Paper or Plastic?

I remember, years ago it was common for the bag boy to ask me whether I wanted paper or plastic bags at the grocery store check out. Now the assumption is to use plastic bags unless they run out or paper is requested.

Today, I had a short discussion with a bag boy, on the subject of which was better, paper or plastic? Here are the pros and cons we came up with:

Pro: “Most plastic bags are recyclable.”

Con: “Both paper and plastic create waste, reusable bags are best!”

Pro: “Not using paper bags saves a tree.”

Con: “Paper bags attract roaches!”

Pro: “Paper bags are biodegradable.”

Con: “Most plastic bags are not biodegradable.

Pro: “Reusing both the plastic and paper together works well for kitchen waste, no need to buy trash liners!”

After sharing a few pros and cons, I’m still left wondering which is the better choice. Anne Thompson, Chief environmental correspondent with NBC news, sheds some more light on this subject in the following article:
Paper or plastic –what’s the greener choice?
I often forget to bring my canvas totes with me when I shop. Here is a solution to reuse my paper and plastic bags and save money.

I use my paper and plastic grocery bags in my kitchen trash can; saving me ten cents each time I don’t have to use a 13 gallon plastic liner. The paper stands up nicely in the container, while the plastic bag prevents wet refuse leaking into the bottom of my trash can.

After you unload your groceries, go on and get your reuse liners ready to go for the week. The amount of trash set out on the curb varies between households. A good rule of thumb is half of what you brought into the house will be thrown away. So, if you brought in 12 bags of stuff that week, six bags full of refuse will be set on the curb. Hopefully lower if you are consuming, recycling, reusing and composting, resulting in less waste going to a landfill!  

Open up the paper bag and place it inside the plastic bag.
Then collapse it by folding up the paper bag. There you go! Its ready to be used.
Just unfold and place it in your trash can.
Once the trash bag is full, take it out fold down the top and tie the plastic bag at the handles.

There you go, you just saved yourself ten cents!

Which would you choose…paper or plastic?

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