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In a Pinch, Do You Use Paper or Plastic?

We were in the grocery store last night and only brought one fabric grocery bag. It was supposed to be a quick stop. Anyway, we ended up needing an additional bag and couldn’t agree on paper or plastic. They both have their faults.

Since we couldn’t agree, I thought I send out a poll to see what you all think.

Let me know in your comments why you answered the way you did. I’m interested in your opinion.

Update: I found this interesting diagram in the Washington Post that explains the environmental impacts of both. Click here to read it.

12 Comments Post a comment
  1. I reuse the plastic bags around the house.

    Like

    March 19, 2011
  2. Good point! The plastic bags are useful around the house.

    Like

    March 19, 2011
  3. I have a dog…must pick his poo up when walking him. So I went with plastic ;)

    Like

    March 19, 2011
    • Yeah, I can see how the plastic bags are good dog poo picker uppers! Travis prefers plastic too, says they don’t kill trees and he can use them for lunch bags.

      Like

      March 20, 2011
  4. I answered paper, because that’s what I get most of the time, due to the biodegradability. But I will get plastic sometimes, too, because I can reuse it for other things.

    Like

    March 19, 2011
    • I prefer paper as well – because it’s biodegradable. Still not sure it’s the better environmental choice.

      Like

      March 20, 2011
  5. Jen #

    I try to carry out what I can w/o any bags (sometimes you have to INSIST! Cashiers give me an odd look when I tell them I don’t need a bag.) But if it is too much to carry, I tend to get paper – I can always use it in the garden under the mulch to help suppress weeds. If they ONLY have plastic, I try to use it for something else.

    Like

    March 20, 2011
    • Jen, Same here. I just need to get better about keeping grocery bags in my purse and car. Then I won’t need to make the dreaded choice.

      Like

      March 20, 2011
  6. I use paper to make pots for seed starting and as weed barriers as well. I have worms on order and hope to use the bags shredded as bedding.

    Like

    March 20, 2011
  7. Depends… I picked plastic because we do use that to pick up dog poo. But if I’ve got an ample supply of plastic (DH never remembers the fabric bags) then I’ll go with paper: book covers, GoodWill dropoffs, weed suppressant, etc

    Like

    March 20, 2011
  8. Tory #

    I said other bc. if I forget a bag, I simply hand carry the other stuff and get less. I won’t use either plastic or paper unless absolutely desperate.

    Which I usually am not.

    I walk to the store so I can only carry so much anyway. this also keeps me from buying junk food or empty calories as I cannot be bothered to carry it home when I really need actual food items.

    Tory

    Like

    March 21, 2011
  9. Jo #

    Neither paper, nor plastic. I just put the groceries back in the buggy and transfer them to bags when I get to the car. If no bags are in the trunk, I take the groceries home, go inside the house, get the bags and transfer the groceries to the bags. If I only have a few items I carry them out of the store in my arms. Folks are so puzzled by these antics.

    Like

    April 18, 2011

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