Paper vs. plastic |

Paper vs. plastic

Dear Editor:

The plastic bag issue is more a matter of emotion than fact and this attitude reaches accross the political spectrum. When Whole Foods in Chicago proudly switched to paper rather than plastic, it made matters considerably worse for the environment.

The standard plastic bag weighs six grams and is made from ethylene gas. The new paper bag, with handles, weighs 60 grams and is made from trees. Even worse, in order to give the paper the needed wet strength, a neccessary feature, it has to be impregnated with plastic and therefor cannot longer be re-pulped, meaning no recycling.

The greens will make the case that the bag could be used more than once. True, but anyone so motivated is very likely to carry a cloth bag when shopping. These bags end up in a land fill waste stream at 10 times the volume. How brilliant is that?

Stefan Edlis


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