Friday, July 20, 2012
Plastic Bags and the Environment
Let’s face it, when we think about plastic bags the last thing that comes to mind is an environmentally friendly product. Plastic bags are viewed as a serious environmental hazard; they take hundreds, if not thousands of years to biodegrade, consume substantial space in landfills and use resources in manufacturing that contribute to climate change. Clearly, plastic bags are no friend to the environment.
Although plastic bags may not be environmentally friendly, there is very little that we produce and discard that is. So if we look at plastic bags and the impact they have on the environment, keeping it in context with other man made products that we produce and discard, the impact is not as far reaching as we assume it to be. Here’s why.
Plastic Bags are not the largest component found in landfills.
Actually paper is. While most of trash found in landfills is contained within plastic bags, paper accounts for more than 36% of the trash found in landfills, with 13% being newspaper alone. Plastic materials (not just bags) comprise about 11% of the waste found in landfills.
Plastic not Paper is the greener product.
What!? It’s true. Plastic bags use 40% less energy to produce and generate 80% less solid waste. Further, paper bags generate 70% more emissions and 50 times more water pollutants than plastic bags. Even recycled paper bags use more fossil fuel.
It’s cheaper to recycle plastic than paper.
It takes 91% less energy to recycle a pound of plastic than it takes to recycle a pound of paper. The problem is that only 1% of plastic bags (compared to 20% of paper) are recycled.
Plastic bags are very efficient to manufacture and recycle, but the environment is still a serious concern. We are proud to offer plastic bags that are manufactured using 100% renewable energy like wind and solar. Over 95% of our Lay Flat Bags, Gusseted Bags, Bags on Rolls, Poly Tubing and Poly Sheeting are all manufactured using renewable energy sources.
In a perfect world, there should be zero impact on the environment, but there is reality. Plastic bags may not be the poster child for a greener planet, but until such a time when technologies are developed to eliminate or greatly reduce our impact on the planet, understanding and controlling the effects we have on the environment is our best bet for now.
We are Plastic Bag Partners, national wholesale distributors of industrial and commercial grade bags, poly tubing, poly film and sheeting; serving both the U.S. and Canadian markets. Our goal is to provide consumers with an unsurpassed selection of top quality bags and related materials for their business needs; superior in quality while remaining extremely cost effective.