There has been a lot of debate and discussion over whether plastic or paper bags are unfavorable for the environment. That’s why jumping to conclusions would not be appropriate. However, what we can do is compare the obvious advantages and disadvantages of both:
Plastic bags offer several ecological advantages over paper bags. They weigh a lot less and their contribution as waste to landfills is significantly less, especially when they are recycled.
Furthermore, as stated by the EPA, 40% more energy is required to manufacture paper bags as opposed to plastic bags, which means paper bags are contributing a lot more towards air pollution. Apart from this, the manufacturing of paper bags also causes 50% more water pollution.
Paper bags are manufactured from trees, which is a renewable resource. However, the main ecological disadvantage of paper bags is that it’s made from a non-renewable resource: petroleum.
Additionally, plastic bags can break down into contaminating particles over the years. However, recycling has solved this problem to a large extent.