Plastic bags still the most sustainable bag choice

fredrika_klaren_kappahl_2016Hi Fredrika Klarén, Head of Sustainability at KappAhl. Is it really true that plastic bags are better than paper ones?

“It’s clear that as a society we need to use less plastic on the whole, but replacing plastic with paper, textiles or wood isn’t automatically more sustainable. For certain products that can be the case – like cotton buds, for example, which get flushed down the toilet far too often – but not for KappAhl’s recycled plastic bags. Paper bags are resource-intensive, in part because they weigh a lot and are heavy to transport. And cloth totes also use a lot of resources, especially in cultivation. Depending on the production method, these need to be used 130–400 times to bring them down to the same environmental footprint as plastic bags.

We know that KappAhl’s recycled plastic bags have a lower environmental impact than paper ones. A life-cycle analysis in which we compare our recycled plastic bags with bags made from virgin plastic, recycled paper and virgin paper respectively reveals each material’s carbon footprint (carbon dioxide emissions):

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Our customers can recycle their scrap plastic bags and other plastic waste, in doing so ensuring that the plastic doesn’t end up in landfill (as it will then eventually end up in the sea). So as long as the plastic bags are recycled, they are currently the most environmentally friendly option.”

Posted by Annakarin Thelin