Paper, Plastic Or Veggie-Based Bioplastic? Paper, Plastic Or Veggie-Based Bioplastic?
The Planet

Paper, Plastic Or Veggie-Based Bioplastic?

by Andrew Price

November 8, 2007

There's been a torrent of information and opinion recently about how you should transport your groceries. To us it seems pretty clear: reusable canvas bags are best for minimizing waste and pollution. (Check out this early video of ours to get our take in a colorful, danceable package.)

But if you forget your canvas tote (and we sometimes-to-most-of-the-time do), you're stuck choosing between paper and plastic.

This essay at Slate touts biodegradable, corn-based bioplastic bags as a better alternative. They require a lot less fossil fuel to make, and wouldn't fill up our oceans.

But Slate concludes that, because bioplastic bags cost about $.05 more than paper or plastic, "the bottom that they're not going to show up in mainstream supermarkets until prices come down significantly."

Yeah, but that's only a problem if the grocery stores have to foot that bill. What about giving people the option of bioplastic at checkout for an extra $1? Grocery stores in eco-conscious cities might be able to make money on that.

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Paper, Plastic Or Veggie-Based Bioplastic?