Paper or Plastic?

Grocery Bags

  • There is a big argument in the retail/grocery industry in regard to the environmental pros and cons of choosing paper versus plastic versus reusable bags
  • Paper bags are non-hazardous and made of renewable resources, but are only good for one or two ‘reuses’.  Paper bags are very easy to recycle and acceptable at most recycling centers.
  • Plastic bags contain chemicals that do not break down well naturally, but can be reused more than 2-3 times.  Plastic bags unfortunately are a non-valuable recyclable commodity, which means not too many recycling centers will accept them for recycling because their material value doesn’t sustain collection and processing costs.
  • Reusable bags require use of much more material during manufacturing (when compared to one paper or plastic bag – as much as 6000 percent!), but can be reused for YEARS.  These bags are often NOT made of recyclable material, but their reuse potential is argued to make them significantly more environmentally friendly than paper or plastic.

Shop N' Save, Hannaford and other chain grocery stores have recycling bins for plastic grocery bags!