Paper or Plastic?

Which is greener, plastic or paper grocery bags?

ANSWER: Neither. A cloth bag is best; used just 11 times, it already has a lower impact. Paper from trees is a renewable resource, but burdens landfills; 2,000 paper bags weigh 280 pounds. The same number of plastic bags weighs a mere 30 pounds, but polyethylene, made from crude oil and natural gas, uses nonrenewable resources. The EPA says about 20 percent of paper bags gets recycled, but less than 5 percent of plastic ones.

WHY WE CARE: In New York City alone, one fewer grocery bag per person per year would reduce waste by 5 million pounds and save 250,000 dollars in disposal costs.

Yoga+ is an award-winning, independent magazine that contemplates the deeper dimensions of spiritual life–exploring the power of yoga practice and philosophy to not only transform our bodies and minds, but inspire meaningful engagement in our society, environment, and the global community.

By Mollie Anne Smith, Yoga+


Helen Wu
Helen Wu4 years ago


Marianne Good
Past Member 4 years ago


Irene S.
Irene S4 years ago

Neither plastic, nor paper. Cloth! Even made of used pillow cases.

Aud Nordby
Aud n5 years ago


Teo N.
Teo N5 years ago


Danuta Watola
Danuta W5 years ago

Thanks for the share.

Rodger Ricketts
Rodger Ricketts7 years ago

there is another choice! here in n. Italy the cities recylcle our organic, food waste. now supermarkets offer a bag that can be used as your organic waste bag so it breaks down in the compost. there is a small charge, 5 cents per bag, but it eliminates both paper and plastic.

mr Crowley
mr Crowley7 years ago


Birgitta Siponen
Past Member 7 years ago

Canvas 4 me.

Susan P.
Susan Price7 years ago

I used to go with paper and plastic because it gave you handles. Now that paper bags have handles, I just use the paper. Another plus for paper, you don't see paper bags blowing around the neighborhood the way you see plastic bags. Also there are not enough places to deposit plastic bags for recycling. I can just put my paper bags at the curb for the recyclers.