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Centre View: November 8, 2017
A study commissioned by the international retail chain Carrefour Group (4) in 2005 compared the environmental impact of plastic and paper bags. The conclusion was that overall, plastic bags were more environmentally friendly than paper bags and their advantages grew the more they were reused.
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Recycling of paper or plastic bags is not an easy process. In order for paper to be recycled collected paper must first be re-pulped using many chemicals to bleach and separate the pulp fibres. These fibres are then cleaned and screened to make sure that they are free of contaminants. Finally, the fibres are washed before being pressed and rolled into paper once again. In Europe, the current rate for recycling paper successfully is 70%, thanks to municipal paper collections; more than 60 million tonnes of used paper are collected in Europe each year.
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