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Whole Foods Axes Paper Bags

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An occasional series of Sunday posts on you and your grocery shopping experience in reference to bags - plastic, paper, reusable, etc. The first two posts can be caught here and here.

Now you have two choices: plastic or bring your own.

  • It takes more than four times as much energy to manufacture a paper bag as it does to manufacture a plastic bag.
  • In 1999, 14 million trees were cut to produce the 10 billion paper grocery bags used by Americans that year alone.
  • 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.
  • Current research demonstrates that paper in today's landfills does not degrade or break down at a substantially faster rate than plastic does. In fact, nothing completely degrades in modern landfills because of the lack of water, light, oxygen, and other important elements that are necessary for the degradation process to be completed.
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Those are just some of the facts from Whole Foods. Thinking about bringing your own bags from now on?

By the way, Whole Foods also has a blog written by CEO, John Mackey.