Paper,PlasticorCloth:WhichBagisBestfortheEnvironment?

Source:Townhall。

comFinance

By:PoliticalCalculations

Jun16,2012

Whichisthemostearth-friendly:paperbags,plasticbagsorclothbags?

Theanswertothequestiondependsuponwhetherornotyoureallybelieveinscience,becauseastheysayincertainenvironmentalactivistcircles,thescienceissettled!

Heresthesummarydescriptionofthebagfoundtobethebestfortheenvironment,whichisdefinedasbeingthebagwiththeleastnegativeimpactupontheenvironment,asfoundinaveryrecentandthoroughstudyonthetopic:

TheconventionalHDPEbaghadthelowestenvironmentalimpactsofthelightweightbagsineightofthenineimpactcategories。

Thebagperformedwellbecauseitwasthelightestbagconsidered。

Thelifecycleimpactofthebagwasdictatedbyrawmaterialextractionandbagproduction,withtheuseofChinesegridelectricitysignificantlyaffectingtheacidificationandecotoxicityofthebag。

Yes,theconventialHigh-DensityPolyethylene(HDPE)(akaplastic)baghadtheleastimpactupontheenvironmentofallthebagsconsideredinthestudy,whichconsideredanumberofbagsmadefromdifferentplastics,aswellasbothpaperandcotton-basedmaterials!

Butthatsonlyconsideringusingeachtypeofbagjustonce。

Formanyeco-orientedpeople,thewholepointistoreuseotherkindsofbagstocounteracttheperceivedenvironmentalhazardsposedbytheconventionalplasticbag。

Fortunately,thestudyrevealedhowmanytimesthealternativestotheconventionalplasticbagwouldhavetobereusedtoovercometheirownnegativeimpactstotheenvironment:

Here,wefindthatifaconsumeronlyusesaconventionalHDPEplasticbagjustonce(saytocarrytheirgrocerieshomebeforethrowingthebagaway),apaperbagwouldhavetobereused3times,aheavy-dutyplasticbagmadefromLow-DensityPolyethylene(LDPE)wouldhavetobeused4times,aplasticbag-for-lifemadeofnon-wovenPolypropylene(PP)wouldhavetobeused11times,andacotton(orcanvas)bagwouldneedtobere-used131times!

Thestudyreportsthatacanvasbagisexpectedtolastfor52trips(TableA。

3。

1)。

Withthatasareference,acotton/clothcanvasbaguserdoesovertwicethedamagetotheenvironmentthataplasticbagusinggroceryshopperwhothrowsawayeveryplasticbagtheygetimmediatelyaftereachshoppingtrip,astheywilllikelyhavetoreplacetheirmoreenvironmentally-destructivebagatleastoncelongbeforetheyreach131uses!

However,ifaconsumerreuses100%oftheirconventionalHDPEplasticbags(sayastrashbags),thenumberofusesneededfortheotherbagstohavealesserenvironmentalimpactthantheconventionalHDPEplasticbagrisesbyafactorofanywherefrom2。

2to2。

5,whichweseeinthetableabove。

Forexample,thatre-usablecanvasbagwouldneedtobeusedatleast327timestobelessdamagingtotheenvironment!

Whichmakestheeco-friendlycanvasbaguseroversixtimesasdestructivetotheenvironmentastheconventionalconsumerwhosimplyre-usesalltheplasticbagstheygetfromthegrocerystorejustonce。

Ifonlythoseanti-plasticbagadvocatescaredmoreabouttheenvironment。

ArticlebyPoliticalCalculationsviaTownhall。