Paper or Plastic? Neither!

You probably already know that cutting the waste associated with paper and plastic grocery bags by using reusable ones instead is a pretty simple way to “go green.” In case you need more convincing, has come up with some really good reasons to exclusively use reusable bags:


  • A plastic shopping bag can take anywhere from 15 to 1,000 years to decompose. In a compressed landfill (deprived of atmosphere to help them biodegrade), paper bags don’t fare much better. The cost to recycle plastic bags so far outweighs their value that most recycling facilities will not take them, leading more and more to just be thrown out with the rest of the trash.
  • The United States uses approximately 100 billion new plastic bags per year. The average person goes through between 350 and 500.
  • Because of their light weight, plastic bags are the debris most likely to fly away from landfills, settling instead in trees, storm drains, beaches and the oceans.
  • It takes 12 million barrels of oil to produce the amount of plastic bags the United States uses per year.

  • Think paper bags are better? The United States cuts down 14 million trees per year to supply the demand for paper shopping bags.
  • In fact, paper bags weigh nearly 10 times more than plastic bags, requiring more fuel to ship them out to stores.
  • The average reusable bag has the lifespan of over 700 disposable plastic bags.
  • Over a lifetime, use of reusable bags by just one person would save over 22,000 plastic bags.