Paper or Plastic? Choose Neither!!!

Instead of getting paper or plastic bags at the supermarkets, bring reusable bags! Andy Keller was laid off from his software job and decided after visisting his local dump, where he saw plastic bags everywhere, that he would start his own company called ChicoBag. He makes light nylong grocery bags that can be neatly folded up into their own attached pouch, so it’s easy to keep one. Here are some useful facts on Paper and Plastic bags which will hopefully remind you to bring your reusable bag the next time you go to your local grocery store: (this info is also found in my book: The Earth-Friendly Food Chain)


  • 17 trees to make 1 ton of paper bags
  • 20% get recycled
  • Ingredients: Wood, Petroleum, coal
  • Could biodegrade in a month: in landfills actually decomposes at about the same rate as plastic
  • Each bag causes 5.75 lbs of air pollution
  • Generates 5 times as much solid waste as plastic
  • Uses more fuel getting trucked to the store. Produces 50 times more water pollution than plastic.


  • 11 barrels of crude oil to make 1 ton of bags
  • 1% get recycled
  • Ingredients: natural gas, petroleum
  • Decomposes in 5-1000 years
  • Each bag causes 1.2 lbs of air pollution
  • 40% less energy to manufacture than paper. 91% less energy to recycle
  • 3% of the world’s plastic bags ends up as free-floating litter. Easily washes out to sea, where it clogs the stomachs of whales and turtles.

Source: The Alliance for Climate Protection


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