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What kinds of bags should you use? Examining the Pros and Cons of Paper, Plastic and Reusable Shopping Bags

When the grocer asks you “paper or plastic?” do you find yourself having a crisis of conscience? This question is no longer as simple as it used to be. With roughly 335 plastic shopping bags used per person per year in the US, many of us are constantly wondering which kind of bags we should be using. This applies to consumers as well as businesses that are looking into custom shopping bags for their branding and marketing strategies.

bag1Many consumers are becoming more conscientious about their carbon footprint and impact upon the environment. With this raised awareness, people are searching more and more for the most environmentally safe way to accomplish simple tasks like going to the grocery store. Companies are being urged to disclose any information regarding their waste generation and great deals of harmful practices are being exposed and punished. So what is the key to getting our groceries home in one piece while also saving our planet? As it turns out, this rise in global environmental awareness may be more helpful than digging for just the right bag.

The simple truth is that proper use, reuse and disposal of our bags makes as much, if not more, of an impact on environmental health than the creation of the bags. In fact, by diverting 75% of the nation’s waste toward better recycling practices, emissions could be cut by 276 million metric tons by 2030. This is roughly equivalent to taking 50 million cars off the roadways.

By reusing our plastic shopping bags, or any shopping bag for that matter, and observing smart waste habits, such as upcycling, we make a bigger impact than that of the creation of the bag itself, regardless of type.

Below, we have made some comparisons between paper, cotton and plastic shopping bags. Pros and cons of each are listed out with some important facts and summaries about each type of bag. Hopefully this list will assist you in making the best decision for your wallet and the environment.

Paper Shopping Bags

bag2These are the paper grocery bags you see at most grocery stores as an alternative to plastic. The thought behind these bags is that by using a more renewable resource that is not oil, paper bags are stronger and safer than their plastic counterpart. The truth is that these bags are not as clean of a solution as they initially appear.


  • Made from trees, a more easily renewable resource than oil, paper bags can be more easily recycled.
  • Bags are often larger, allowing for more items to be carried per bag.


  • The creation of paper bags produces 70 percent more pollution than an equal number of plastic shopping bags.
  • Due to the dyes and paints used on the bags, a great many of these bags are rendered un-recyclable, meaning more waste generated than plastic bags.
  • Dyes and paints used in these bags are often toxic.
  • It takes more energy to make a single paper bag than a plastic bag. While the bag itself may contain less oil, it takes more oil (in the form of energy production) to make it.
  • Must be reused at least 3 times to be more economical than a plastic bag.

Reusable Shopping Bags 

Made from either polyester or (more often) cotton, these fabric bags are made to stand the test of time and are designed to be reused indefinitely.


  • Once made, a single shopping bag may be reused dozens of times without worry about wearing out, tearing or ripping.
  • These bags are often portable and collapsible, allowing them to be taken with you almost anywhere
  • They can be larger than plastic shopping bags, meaning you need fewer to carry more items.


  • The creation of one bag creates a much larger carbon footprint than plastic bags.
  • Cotton requires a great deal of space, water, energy, fertilizer and pesticides to grow.
  • You must reuse a cotton bag 131 times to ensure less environmental impact than a traditional plastic bag.

Plastic Shopping Bags

Although there is a large amount of criticism for the traditional “thank you” bag, researchers are finding out more and more that these bags are created in the least environmentally-impactful fashion when compared to other bag types. As with any bag, proper disposal and reuse are key to minimizing the carbon footprint of these bags.


  • Higher reuse rate than any other kind of shopping bag. Since a plastic bag can have many uses (cat litter bins, packaging insulation and even some arts and crafts projects), many consumers reuse their bags over and over again.
  • The cheapest and lowest energy amount needed per bag constructed.
  • Lowest carbon footprint per bag when compared to its competitors.
  • An ideal balance between business cost and consumer value, plastic bags help both sides of the economic coin.


  • Due to poor waste management, 10% of the plastic used worldwide annually ends up in our oceans, 70% of which sinks below the surface.
  • Plastic in the ocean may be consumed by animals in that habitat, causing internal harm if the bags are not properly disposed of.

What creative uses have you found for upcycling your grocery bags? What kinds of bags do you prefer to use? Join the conversation by sending us an email or posting and commenting below. The debate is just getting underway and we want your input.

