PAPER, PLASTIC, OR SOMETHING BETTER?
The next time the clerk at your favorite grocery store asks whether you prefer “paper or plastic” for your purchases, consider giving the truly eco-friendly response and saying, “neither.”
Plastic bags end up as litter that fouls the landscape, and kill thousands of marine mammals every year that mistake the floating bags for food. Plastic bags that get buried in landfills may take up to 1,000 years to break down, and in the process they separate into smaller and smaller toxic particles that contaminate soil and water. Furthermore, the production of plastic bags consume millions of gallons of oil that could be used for fuel and heating.
Paper bags, which many people consider a better alternative to plastic bags, carry their own set of environmental problems. For example, according to the American Forest and Paper Association, in 1999 the U.S. alone used 10 billion paper grocery bags, which adds up to a lot of trees.
But if you decline paper and plastic bags, then how do you get your groceries home? The answer, according to many environmentalists, is high-quality reusable shopping bags made of materials that don’t harm the environment during production and don’t need to be discarded after each use.
Experts estimate that 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed and discarded annually worldwide - more than a million per minute.
Disponível em: http://environment.about.com. Adaptado.
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