Circare has switched over to brown paper shopping bags. Why? Because these new bags are made in the US from 100% recycled materials.
Our plastic bags are also made in the US and sourced from either domestic natural gas and/or recycled plastics collected in the US.
Paper or Plastic?
Our customers frequently ask us which is better for the environment. The environmental impact of either is small and can be reduced even further if they are later reused or recycled. The thing to watch for is where and how they are made.
Paper bags, of course, are made from trees. In North America, companies grow trees specifically for paper and construction products. These companies do not “slash and burn” as they often do elsewhere in the world, but instead practice sustainable forestry; not only because of the environment, but because it is a sustainable economic model. Pine trees grow quickly and are harvested from managed forests.
Plastic bags which are produced in the US are made from domestic natural gas, not foreign oil. Before natural gas can be used as a fuel, waste products must be removed. One key by-product is known as “Ethane”. The “Ethane” is converted into polyethylene which is then made into many products including plastic bags.
US plastic bags are made from a by-product of processing natural gas. Most foreign resins are still made from Middle-Eastern oil, including those “eco-friendly” reusable bags.
Remember seeing pictures of oil wells in Iraq and Saudi Arabia with those plumes of flame on top? That is the gas they have been burning off for years. Ever see one of those plumes on a US well?
Our infrastructure allows for the collection and processing of natural gas into plastic resin and other products such as fertilizers, while the infrastructure in Asia and the Middle East doesn’t (although they are working on it in Saudi Arabia). Even when the Saudis do make polyethylene available, it comes back to a dependence on foreign trade and not on domestic production.
Bottom line…Buy paper and plastics made in North America.
Why does all this matter?
We live here, too.