Paper vs. Plastic

A typical plastic bag weighs 4-5 grams and can hold up to 17 pounds—nearly 2,000 times its own weight.


Plastic grocery bags require 70% less energy to manufacture than paper bags, and produce half the amount of greenhouse gas emissions in the process.

Plastic Bags take up 85 percent less space than paper bags in landfills.

During their life cycle, plastic bags require about one-third less energy to make than paper bags. Plastic grocery bags are an extremely resource-efficient multi-use plastic bag choice.

For every seven trucks needed to deliver paper bags, only one truck is needed for the same number of plastic bags, helping to save energy and reduce emissions.

It takes 91% less energy to recycle a pound of plastic than it does to recycle a pound of paper.

By using plastics in their packaging, product manufacturers save enough energy every year to power a city of 1 million homes for 3-1/2 years.

American plastic bag manufacturers continue to invest in green technologies that revolutioned the plastic recycling industry.

 » Read the full report from Boustead Consulting & Associates: "Life Cycle Assessment for Three Types of Grocery Bags—Recyclable Plastic; Compostable, Biodegradable Plastic; and Recycled, Recyclable Paper," 2007.

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