Paper or plastic? How about neither

Written by ryan. Posted in Uncategorized


Published on January 25, 2011 with No Comments

“Paper or plastic?”

That is the major question shoppers usually face as they check out at the supermarket. However, both options take a major toll on the environment. It is estimated that somewhere between 500 billion and a trillion plastic bags are used each year throughout the world – many of them winding up in landfills, where it can take hundreds or thousands of years for them to decompose. And about 14 million trees are cut down each year to make paper grocery bags.

According to, recycling rates for plastic bags are extremely low. Only 1 to 3 percent of plastic bags end up getting recycled.

In addition, economics of recycling plastic bags are not appealing. From the process of sorting, to the contamination of inks and the overall low quality of the plastic used in plastics bags, recyclers would much rather focus on recycling the vast quantities of more viable materials such as soda and milk bottles that can be recycled far more efficiently. If the economics do not work, recycling efforts do not work.

Furthermore many bags collected for recycling never get recycled. A growing trend is to ship them to countries like India and China, which are rapidly becoming the dumping grounds for the Western world’s glut of recyclables. Rather than being recycled, they are cheaply incinerated under more lax environmental laws.

Increasingly, both by personal choice and by law, consumers worldwide are moving away from using paper or plastic bags. And they are choosing reusable grocery bags as a convenient and environmentally-friendly option.

California Innovations has leveraged their knowledge of insulated technology to develop a quality line of durable, reusable grocery totes. Their 45 Can Freezer Tote features high-density thermal insulation plus Therma-Flect Radiant Barrier, so groceries stay cold for hours. The interior is easy to wipe clean and has Microban, which helps protect the lining from bacteria that cause odors and stains. All of these grocery totes carry the Ultra Safe designation, which means that the interior of the bags is PVC free and lead and phthalate safe.

California Innovations’ innovative grocery totes help protect the environment because they can be used over and over – unlike both paper and plastic bags, which are often used once and discarded. Aside from the environmental benefits, reusable tote bags are far more durable, carry more groceries, and can easily double as a beach or picnic tote.

Practical, environmentally-friendly and insulated to keep food cold – seems like an easy choice for consumers.

For more information or to see more reusable grocery bags, coolers and lunch bags, visit or visit

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