More and more cities in the Philippines are banning the use of plastic. In Pasig, I’ve experienced getting paper bags from Watsons in Hypermart and KFC. The question is though, is it really more eco-friendly? Yes, plastic bags are terrible because of all the toxic chemicals it requires for manufacturing and at the same time, all the non-biodregadable garbage it causes. However, to me, using paper isn’t a lot better.
- Paper uses trees. I haven’t seen any paper bags in use in the said cities that say 100% recycled paper.
- To save costs, the paper bags they give away are very flimsy that you can’t reuse them. At the very least, the plastic bags before could be reused to throw trash.
- Paper, if not recycled, still ends up in the trash dumps.
- I know that paper contaminated by oil from food (eg. Big Mac cartons and pizza boxes) cannot be recycled.
So in the end, is it a lot better? Indeed paper is the more environmental product but the key should be sustainability. In the end, you’re still creating a new product but only now, it’s made of paper. I wonder if they really studied the long term effects of this. Would anyone care to enlighten me? Am I wrong?
My solution: use reusable bags! We have tons of recyclable bags thanks to more and more establishments making use of them rather than giving out plastic or paper. One of my favorite gifts from Christmas was a Mis Cosas carry all from ManilaMommy. It’s huge and made of rip-stop material so you can carry heavy groceries in it.
I think we have around 20 or so reusable bags at home – mostly canvas, some waterproof. So you don’t forget to bring them, here’s a suggestion:
- Place the container of reusable bags near your garage door so you can just pick one up on your way out.
- Keep 1 or 2 reusable bags in the car.
- Keep 1 foldable bag in your shoulder bag.