Paper or Plastic? Uh, Neither

Every time I go grocery shopping, I get this question, “paper or plastic?” and a lot of times, the bagger doesn’t even bother to ask…just start loading my groceries into plastic bags. I think that paper and plastic are both horrible for the environment, so I always decline both.

Plastic bags are made from petroleum by-products and are manufactured in an unsustainable and super polluting way. Not to mention, they will sit in the landfill for thousands of years. I can not stand the fact that they are everywhere. Trees, check. Gutters, check. Blowing past my house right now, check. (be right back) OK, I had to go catch it. Bodies of water, check. Everywhere.

Paper bags aren’t much better because even if you recycle them, the process to transport them to the recycling facility and the recycling process itself is very polluting and completely unnecessary. Did I mention the fact, that paper bags are made from trees.

So next time you stop at the store, please remember to grab your reusable bags. It only takes a second. They hold more, are stronger, there are some great looking ones available and it saves the Earth.

Check out my favorite reusable grocery bags here.

Do you use your reusable bags? Which are your favorites?


9 Responses to Paper or Plastic? Uh, Neither

  1. Avlor July 4, 2009 at 1:03 pm #

    I made most of my own bags our of cotton. Blogged about it here. I linked to the pattern for anyone who wants to make thier own too.

    I’ve been using them for over a year now and I love it! I so prefer fabric bags over plastic. My home made ones are holding up better than the re-usable ones you can find in the grocery check out areas now.

    All my bags can be held in one bag and tossed in the truck so they’re always there ready for when I shop.

    Looking forward to reading others’ experiences too!

  2. Sweet Greens July 4, 2009 at 2:52 pm #

    Hi Avlor,
    Cute Bags! Thank you for the pattern. I will be making these in the much fun. I will post pics of my bags after I have made them. Great idea and thank you so much for sharing.

  3. one4earth July 6, 2009 at 8:15 pm #

    I always take my own bags! Will share one thing that is annoying…when you bring your own bags and they start bagging before you have a chance to tell them and then they unbag the groceries and toss the bag they used!!! I have asked them to just give it to me. I will at least reuse it or recycle it! grr! Sorry for the rant! LOL

  4. Sweet Greens July 6, 2009 at 8:35 pm #

    Hi one4earth,
    I totally agree. I am so paranoid about it that before I let them start checking me out. I say, “I have my own bags.” I have to make sure they are paying attention.

  5. Avlor July 7, 2009 at 2:28 am #

    @one4earth and Sweeet Greens. I always stick my bags in front of my groceries on the check out counter. Then they are really hard to miss, even for Captain Obvious checker or if I forget to tell them.

  6. Sweet Greens July 7, 2009 at 2:44 am #

    Hi Avlor,
    Somehow, they still miss the bags once in a while. {too funny}

  7. one4earth July 7, 2009 at 12:00 pm #

    @Avlor & Sweet Greens: thanks for the tips…hopefully I can get the dingbats to pay attention! LOL

  8. jengd July 7, 2009 at 5:33 pm #

    I bought several canvas bags at Trader Joes a few years ago. Unfortunately, they don’t sell them any longer- these were good and heavy but the seams are finally giving out. I did find a few REALLY nice ones at A&P last month- they’re sized like a paper bag but slightly plastic coated (bad, but VERY durable because of it) with double nylon handles- one for carrying, one set for shoulder straps. They should get me through many more years as my TJ’s bags finally unravel. I carry a bag everywhere- mall, groceries, Target, etc. It’s a rare day we bring a store bag home.

  9. Sweet Greens July 9, 2009 at 1:19 pm #

    Hi JenD,
    That is good to hear..if everyone just used a reusable bag…can you imagine?

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