Text and photos by West Coast Editor Steve Casimiro
You get it, right? Both plastic and paper shopping bags are bad.
Plastic is an easier villain. It lasts for centuries, kills hundreds of thousands of birds and water creatures a year, and is made from petroleum. Plus, only a small fraction of the 80 billion bags used annually are recycled. But paper has its own demerits. It’s bulky, expensive, requires more fuel to transport.
This is why Seattle’s proposed a 20-cent fee on every plastic or paper bag has more foresight than Whole Foods’ elimination of plastic bags, which takes effect today, Earth Day, April 22.