Paper or Plastic?

By PSU EcoMerge Capstone - 1:20 PM

Paper or Plastic? 

When was the last time somebody asked you that? Been a little while, right? I was never really sure which was more environmentally friendly: the paper hurts trees, but the plastic can’t break down…it was always a major conundrum. Even back when the grocery stores were still asking, environmentalists had arguments for either side. These days it seems they just quit asking. Some stores just use plastic, while others just use paper. Did you ever stop to wonder why? Here in Portland, Oregon proper, they put a ban on the option of plastic bags in grocery stores. This was covered in an earlier blog post: But the suburbs of Portland are still going strong on their plastic bag usage, and the same can be said for most of the rest of the country, and the world for that matter. 
For those of you who still have the choice, paper is the better alternative. Yes, trees are cut down to make it, but the overall impact on the future of the planet is less severe than what happens (or doesn’t happen) to the plastic bags, i.e. they never “decompose.” They’ll be around forever and the damage they wreak on our environment is unprecedented. The best way to go, however, is to bring your own reusable bag to the store with you, preferably one made out of cloth. It’s so easy to do and there’s just no excuse for not doing it. If you drive, make sure you always have at least five in the trunk. That way you know they’re always there. 
If you don’t believe me about just how bad the problem of plastic bags has become, please take the time to watch these brief videos. Then ask yourself: Do you want to be a part of the problem or the solution? Every little bit helps. 

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