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Industry Standard Setter For Sheetfed Tote Bags
Due to the pros and cons of paper bags and plastic bags, even some environmentalists are confused about this choice. Experts say that the raw material for paper bags is wood and the raw material for plastic bags is crude oil. To produce the shopping bags American use every year, manufacturers need to run out of 14 million trees, or 12 million barrels of oil. Air pollution from paper bags is 70% higher than that from plastic bags.
Both have their advantages. For large rectangular objects like cereal boxes, paper bags in mall are naturally close to the same shape. This makes it easy to put several boxes in one bag, and everything stays put. On the other hand, with plastic bags the boxes may not fit very well and the bag can kind of flop around once you fill it with stuff. If the shopper's cart is still being emptied as you are bagging, you need to place it on your bagging station and things can fall out if it is not filled well.
From the bagger's perspective, the main advantage of plastic bags is the plastic bag holder which makes it very easy to open a new bag and start filling it. Conversely, the most annoying thing about paper bags is the process of opening a new bag.
Filling a relatively full cart is also more orderly with paper bags; with plastic everything just ends up going on top of everything else. It is then more important to keep in mind where fragile things are with plastic bags; with paper you can just put fragile things on the top of relatively full paper bags.
Even if you ask for paper, it is likely the bagger ends up using a couple plastic bags. They are useful for loose, awkwardly shaped items (like that last loaf of bread that didn't fit anywhere else), for separating meats from items that could become contaminated, and for separating things that could potentially melt.
Once produced, plastic bags are difficult to degrade naturally. They can exist for hundreds of years, even thousands of years. Because plastic bags are cheaper to produce, American grocery stores generally choose them. But San Francisco is restricting consumer use of plastic bags. Starting in April last year, the city will only allow the use of biodegradable plastic bags or renewable paper bags. Biodegradable plastic bags can decompose in months instead of hundreds. Whether it's paper or plastic bags, environmentalists advocate the same thing: they should be recycled. They went further and pointed out that the best option, of course, is to use a cloth bag and always bring your own bag.