Frequent Questions

Are paper or plastic shopping bags better for the environment? How about reusable bags versus disposal bags?

EPA does not have information on the environmental benefits of paper vs plastic bags. The agency encourages consumers to reduce the number of bags they use and discard after one use; reuse bags to reduce the need for new bags; and recycle bags when they can no longer be used. 

Consumers can reduce waste through individual, everyday actions, beginning with the choice of reusable shopping bags. Reusable bags help to conserve energy; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; reduce marine debris by preventing pollution at its source; and avoid the environmental impacts to land, water, and air associated with extraction and production of raw materials.

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