Environment is our number one (1) source of materials and foods. As the time passed, the materials that can be created with the use of environment are synthesized. People nowadays overused the power of our environment that sometimes may lead to tragedy such as typhoon, earthquake, flood and etc.
Paper and Plastic both helps the ecosystem, but which is which? Which is more safe? Which is much worthy to use? Which is better? I. Life cycle analysis of Paper bagsAccording to Encyclopaedia Britannica (2018) they defined the paper as a sheet made of fiber coming from the trees. Paper bag becomes sonorous when the time the studies about the process in making plastic bags are finalized and proven. It is serve us the alternative bag to bring the groceries and newly purchased items used by the shoppers in their everyday life in market since other studies proved that the production of plastic bags create a different level of environmental impact to our ecosystem as well as to our environment.
. According to different studies, the production of paper bags are more safe and effective than the production of plastic bags.1.1 Raw material procurementPaper bags are made up of renewable resource trees. Extraction of both products is energy intensive According to Quep, B. (2018), he said that “This is increasingly true as tapped wells become less productive,and supplementary methods are required to continue extraction. After the extractions, the raw materials must be purified, adding to the energy take.1.
2 Manufacturing According to Anonymous (2012), the EcoBilan Carrefour Life Cycle Assessment states that the comparison of paper bag and plastic bag in terms of non-renewable energy is that paper bag takes more non-renewable energy compared to the non-renewable energy of plastic bags. According to same study, before the paper bag being produced, the trees must be cut down and the logs being used. The process in doing paper bags can be done chemically or mechanically. Second, According to Xena Zuno (2015) the fibers are sunk in water to become bleach. In using this bleaching, the fibers makes the paper white.
Third, The pulp is beaten. The pulp is the fiber that can be found commonly from wood, fiber crops, waste paper and rags. Beating the pulp untangle the fibers into tiny pieces and become adhesive.
The beating of pulp are done by putting the pulp using two metal disks and that metal disk will crush and pulverize the fibers. Zuno also states that slurry (a semiliquid mixture, typically of fine particles of manure, cement, or coal suspended in water.- Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 2018) is gushed onto a screen and it will form a mat shape and the water will be drained and only the fiber will remained. After that, the paper is created until it is dried. Then, it is exposed to heat, and chemicals and that is it. 1.3 DistributionPaper bag is good on our environment and it is also good for earning money.
Some companies and other factory produces paper bag and distributed to different markets and grocery stores because it is the place where the consumers needed it in buying and purchasing their stuffs. 1.4 Consumer useThe paper bags are also known as the reusable shopping bags and said as “the bag for life “.
Everyday, consumers always use a paper bag every time they went to the grocery stores to purchase different stuffs that they need day by day. But consumers not only use paper bag when they went to groceries instead we can also use it many times. According to the study of (N.
Dela Puente, 2008), consumers uses 500 bags or 20 percent a year. Paper bags cost 5 pesos and the consumers does not care about the price itself.1.5 Post-Consumer useAfter the Paper bags being used, it is put through the recycling process. ” The percentage of post-consumer fibers means how much of the pulp used to make the paper has been used by a consumer. ” (Anonymous, 2017). Consumers disposed the paper bags after they used it and not using it in other ways such as wrapping gift, scrap paper, book cover, etc. because paper bags are considered as reusable.
According to the same study, paper will last up to 2-5 months to take to biodegradable in natural setting. II. Life cycle of Plastic bagsPlastic is part of our primary source of pollutions whether it is water or air pollution. It exceed million years and as the time passed.
2.1 Raw material procurementThe primary raw materials in making plastic bags are oil and natural gas. Bernie Quep (2018) on his study life cycle assessment of paper bags states that one of the components in doing paper bags is the polyethylene which has natural gas and petroleum. According to the study of (T. Lacoma, 2017) entitled Materials used for making plastic bags, the existence of plastic begins as ethylene, the ethylene will be extracted to be natural gas, and become a polymer. Different types of polyethylene can help to produce or create different types of plastic bags.
2.2 ManufacturingPlastic bags is more safe and can help our environment compared to paper bags. The manufacture of paper bags has bigger and tremendous impact than the manufacture of plastic bags in groceries. According to Scottish Government’s (2005) report on Plastic shopping bags, In state of water, paper bags consume more water than plastic bags. In manufacturing paper bags, the paper causes more greenhouse gases compared to manufacturing plastic bags. In state of waste generated, Christwaterguy (2011) said that plastic bags produce lower chance of global warming and paper bags generates five times more waste than the plastic bags.
In air and water consumption, Plastic bags create less tons of C02 per 150 million bags compared to tons created from Paper bags which has Paper bags (4, 645 tons) and Paper bag (7, 621 tons). Therefore, Plastic bags are more safe than the Paper bags which causes much CO2. In producing 1500 bags for plastic bags, the water needed is 58 gallons while in producing 1500 bags for paper bags, the water needed is 1502 gallons. Natural gas and crude oil are treated by the process of “the cracking process ” and in this process, ethylene and propylene are converted into hydrocarbon monomers. Extrusion is the process in making plastic and we heat the polyethylene plastic to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.2.
3 DistributionMarket and grocery stores are the primary place where the plastic bags are distributed. Like paper bag, in this place, Plastic bags are need of the costumers where they will place their purchased food and product. Plastic bins are sale in retailed price and boost their commitment to serve or distribute the plastic bags to their consumers because it is needed by them. 2.4 Consumer use Plastic bags has a greatest contribution to the environment as well to the human society which is the plastic bags are use as toilet or disposable bag.
Opposing to that, this plastic bags are number one source of pollution on our environment. Every year, One (1) trillion to two (2) trillion per minute are being used. Before the paper bags are invented as alternate bag, plastic bags are the shopping bag use by consumers everyday and throw it without proper disposing.
In some other cases, plastic bags can be use 100 times before they disposed it. According to the study of (N. Dela Puente, 2008), consumer use 500 bags a year and 80 percent of this are plastic bags. 2.4 Post-Consumer useAfter the plastic bags are used 100 times, Plastic bags outperform Paper bags in terms of being “reusable” because plastics are waterproof and not easily to tear compared to paper bag that is easy to tear and not waterproof. Plastic bags can be reuse as garbage and organic bag, etc. According to a American Chemistry Council, 29% of post-consumer plastic bags and film were used in different ways such as lumber applications, etc.
III. ConclusionAfter the analysis of the life cycle of Paper bags and Plastic bags and with that existing evidence, Paper bags is much safe than the plastic bags. I can conclude that paper bags are less harmful to the ecosystem and environment compared to plastic bags. No matter if it is not reusable but it cause less water and greenhouse gases as well as acid gases rather than plastic bags. Plastic bags is one of the reason our world are still polluted. In terms of raw material, paper bags are safe to use because it is made of fiber from trees not just like to plastic bags, it is made of chemicals and this chemicals are not good to human health.
In terms of manufacturing, plastic bag has a lower chance of global warming and less from waste. But for me, Paper bags is much better to use than the plastic bags because According to the study that I read, Plastic bags last for almost 1 year to a decade and it has a tendency to be a cause of pollution and the continues destroying in the environment. It is better to use paper bags because it is eco-friendly than plastic bags.