Friday, October 26, 2007
Paper or Plastic? Reusable !
Though plastic bags are convenient and cheap, they do not biodegrade; they only photodegrade. That process, in which sunlight breaks down plastic into smaller and smaller pieces, can take up to a thousand years.
Plastic bags use up natural resources, consume petroleum in order to be manufactured, create litter, choke marine life and add to landfill waste.
Paper bags, though biodegradable, take more than four times as much energy to manufacture (which in turn produces greenhouse gases) than plastic bags. In 1999, 14 million trees were cut down to produce the 10 billion paper grocery bags used by Americans in that year alone.
Nations such as Australia, Ireland, Italy, South Africa, Taiwan, India and Bangladesh have banned plastic bags or have imposed taxes on them in an effort to clean up their environment.
San Francisco is the first city in the United States to ban the use of plastic bags. The ordinance was passed last March and will take effect soon. In place of plastic bags, the city is advocating reusable, biodegradable bags.
I have taken to using re-usable bags to the grocery. Most of the time, I still forget them but it was just a matter of getting used to. Now I pack my groceries with pride, knowing I am keeping plastic bags away from the landfill. Many people come to ask me where I got them. I just point them to the right direction as every grocery store here sells them for 99 cents each, with a credit of 6 cents when you use them in-store.
Check out the whole article at The Antioch Press. See you there!
Posted by TOW Blog at 10:55 AM