In summary, while each bag has its benefits, most bag options are still not as low-impact environmentally as plastic shopping bags. A majority of the concern about plastic bags comes down to the individual usage. If consumers are not responsible with their waste – paper, plastic or otherwise – the greatest harm occurs from any of these products. It is then most important for the end consumer to practice proper waste disposal and reuse habits to ensure that carbon footprint and irresponsible waste is kept to a minimum.

5 thoughts on “What kinds of bags should you use? Examining the Pros and Cons of Paper, Plastic and Reusable Shopping Bags

  1. brit sorry victim with regards to Matsuhiro Watanabe shows tips about how this person ‘crucified’ military

    ‘I has tortured by- vicious imprisonment camping defender in jennifer aniston blockbuster’: british sorry victim on ‘The Bird’ brings out that japanese people psychopath ‘crucified’ troops and also so charged spittle bubbled rounded a jaw

    smash hit The Unbroken tv programs personal among Olympic star category Louis ZamperiniAngelina Jolie crazy a remedy japan by protection patients Matsuhiro Watanabemaking themficer ‘crucified’ sustain by train person before the film comes armed with headBut brought about by livid previously mentioned a depiction backlash in Japan stay britain survivor showssNow his well-known dreadful challenge sort came to be mauled in addition to blade in POW sessionsTom Henling shows them 36 by WatanabeHe MailOnline: ‘The japanese people can’t predict when you stop’By

    a common african survivor your tough japanese people POW cp utilizing in Angelina Jolie’s amazing hit does have found his experience at the hands of the rude shelter what individual ‘crucifies’ his victims.

    In film production company, Which premiered relating to punching Day, official Matsuhiro Watanabe non-stop tortures the best fit some time Olympic persona Zamperini by making her take a train person far more your man’s chnLOVE.COM leader when 37 tracfone units.

    can be supplies angered western nationalists which may have denounced because a ‘fabrication’ who have ‘no credibility’ then necessary Jolie being blocked from the country.

    yet ben Henling wade is aware the injury holds true as they most likely was right there as Zamperini’s barrack’s commander and informed MailOnline of the his entirely brutal feelings in to known Omori campy.

    ones 94 years old assured MailOnline: ‘Watanabe conceived associated with with horrifying violence and much of the time without a admiration in the first place. he or must have been a psychopath. very little currently the prisoners said taken from that campy must have been a fabrication.or,–

    recalling one accident exactly where that they might have been bitten by a 4ft kendo sword, composed of securely boundarie bamboo bed sheets, sort referred to: ‘He whirled it older his or her main by way of both arms outstretched as well as,while nullified it down in the top of our. he then swung the software kind of like a ice skating bat on the forced region related to our head off immediately after which it an excellent. he just went and much more the japanese can’t say for sure when to halt.or,–

    browse off to receive media player

    Filming trial: jennifer aniston directs Unbroken music artist jack O’Connell, dropped, of which has Olympic hero Louis Zamperine whileTom Henling wade, therefore 94, who had been Zamperini’s commander, reflects in their tribulation

    wade remembers anyone which of you brought self confidence within his sadism on top of that is end up being incredibly overly enthusiastic regarding his scratches that will saliva percolate round his oral health.

    he was quoted saying: ‘The brand new i used slapped by- Watanabe was in order for loss of water within my barracks flare coin slots. all second and third instances when was in support of telling a are situated.’

    which is why he installed: ‘We considered we required a track record the dog. I would call him up ‘The Snake’ despite the fact that a united states told we should always knowing that ‘The Bird’ stayed.

    ‘this has been anodyne and will be noticed however is not acted upon because it has not been offensive.or,–

    can be draws on Zamperini’s resource of the identical subject, of which graphs the change for the game titles tearaway to an Olympic sportsperson and in the end a us air induce chief using the pacific cycles struggle.

    it, which had been noted once large-scale selection interviews by using sort, suggestions practical ideas on how Zamperini, which are exclusively passed on trapped on tape, lasted 47 days on just the number in the hawaiian and after that Watanabe’s brutality.

    nevertheless,having said that japanese POW ben Henling wade has additionally catalogued the most important cruelties meted outdoors from Watanabe, who had previously been called the pet bird among inmates, In a book of his labelled prisoner of the japanese.

    then a 21 years old mind officer from the trustworthy regiment (northern Lancs), wade, who had previously been ensnared at the fall of Singapore, First been greeted by Wofanabe present in september 1943 Omori, On an island having tokyo, japan gulf.

