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Paper or Plastic? Neither!

By John Pumilio on December 3, 2009

Which is more environmentally friendly: paper bags or plastic bags?

Inherently, you might assume that paper is better because it is made of wood which can be renewable and can breakdown into benign substances. However, material consumption, energy use, and greenhouse gas emissions are all higher when we use paper bags instead of plastic bags. We also know that plastic is made from fossil fuels and is a harmful and persistent pollutant to our environment. In short, plastic bags are nasty.

So, what options do we have? Reusable tote bags offer a good option and is a preferred option! This year, every first year Colgate student received a reusable tote with their class logo along with information regarding the environmental benefits of using their totes over disposable plastic bags.

Click here to see a side-by-side life-cycle comparison of different types of bags. You might be surprised by what you see!

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