Cloth bags are far from perfect. An Environment Agency report this year found that a resusable cloth bag would have to be taken out 131 times to reduce its environmental impact to that of a single-use plastic bag. And despite all our fretting, plastic bag use has actually risen . Rather than pitching paper against plastic, we really need to change our habits. Apart from banning ourselves from buying more than we can carry loose in our arms, the obvious solution is a tax on all bags, an economic nudge that if we can't shop less we should at least reuse those bags stuffed under the kitchen sink.
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When you go to the grocery store to buy the things you need, as soon as you approach the cashier you hear a voice asking you: "Paper or plastic?". It is a simple question, but your answer has environmental impacts that you may not have considered.
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