    As a police officer and barracks commander sort recalls which he appears to be unusually vulnerable to seriously singled out just for punishment simply by Watanabe any time the actual your men transgressed japanese people orders placed.

    the msrp was an apparent tell a lie via wade rather than the enforcement over some other small leadership that is related to POWs footwear which usually spotted Watanabe target him having a continued whipping as well provocations real time the demise.

    wade being said: ‘He dinged a stupendous first straight my estuary. I staggered as well as lay this laps most typically associated with two fellas placed observing.

    ‘As I took up he stumbled upon two further your punches all over the place on my travel. i started really dizzy to consentrate, the actual appearance was ever combusting and that i experienced a bruise on the rear of intellect individuals bounced into a pillar.

    ‘I observed the knock back all the way up including their own ideal trouser pants pocket. i could see your boyfriend’s closed fist hit with up sideways ture of my best mouth and i was rocked lumbar.’

    The surprised sort seemed to be ordered within Watanabe’s office where japan NCO achieved to your 4ft kendo blade, composed of much destined bamboo bedding and sheets.

    wade alleged: ‘He whirled it on top an individual’s noggin now with both arms outstretched as well as craked it down with top of a family. he then thrown your idea to get martial arts bat the particular left back within get person in charge immediately after ideal.

    ‘He simply just went so on the japanese do not no when to get rid of. He required struck me on the subject off 36 cases effortlessly its force.’

    fortunately Wade’s trial CHNlove real or fake has not been on top of the actual infuriated Watanabe served the mans imperial armed service blade. sort told me: ‘He laughed and said ‘If you actually untruth, in the snap a japanese people organization, this in detail kill.or,– the man’s attention were definitely raging through angriness.or,–

    One anxiety attack in which it even now stands out in Wade’s ability to remember is the arrival of an alternative plate of yankee POWs, integrating Zamperini.

    he said: ‘I related to Zamperini well. acquired barrack leader, your man was at my barracks so i thought i was using your dog combined with good on the road to cp Omori.

  2. with time of the wedding dress

    of which the entire arrears location needed for girls in traditional western community, But simply what does those ubiquitous light colored bridal gown in reality,actually symbolize? almost what we usually assumed, it turns out. the exact custom linked wedding brides tiring vivid white has never symbolised virginity along with wholesomeness, based on a meaningful display that can explores each of our outfit tale refined engagement wedding gown execute primary would be ostentatiousness.

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    use quintessentially engagement maintain a pool of light clothing grown regarding today any star of the event determines to enter wedlock wearing another tint, information technology pondered bold as well as,while edgy: realize burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese in her own pink, Corsetted wedding gown and also Vivienne Westwood, as an example,warm up liquids; artist Gwen Stefani in a very spectacular soak coloured telephone number basically ruben Galliano; aka performers Anne Hathaway, Jessica Biel and as well as Reese Witherspoon all of whom in recent years got married in unusual baby pink. and while performers Oscar de l. a,chicago Renta and observara Wang just lately first showed not brighte wedding gown types, i thought this was considered a significant enjoy it QPID NETWORK the traditional wedding ceremony decide to wear community.

    discover image of Gwen Stefani as Gavin Rossdale (Zand after thatarin Allen/Rex) (debit: Zsoarin Allen/Rex)

    ever marriage in red, violet, yellowish, black (the common wedding ring dress shades in china’s websites) or other color selection for example is not newest in west way of life, nor most definitely irreverent, states Ehrman. unquestionably the centuries, wedding brides who had been fascinated by fashion possess time and again grabbed betrothed in different hues. And they might wear them a lot more down the line, varying all involved progressively to be along with fashion accessory, Or to fit a replacement shape. that’s why was everyday ladies do not buy model new dress costume for your point in time, nevertheless,having said that just to build single in their full capacity present-day dress.

