Plastic bag, Paper bag, or fabric bag is least harmful to the planet?
You probably don’t believe this.
Believe it or not but plastic bags are the least harmful to the planet, even less than paper and fabric alternatives.
One may have heard a lot of negatives about plastic bags, especially the mountains full of plastic waste that is dumped into the ocean, causing marine lives to suffer. Many verdicts of the plastic bag as the main culprit.
However, studies from the Environment Agency in the UK in 2011 showed another aspect of the information, that plastic bags can be advantageous in some areas, such as carbon footprint. Plastic bags release way less production waste and side effects than other alternatives.
To measure the harm something makes to the planet, the study looks at 2 things. 1) Can it be reused? And 2) How many times we have to reuse something before it is worth the production value?
The studies showed that paper bags need 3-4 reuses before it is worth the production while fabric bags need as many as 131 times.
Additionally the production process of a paper bag needs roughly 4 times as much water as the production of a plastic bag. Gases and chemicals used for the trees also come into account. Fabric comes from cotton which also requires a high amount of water. Nevertheless, the advantage of paper is that it is way easier to be eliminated than plastic, the fabric is also much stronger and can be reused many times. Even a plastic bag has an advantage over paper bags in terms of lesser carbon footprint, it is still one of the most littered items, which results in the issue we are facing today. All in all every material more or less has an effect on our planet earth. For these very reasons, Advance BIO encourages everyone to litter properly and reduce waste by reusing and recycling as much as possible. Small action, big difference.