Will More Laws Help or Hurt?

What can the impact of legislation be on paper bags?

Paper bags are a great environmental choice for consumers and should not be included in bans. The complimentary use of renewable trees and recycled fiber makes paper bags one of the most sustainable products in the world.

An increasing number of state and local governments are introducing legislation that would ban plastic or paper bags, or put significant fees on paper bags. This effort to include paper bags is unnecessary and does not reflect the advantages of paper over plastic to consumers and unfairly affects their choice and pocketbook. International Paper believes paper bags have many advantages:

  • They naturally decompose and are compostable. Ocean trash collected is made up of about 80% plastic.
  • They are not a threat to marine wildlife due to suffocation, drowning or starvation.
  • They are made from a renewable resource. The U.S. Forest Products Industry plants 1.7 million trees every day.
  • They are highly recycled. EPA data shows that 63.5% of paper and paper-based packaging is recovered for recycling. Plastic recovery rate is between 10-13%.

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