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Tip of the Week #15: Plastic or Paper?

by Nadya Zhexembayeva on 18th January, 2011 at 8:02 PM CEST

It is an age old question - paper or plastic? What kind of bag should you use at your grocery store, market, or clothing shop? Which one is best for the planet - and all of its inhabitants?

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The debate on this issue has been ranging for years - and much of details and impacts have already been considered (see, for example, a six-page spread on the issue from But for us, the Challenge:Future crew, the answer is simple: NEITHER!

And thus, the tip of the week is rather simple: stuff your backpack, pocket, bicycle or car with a small durable long-use bag, and get on with life:

You can buy a ready-made re-usable bag (here is just one example of what is out there on the market), make your own (here are 35 cool ideas on the grocery bags you can make), or compete in Challenge:Future Competition 2011 and get a free reusable bag as Summit 2012 participant - but whatever way you go, remember: Paper or Plastic? Neither!

As always, your CF fans, Nadya and Dan

You might also like:

Tip of the Week #13: How Far Did Your Sugar Travel Today?

Tip of the Week #9: Upcycle: the treasure in your trash

Tip of the Week #8: Ready to trash your party?

Tip of the Week #7: Give it color or a second thought?

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Aik Heng Yap

Aik Heng Yap | Action team

don't know if it's well known elsewhere but my friend once taught me how to fold plastic bags so that they can be carried around and reused..
folding plastic bags into triangles: =cidF66-LXng

20th January, 2011 @ 4:04 AM CEST

Yen Ching  Liew

Yen Ching Liew | Action team

my mum teach me how to fold plastic bags into triangles, too! ^^

24th January, 2011 @ 8:25 AM CEST

Karina Poveda Coto

Karina Poveda Coto | CF Chapters

I think it is better to reduce the use of bags when no longer needed, plus you can use cloth bags that are more resistant and can be used hundreds of times.
you can reuse the bags you already have in your house.

10th February, 2011 @ 3:47 AM CEST

Maria del Rosario Chavez Lazarte

Maria del Rosario Chavez Lazarte

karina very good contribution, I also think that a solution could be to use cloth bags as these can be used many times and could only be washed, another option could be the little known woven bags with dried plant leaves, which are woven palm leaves Metal framed or another having similar but much more recistentes wing material, since for more than the amount that is very heavy wear these do not break just about take care to keep clean and will reduce the impact of plastic and paper

11th February, 2011 @ 5:53 AM CEST

María Gabriela

María Gabriela

to start its production requires energy and transport, thus increasing global warming directly. It takes 200 years to degrade, thus increasing the amount of waste, transport of this and it is a pollutant, affecting both air and can affect water. We can eliminate this use and reuse all those who give us other, because this end is going to affect us, we protect what we are entrusted.

14th February, 2011 @ 4:47 AM CEST

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