Lesser of the two evils. Paper or plastic? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 08-11-2004, 12:33 PM
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Yes, I know I can bring in my own canvas bags etc but there are times when I dont have enough or forgot to bring them and need to use the stores bags. Where I live, I cannot recycle the plastic bags. I can however, recycle the paper, yet to get the paper, you need to cut down trees. Im sure I can donate my plastic bags to the library occationally but they get so many donations that they have actually turned mine away. I know I can use the plastic bags for my bathroom waste basket but i usually dont fill it up very often and when I do I just dump it in the reg kitchen bag when I take it out to the curb. So which is better? Paper or plastic bags?
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#2 Old 08-11-2004, 12:45 PM
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..i think it depends on what you want to use them for afterwards..they are probly equal if you are in some way recycling or reusing them..

..at my work...i see alot of people buy two cartloads of groceries..and want it in plastic..bagged very lightly...sigh...

if it was left up to me..i would just use paper...it holds more weight...more stable...can use it for recycling..and just carrying things around..but thats just me...
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#3 Old 08-11-2004, 12:59 PM
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#4 Old 08-11-2004, 01:09 PM
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I say, go with whichever one you are likely to reuse.
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#5 Old 08-11-2004, 02:26 PM
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I often get paper instead of plastic, because I use the paper bags to hold all my recycling. Besides, plastic has a pretty toxic effect on the environment, and a lot of the lumber used for paper bags I believe come from planted trees.



Also, paper seems to hold more, and no one ever double bags them, so I'm using less packaging by choosing paper over plastic.



That said, I have a "net" type bag I bought from Whole Foods that folds up very small, and I keep that in my briefcase/backpack, so I always have one with me for impromptu stops at the market.
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#6 Old 08-11-2004, 02:52 PM
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I used to keep a stock of paper and plastic bags in the back of my vehicle. That way I always had bags when I needed them. Now that I have to carry my bags up four flights of stairs, I go with plastic. The cheapie paper ones from regular grocery stores always rip and require an entire arm per bag. Its easier for me to carry all my groceries in plastic bags. They also get reused as trash bags and doogie pooper picker uppers. My community also offers recycling. If I were you, I'd base the paper vs. plastic decision on what you'd get the most use out of later.
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#7 Old 08-11-2004, 03:18 PM
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I usually try to remember to take my canvas bags, but sometimes I forget too. I usually take the paper bags, because I end up selling used books on eBay and I cut the bags up and use them to wrap the books instead of buying paper or envelopes to package them in. It works well.
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#8 Old 08-11-2004, 04:24 PM
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I've also wondered this, because I too bag groceries at a grocery store. And I hate having to double bags when they were not nessesary in the first place.
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#9 Old 08-11-2004, 04:59 PM
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I get plastic. I sometimes use them to take things to work or as trash bags. Then when I'm done with them I take them to Wal Mart and put them in the recycle box.

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#10 Old 08-11-2004, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keeganisafish View Post

I've also wondered this, because I too bag groceries at a grocery store. And I hate having to double bags when they were not nessesary in the first place.



yeah, i bag stuff too and its a huge pet peeve when someone asks for it doubled before they've even lifted the bag to determine if they need it. usually the people who ask don't need it...like the lady today with one 750g bottle of mayo. grr.



having said that i use a canvas bag i have for small shops and plastic plus my backpack for bigger ones because i usually walk home and paper would be too awkward to carry so far. i'm planning on getting more canvas bags though.
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#11 Old 08-13-2004, 08:03 PM
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I have canvas bags but when I forget to pack them or swing by the store on a whim, I usually get paper. My co-op has a basket of used bags near the store entry and when I'm not packing my own, I select from there.



It always weirds me out the random occasions I go into Safeway and they put one or two items in each plastic bag and then double bag it anyways. People walk out of there with ten items in eight bags. Total bummer.
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#12 Old 08-16-2004, 07:14 AM
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I wrote to Target and asked them to make it a policy for their employees to always ask the customer if they want a bag when they're buying just one or two items. They gave me what I consider a very lame excuse, that some people have difficulty carrying one or two items without a bag. So instead of those people asking to get a bag, I have to ask to not get one. It would work out the same, except most people who don't need one don't bother to ask for no bag, so there's a lot of waste. Now when they say "hello" to me and I have only an armful of items, I say, "Hello. No bag, please." That way, they don't sneak my stuff into a bag while I'm paying or something.



