Why use cloth bags? We all know how plastic bags greatly contribute to pollution. An estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide. That comes out to over one million per minute. Billions end up as litter each year.
And if you think that paper bags are the solution, think again.
- It takes more than four times as much energy to manufacture a paper bag as it does to manufacture a plastic bag.
- Paper bag production delivers a global warming double-whammy: forests (major absorbers of greenhouse gases) have to be cut down, and then the subsequent manufacturing of bags produces greenhouse gases.
- Paper sacks generate 70% more air and 50 times more water pollutants than plastic bags (because of the toxic chemical solution used in the process of turning wood chips into paper fibers.)
- It takes 91% less energy to recycle a pound of plastic than it takes to recycle a pound of paper.
- Although paper bags have a higher recycling rate than plastic, each new paper grocery bag you use is made from mostly virgin pulp for better strength and elasticity.