Retail Shopping Bags and Packaging Blog

Plastic shopping bags and the environment

Lets talk about plastic shopping bags and the environment . Plastic bags, paper bags or reusable non woven bags? So many options, but which one is right for you? I am here to help dispel some myths about all options. Naturally, I have a stake in any option you choose. So, hopefully my opinion is received as fairly impartial. President Obama has been pushing for a long time to reduce greenhouse emissions. When it comes to the question of plastic bags, paper bags or reusable shopping bags that are produced in China, makes the entire ban on plastic bags seem counter productive.

The micro thin filmed recyclable plastic bags were originally created to reduce greenhouse emissions, save million of trees, and save shipping across the world. Many individual city councils have voted to ban plastic bags in favor of reusable non recyclable plastic shopping bags that are predominantly made in China. While we manufacture and sell reusable no woven polyethylene bags that are manufactured by our trade partners in China, we do understand and it is our opinion, based on facts that plastic bags made overseas, have the largest carbon footprint than many other packaging options. Now, we are certainly not pointing the finger at the demonized shopping bag. The issue regarding plastic bags as a whole, really relates to ALL plastics bags, and not just the ones you use to carry out your groceries from the market.

Now the biggest question that most city councils weighing in on plastic bag bans needs to ask themselves is, which is more helpful to the environment?? recycling thin filmed shopping bags, or forcing everyone to use paper bags and/or the not- so-recyclable / reusable shopping bags that will certainly  fill our landfills?

There has been a lot of arguments made from both sides of the fence concerning the use of plastic bags and the effects on wildlife , the so-called floating islands of plastic garbage the size of Texas, and thousands of plastic shopping bags filling our rivers lakes, and streams is inaccurate information which has been verified by reading the reports that the Sierra Club uses as references. Shopping bags weren’t the problem nor have they ever been. Quite frankly, it is the result of lazy humans, fishing boats and marine container ships, which bring the reusable bags, are the major cause of the devastation.

China, which is the #1 manufacturer of recyclable plastic bags has now banned the return of non-recyclable plastic.

Here are some interesting facts about plastic bag production:

• Plastic bags produced in the USA are made from natural gas

• The EPA data shows that plastic shopping bags make up only 0.5% of the U.S. municipal waste system

• Plastic bags are 100 reusable and recyclable. You can easily recycle your bags in the bags positioned outside your local  grocers entrance.

• 9 out of 10 Americans recycle their plastic shopping bags at least once for everything from storage to waste disposal.

• Plastic bag recycling has grown by 55% since 2005

• Plastic grocery bags require 70% less energy to manufacture than paper bags.

•The production of plastic bags require 4% of the water required to make paper bags

• It takes 7 trucks to deliver the same number of paper bags that it takes to transport plastic bags in only 1 truck

• Plastic bags produce FEWER greenhouse gasses per use than paper bags or cotton

• A reusable cotton bag must be used 131 time before having a “greener” environmental impact than a common plastic bag