Paper vs Polythene | Which is better?

The Great Debate! Paper vs Plastic.

We often receive a lot of questions about paper vs polythene (or plastic as it's more commonly known), and which is better for the environment. We've put together some information to show you just how much better for the environment polythene can be, provided people recycle it after use.

We understand that converting to Paper packaging products can be the only option commercially, for your customers and for the environment, but we'd ask you to consider the below. You can see our other blogs about using and switching to eco-friendly packaging here.

We are absolutely committed to sourcing recycled products wherever possible, and are constantly working with our suppliers and customers to reduce packaging waste. You can see our range off eco-friendly packaging here.

The Facts

  • It takes 91% less energy to recycle 1lb of plastic than it takes to recycle 1lb of paper.
  • It takes more than four times as much energy to manufacture a paper bag as it does to manufacture a plastic bag.
  • For paper production, forests must be cut down (trees are absorbers of greenhouse gases) and then the subsequent manufacturing of paper produces greenhouse gases. The majority of paper products are made by heating wood chips under pressure at high temperatures in a chemical solution. The use of these toxic chemicals contributes to both air pollution, such as acid rain and water pollution. These chemicals can pollute waterways; the toxicity of the chemicals is long-term and settles into the sediments, working it's way through the food chain.
  • Toxicity is generated as both plastic and paper products degrade. Paper products generate 70% more air and 50 times more pollutants than plastic bags.
  • It would take approximately seven lorries to transport the same number of paper bags as can be transported by a single lorry of plastic bags.

If you're aiming to switch to paper great move, but firstly take into consideration the points above and below.

Why is it that you want to change?

  1. Are you switching to paper for your customers? If so excellent move, highly recommended.
  2. Are you switching because of cost? Costs won't compare as plastic is more cost effective.
  3. Are you switching to reduce your plastic waste? This will combat waste and is recommended although there are plenty of alternatives to single-use plastic without using paper.
  4. Are you switching for the environmental impact? 9 times out of 10, your new paper packaging is more harmful.

Why is there so much information about Paper being better then?

Good question and let us provide a simple answer.

Paper packaging is more environmentally friendly in the fact that some products are produced using recycled materials, and paper products are 100% recyclable. Also, paper packaging is more aesthetically pleasing, can protect your products better, and avoid the plastic tax due to be introduced in 2022.

#FactOfTheDay - the paper gummed tape has a better seal on cartons than plastic tape does. Worth bearing in mind....

What's not made note of is the manufacturing process, which involves a lot of harm to the environment and many paper products just don't stack up against plastic products.

Don't wait another moment. Get in touch to discuss how we can change your plastic usage.