The much hated by environmentalists and shunned by shoppers, disposable ordinary high density polythene (HDPE) plastic bags are actually greener- based on an unpublished UK government research report.
According to the Independent on Sunday, these HDPE bags have less than a third of the CO2 emissions than paper bags that are usually one time used after containing products with moisture. In addition, compared to the much liked by environmentalists’ cotton bags, HDPE plastic bags are almost 200 times less damaging with considering factors like- avoided products and recycling, end-of-life, transport, production processes and extraction/production of raw materials.
In conclusion, let’s be wise about our choice of bags as all types have an impact on the environment. Cotton bag is recommended if the usage exceed several hundred times (393 times comparing with HDPE plastic bags). Otherwise, a plastic bag which shall be used in a bin liner is the better alternative compared to paper bag.