Plastic Bags Are Harmful On The Environment Essay

Plastic Bags Are Harmful On The Environment Essay

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Everyone has heard a cashier one time or another mumble, “Paper or plastic?” as he put their groceries in a bag, but do shoppers know the effects of each vessel in which they carry their comestibles? There are many issues and benefits to both paper and plastic. The making and recycling of both paper and plastic bags can harm the environment. One must also look at the costs of making each bag. The convenience of each is also something to look at. Many people jump to conclusion that paper bags are better for the environment without knowing the facts. Since plastic bags are preferred by customers and plastic bags actually do not hurt the environment as much as paper ones do, consumers should feel at ease when choosing plastic.
Plastic bags are less harmful on the environment than paper bags because it takes more water to make paper bags, it takes more energy to make them also, and the resources to make paper bags are limited. It takes more water to manufacture paper bags. It takes thousands of gallons of water during each stage to make paper bags (Dunn). On the other hand, it only takes 24 gallons of water to make a pound of plastic. A pound of plastic bags is a lot. The amount of energy used to make a paper bag greatly exceeds the amount of fossil fuel it takes to make a plastic bag. It takes about twice as much energy to make a paper bag (Smith-Heisters). With new concerns pertaining energy from coal being lost, the extra energy used to make and recycle paper bags is superfluous. The resources used to make paper bags and plastic bags are similar with one notable exception. Both use fossil fuels. Both use water. Paper, however, also uses trees. Deforestation is an increasing problem and should not be aided by an increase in pap...

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...ic…” The making of paper bags also uses more harsh chemicals. When paper bags are recycled they have to go through the same chemical treatment over again, making the paper weak (Facts). Paper bags also take up a lot of space in landfills. Fifty present of the space in landfills is took up by paper. These statistics, solidify the fact that plastic bags are better than plastic.
Choosing plastic bags over paper ones is the better decision considering all of the downsides of paper. Although both can be recycled, paper bags use too many recourses to make up the difference. Paper bags use too much water and energy. Also, the convenience of plastic bags makes them a better choice. Contrary to common beliefs, plastic bags are actually better than paper bags. Considering that plastic is most convenient and is better for the environment, people should pick plastic over paper.

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