Pollution of the environment during polythene bag production is almost eleven times smaller than in the production of the same number of paper bags. To manufacture paper heavy machinery has to be used to cut and collect the trees, transport them to the factory, along with all the stripping and chipping into small squares required as well as cooking to make the pulp. As you can see, the process is very complex and requires use of diverse energy-consuming and polluting machines, which results in heavy contamination not only of the factory surroundings.
Before the paper is made, there is a need to wash and bleach the pulp. In the process extreme amounts of water are used and polluted (due to the use of aggressive chemical substances). As a result, contamination of water during plastic bag manufacturing is more than fifty times lower than in the production of the same number of paper products.
20% less energy is used by a manufacturer of plastic bags than by a producer of paper ones to create an equal number of products. It has both direct and indirect influence on the environment. The production facility releases less fumes and waste into the surroundings and less energy has to be produced by power plants to answer the needs of such facilities.
Polythene bags take up five times less space than paper products, and as a result five times less exhaust fumes get into the atmosphere during transport. It is of extreme importance as the products are not transported only locally. They are distributed to hundreds and thousands of stores and places nationally and internationally. Thus the issue of transport and delivery becomes a major one for every paper and plastic shopping bags manufacturer.
Polythene products can be recycled and reused quite effectively to manufacture other products. Paper, on the other hand, is much more difficult to recycle and the whole process is terribly inefficient. This means, that when it comes to paper packaging, it might be used once or twice and then it quite probably lands on a landfill!
Polythene bags, unlike paper ones, can be used many times. Which means there is no need to purchase one each time you go shopping. Thanks to the durability of plastic the packaging can be used for other purposes as well, while in most cases paper simply does not offer the practicality required by the consumers.
Above all, there is no need to cut down a tree by polythene bag manufacturers. It is an extremely important fact we tend to forget when choosing the ‘greener’ solution. Manufacturing process of paper packaging does require trees to be cut down which strongly influences the natural environment. Even relatively small area bereft of trees can have large impact on the surroundings.
Concern for the natural environment
As the comparison clearly shows, plastic bag manufacturers do not contaminate the natural environment, including the factory surroundings, to such extent as the facilities specialising in the production of paper. What is more, current advancement in the field of artificial materials allowed to create materials which are degradable, biodegradable and can be recycled. All of this makes plastic products the ‘greener’ choice – for stores and their customers.