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Why Are Paper Bags Better Than Plastic?

Why Are Paper Bags Better Than Plastic?

The differentiation between a paper bag and a plastic bag:

Paper is a recyclable resource. The raw material for papermaking is mainly plant fiber. In addition to cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin, there are still other components with less content, such as resin. In addition, there is sodium sulfate and other auxiliary ingredients. In addition to the plant fiber, the paper also needs to add different fillers according to the different paper materials.

Usually, used plastic bags are made of polyethylene from petroleum. In contrast, paper bags are made from trees and are a renewable resource. The degradable, recyclable characteristics are labeled green on the paper bag.

What are the dangers of plastic bags?

The original sin of plastic bags is that they are non-degradable, with strong damage to the environment and a low recovery rate. Plastic bags were not invented for disposable use, but they became disposable because of people’s lazy habits. The embarrassment of plastic bags is that incineration will pollute the atmosphere, landfills, and land, so recycling becomes the best place for it. However, in many countries, garbage classification is relatively poor. These plastic bags discarded are scattered in the streets, leading to "white pollution" that can be seen everywhere, and are finally disposed of by sanitation workers, burned, or in landfills.

How long is the degradation cycle of plastic bags?

The degradation cycle of plastic bags often lasts for decades or even hundreds of years, causing these bags to enter oceans, rivers, and other waters, having a significant impact on aquatic organisms. According to the United Nations Environment Agency, the plastic debris kills more than one million seabirds and more than 100,000 marine mammals each year.

Why did the "plastic restriction order" appear?

① Plastic's poor natural degradation has resulted in the deaths of numerous animals. For example, monkeys, pelicans, dolphins, and other animals in zoos will swallow plastic bottles thrown by tourists and die in pain due to undigestion.

② The most dangerous plastic is phthalates, which also cause a decline in sperm counts in men.

③ Plastic is easy to burn and produces toxic gases when burned. For example, polystyrene combustion produces toluene; a small amount of this substance will lead to blindness, inhalation of vomiting, and other symptoms. PVC combustion will also produce hydrogen chloride. toxic gas, in addition to combustion, is the high-temperature environment, which will lead to the decomposition of plastic toxic components, such as benzene rings.


So, since 2008, more and more countries have joined the ban on plastic bags, which banned plastic bags in Hungary in 2012 and single-use plastic bags in stores in Panama in 2018.


Classification of paper packaging:

(1) Conventional paper packaging (raw pulp paper):


Production materials are derived from the trees. Compared to plastic bags, they are more likely to degrade, thus causing less pollution than plastic bags.


(2) Recycled paper packaging:

If it is recycled paper packaging, the basis of production does not need to cut down trees and has a relatively light impact on the environment.


Misunderstanding of paper packaging:

Many people say that the pollution of paper making is huge, and what is easy to ignore is that paper making does produce pollution, but with the development of technology, this pollution can be controlled. For example, if the emissions of paper factories are strictly controlled by the government, the pipeline will no longer flow out of black water but meet quality inspection.


To sum up, the premise that paper bags are better than plastic bags is that paper mills follow the environmental protection requirements set by the state. If our use of paper bags is scientific, such as recycling, then environmental protection is better. From the perspective of enterprises, the enterprise's own strict requirements for the production of paper bags are in line with the concept of environmental protection. Both consumers and producers have a responsibility for environmental protection because our children and grandchildren need to survive.

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