Over the years, one of the most debated issues is the production and use of plastic versus paper. In the world’s attempt of coming up with more environmentally friendly options, paper has gained popularity especially in the field of packaging and has been a fixture in groceries. Plastic has been made an enemy and some states have even outlawed and banned the material. Paper has come to save the day.
However, the seemingly “going green” appeal of a brown “organic” paper bag may not exactly be what it is thought out to be. As paper has become a widely used material for various packaging and products, a look into the whole process of making paper reveals that it is doing more harm in the environment.
Disadvantages of Paper
- The production of paper is a major cause of air pollution, producing 70 percent more than the production of plastic bags. 80 percent more greenhouse gases is emitted during paper production. Moreover, as paper is made of trees, there is carbon dioxide absorption.
- Water consumption involved in the production of paper bags is three times more than what is used in the production of plastic bags.
- Energy consumed in making paper bags is four times more than the energy consumed in making plastic bags.
- Paper is made from trees and contributes to vast deforestation which is yet another major environmental issue.
- Convenience wise, paper used as packaging especially as a grocery bag is less durable and more likely to get wet compared to plastic which is sturdier and water proof.
- Recycling paper is harder and more inefficient considering that it consumes more fuel than the creation of a new bag.
- Paper bags produce 80 percent more solid waste, making it.
Now we ought to give plastic another chance. Plastic may be synthetic or semi- synthetic that are very moldable and contains organic polymers that are usually blended with plasticizers. To lessen production costs, plastic usually contains fillers. To reduce plastic’s flammability, stabilizing additives include fire retardants. Plastic has been a reliable packaging material not only for its durability but also for its handiness and how it could better protect most products. Here are other reasons why plastic is more advantageous:
- Plastics are moldable and have quality finishing.
- Its being strong, odorless and water proof make it very safe and convenient.
- Has various uses including packaging, design and may be utilized in industries such as construction, transportation, electronics, retail, food, beauty, architecture, among others.
- To a certain degree, it is chemical resistant.
- May be reproduced as another product so recycling is more feasible.
- Has excellent adhesiveness.
While plastic is not thoroughly without disadvantages, with proper recycling and disposal, this strong material that has been around for decades is not entirely bad either. It has pioneered many packaging ideas and has changed the way products are branded, marketed and consumed. In many ways, they could not easily be disregarded because they have been an essential and helpful part of our everyday lives.