, it’s aloof from clear if it’s left the globe an improved place. Wrap, the government-funded company originated to scale back waste, summarises the drawbacks of paper bags: whereas from a renewable supply and biodegradable, compostable and recyclable, they need much more energy to create and transport than plastic, have less re-use potential and turn out methane if dumped in landfill.

“Faced with the question of paper or plastic, the solution must always be neither,” says Reuseit.com. in keeping with a 2007 study (funded by US plastic bag manufacturers), it takes nearly four times the maximum amount energy to manufacture a paper bag as a plastic bag. Paper-bag manufacture uses twenty times the maximum amount water as plastic and paper needs a lot of energy to be recycled.

Cloth bags are aloof from excellent. An surroundings Agency report this year found that a resusable cloth bag would got to be taken out 131 times to scale back its environmental impact to that of a single-use plastic bag. And despite all our fretting, plastic bag use has really risen. instead of pitching paper against plastic, we actually have to be compelled to amendment our habits. except banning ourselves from shopping for quite we are able to carry loose in our arms, the plain answer could be a tax on all bags, an economic nudge that if we will not search less we must always a minimum of reuse those bags stuffed underneath the kitchen sink.

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