As for paper or plastic, I get almost all paper, because I use more of them, and they also decompose much more quickly than the plastic bags I see littering the roadsides everywhere.
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#13 Old 08-16-2004, 08:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael View Post

I get plastic. I sometimes use them to take things to work or as trash bags. Then when I'm done with them I take them to Wal Mart and put them in the recycle box.



Most supermarkets now have plastic bag recycling bins as well. Just ask customer service.
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#14 Old 08-16-2004, 09:27 AM
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I'd say paper bags are better. They're easier to reuse and recycle.
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#15 Old 08-16-2004, 11:15 AM
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My community recycles both paper and plastic, which is super (in fact, several stores give you a few cents off of your total if you re-use your old bags or bring in your own). Wish more places did that!



I'd like to use canvas bags all the time, but I usually only go grocery shopping once or twice a month, and I buy SO much that I run out of my own bags (maybe I should buy more of them, yes? Somehow that hadn't occured to me until just now). I usually ask for plastic--carrying the paper bags up to my apartment two or three at a time means many many trips to and from the car (and is quite literally a 'pain' during the freezing mid-west winter which is fast approaching!). I re-use the plastic bags for all the garbage cans in my house (haven't had to purchase 'garbage-bags' in forever).
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#16 Old 08-16-2004, 12:27 PM
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I like that Costco (at least they used to) loads up large boxes to reuse them for people buying items from that store... Not only are fewer bags used, but their boxes end up getting reused, too!
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#17 Old 08-16-2004, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winking_turtle View Post

...

My co-op has a basket of used bags near the store entry

...



Wow what a great idea
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#18 Old 08-16-2004, 01:44 PM
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I'm a fan of plastic, I've got two dogs and they make great dog walk pals and yard clean up bags.
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#19 Old 08-16-2004, 09:17 PM
 
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I have a canvas bag and a net one, but if I forget them, I'll pick paper. Plastic bag recycling is near to impossible around here, but the paper ones can go right in with my newspapers.

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#20 Old 08-18-2004, 03:57 AM
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I try to remember to take my canvas bags but sometimes I forget. If that happens then it all depends on what I'm getting and if at home I need a plastic bag or a paper one. I use plastic if it is alot to carry. I can always use them for my bathroom garbage can. But if I'm only getting one or two bags worth , then I get paper. I use the paper to wrap presents in. It makes beautiful naturey wrap. Just be sure to put the stores logo on the inside and then its as simple as adding some raffia and a cool berry twig and/or pinecone and Whahllah...magic. I have a drawer just for my paper bags. I use ALOT at christmas time.
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#21 Old 08-18-2004, 12:12 PM
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We have a recycle bin for plastic bags here but someone I know who works at the store was asked to take out the bags and he asked where do they go and they said "the dumpster". So even though they say they are recyling it, they really arent. So now Im leary about taking them to "recycle" places. I just have sooooo many bags I dont know what to do with them (the plastic ones) I may do what veggiewriter does. Just keep filling them up instead of kitchen garbage bags until they are gone. I use my paper bags for the litter box. I use Swheat Scoop and since its biodegradable, i like to put it into something thats also bio. Putting something bio in a non bio bag seems pointless to me. I also use it to keep my recyle bin neater instead of having a heap of boxes in it. And I do what Tyra does too. I use it for wrapping sometimes. Love that raffia!



But what about enviromentally? Does anyone know which is better? Like say that both are recyclable everywhere in the U.S.A and we all reuse it somehow and then recycle it etc. What has the least amount of impact on the earth to produce?
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#22 Old 08-22-2004, 08:09 PM
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I keep several plastic bags in my car to reuse at the grocery store. It usually gets me 5 cents off per bag, too!



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#23 Old 08-22-2004, 09:51 PM
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I highly dig on the bag discounts, too. One of these days I'll actually pay myself back for buying my canvas bags.
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#24 Old 08-26-2004, 01:21 PM
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I use both. I haven't gotten a canvas bag yet...I plan to but never get around to it. I use plastic which I can easily recycle in my neighborhood, but I also have 2 kitties and use the scoopable litter which I don't flush so I use them as waste bags (Fill it up and pitch it)

I also use paper and use them almost as totes for to and from work, my bf's house, etc. When they get ratty I recycle em.
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