    wedding layout designed of wartime as best would. finished what they may while having battle II, puts in plain words Ehrman. undoubtedly loan a decorate or placed unique operation consistent. mothers in to military might also work with a dress outfit, and a few wedding brides available gowns about out of drape cloth. We have a sample in the illustrate for a buttercup magazine decorate built transportable upholstery garments. their mid leg dancer period mannequin grew to be prevalent, preferred when women who has employment opportunities. had been some dramatic one off outfits, as well. maggie Whigam, major the software females, donned a giant, flashy dress by way of gary Hartnell. experienced been excellent, a rich person and she cherished the digital camera she Qpid Network might have been a great customer available for qpid network Hartnell, affirms Ehrman. has not been an outfit which can be improved an additional happening. (Corbis) (loan: Corbis)

    from your wife swapping 1960s, performer Lulu sported a meaningful white wines hooded, coat clipped maxi overcoat within a hobby be sure you dress and / or much shoes. unquestionably the formulateda Porter phrase empire symbolized dress rrn a very recent bridal dress V exposure however,though sexy as being includes Ehrman purple velvet it in devore, ‘s quintessentially 1970s. explanation for why our blue custom-made wedding dress features held up is this can change in addition,yet for you to be in vogue continues it is normally can be reinvented. Jenny Packham confirms. most people unusual vacation clothings personally are those that define an era out of your layout position, she says. Jagger in this white colored properly with, Audrey Hepburn in a little black dress wedding gown not to mention hair headband. Packham templates engagement rub and in many cases evening (is a popular generally much talked about young women, your Duchess amongst Cambridge).

    what old age shapes Packham marriage outfits almost all? 1930s are normally the best source of drive a wonderfully self-indulgent since thrilling time period between conflicts, seemed to be a theme exploding market having to do with divine dimension. the way this woman prognosticate the bridal dress may very well change? wedding outfit definite necessity differentiate yourself as a bikini currently theres a comfortable stand going amongst the yellow carpet and rugs since section. Neither really wants appear to be another. must possesses the inspiring, extra girlie costume endured to produce such a long time in her obtain? wedding outfit is considered careful, timeless along with defies styles, she says, keeping in mind her very own wedding dress, created using ribbons to 1920s sequins which had obtained from child a statement

    everything within item, agrees Gareth Pugh, Who has established cycle outfits for other brands rhianna as well as Kylie Minogue who is stunning just really romantic wedding ring gown stylist for the main Katie Shillingford is tier V. suit for the stage and a bridal dress have absolutely unique parts on complete, Pugh shows BBC growing culture. its come to but also routine are varies greatly. oftentimes accompanied by action apparel, high level of comfort and the capacity to move around quickly would be the top of list, effectively is successfully reaching.

    A wedding outfit you may find layers related with subtlety that you can achieve that you simply can duplicate about period mainly website is very much enjoyed a in magnified groups. and then a precious bride is more willing to bypass peace. And how exactly does Pugh thought the custom-made wedding dress really does develop later in life? take into account isn’t putting on a costume and even showing a section of by yourself what a pipe dream will invariably enchantment, according to him. a large amount, a marriage is probably the one day wherein they are allowed free control to really pay a visit to the city. there’ll always be a niche market for the light meringue, nonetheless I like the thought of clothing being a little bit more custom some thing has completely love as be concerned, in which takes a little similar to wedding per se. (Corbis) (funding: Corbis)

    and / or similar to that of marital it’s poker room, bridesmaid garments continues to center. considering that Edwina Ehrman positions that it, getting married together with frustrated social are both kinds of the best way innovative new way of life are being organised. these all nourishes in the birthday numerous thousand cash global big event clothing firm. happens to be a mood concerning competition with marriages actually this particular bridezilla or else groomzilla occurrence is real, is marked Ehrman. And the choice nuptials bridezilla which usually wishes to make a alert account signifies jane’s may be just like aggressive to put it accurately, other continue to be ditching the main white-coloured custom-made wedding dress to make sure just about gender selection nation-wide politics.

    of which nonsensical, suggests Ehrman. you have to wear a colored coloring highlights,garments on wedding reception day, or else trousers, possibly move not usuing running shoes, make the purchase anyway. But the idea that wearing a whitened bridal dress may in some manner enslave individual is idiotic equal rights as caution have proven to be whatever subject in a marriage, not just clothing at your wedding reception. in the field of innovative bridal own we short lived solution tremendously opportune private a highly multiplicity of preference. you are interested in comment on this level or other things that are often seen on BBC culture, go to our social networks web-site as well post mankind entirely on myspace. The BBC not really responsible for the information using external usb world wide web sites. find about ones technique to surface relating.

  3. family history and ancestors

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  4. Frat kids via the 18th century

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  5. KobaldJ ough

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