A Web site called Climate Culture got some attention today for an interesting Top 10 list -- the Top 10 Green Myths. A few of the "myths" have a plastics angle: No. 6: Given a choice between paper and plastic bags, go with paper. Fact: From a standpoint of carbon emissions, they're equally bad. Plastic is worst from a solid waste perspective. (But plastic is a littering problem in many places.) Most environmentally friendly of all, as you already know, is bringing your own resusable bags [which is, admittedly, easier if you aren't buying groceries for a family of four]. and, No. 9: Buy milk in paper or glass cartons if you have the choice. Fact: Because half-gallon plastic milk jugs use much less material, they have lower life-cycle greenhouse-gas emissions than glass or paper containers of the same size. Judy Lowe of The Christian Science Monitor's Bright Green Blog challenged Zeke Hausfather, executive vice president of energy science at Climate Culture, to share the science behind the "myth" claims. Here's what he had to say. Regarding paper vs. plastic bags, he said: "Paper and plastic bags both require comparable amounts of energy per bag for production, given that paper bags are considerably more massive than plastic ones, though paper bags are slightly preferred. Data on lifecycle carbon emissions for paper and plastic are taken from FRIDGE: Socio-economic impact assessment of the proposed plastic bag regulations. Other reports argue that paper bags have higher lifecycle GHG emissions, though methodologies and analysis boundaries differ across reports." On the milk packaging question, he wrote: "This is based on a the revised version of the comprehensive lifecycle analysis of plastic, paper, and glass half-gallon milk containers from Franklin Associates."
Top 10 green myths
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