If you think about what it takes to make a plastic bag–the imported oil, the energy usage, the CO2 emissions–and then realize that fewer than 5% are recycled, and that many end up as litter–well, you begin to see why environmentalists have declared war on throwaway plastic. Some companies–notably, Ikea–have responded by encouraging their customers to “bag the plastic bag.”
Today’s CNNMoney column takes a fresh look at an old question–paper or plastic?–and suggests that the answer is neither. Here’s how it begins:
Paper or plastic?
That seemingly innocent question has become surprisingly controversial as environmentalists and governments declare war on what they call the scourge of the plastic bag.
The attacks on plastic bags have had a big impact outside of the U.S. Ireland placed a “PlasTax” of about 20 cents on each bag, reducing plastic bag use by about 90 percent. South Africa also taxes plastic bags, and they were banned entirely in Mumbai, India.
You can read the rest here.