Blogging The Washington Post: Paper or Plastic?

Blogging The Washington Post: Paper or Plastic?

Jonathan B.
Oct 12, 2007

Preeti sent us a lifecycle analysis that should answer, once and for all, that oft-heard question. It's an engaging read, well designed, and full of eye-opening facts. Did you know:

  • 7 in 10 Americans do not know plastic is made from petroleum products,
  • Paper bags take four times as much energy to produce as plastic bags, and
  • To process and recycle 1 ton of plastic bags can cost $4000, which produces $32 worth of recycled product commodity.

Like so many questions about green, the "paper or plastic" one is a bit of a false choice.

We liked the suggestion to carry either a reusable shopping bag, or, better yet, a collapsible plastic crate like the one pictured above, so it's easier to lug the groceries in from the car. (The author does make the assumption that a car is involved in grocery transport, which is not always the case.)

image from Washington Post graphic linked above. And thanks to AT:Green Home reader Preeti for the tip!

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