Brainerd Dispatch - Reader Opinion: Paper over plastic

Go paperless, save a tree! How many times have we heard or read that in the past few years? Good advice? Many times it is, but sometimes unexpected things happen. Take plastic shopping bags for example.

Overall, there appears to be advantages to the use of plastic bags until the problem of how to dispose of them became apparent. Now we are faced with serious costs of preventing our oceans from becoming contaminated with plastic.

It’s time to rethink this issue. Here are a few of the major reasons to use paper:

  • Paper is produced from a renewable resource, plastic is not.

  • Forests managed for pulpwood production are healthy forests. Trees are harvested and the land is replated while the trees are consuming carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen, which is becoming more important to the health of our planet.

  • Production of pulp and paper provides more jobs that the production of plastic.

  • Over the past decades we have learned how to satisfactorily recycle and landfill waste paper.

It is very easy to cast a vote for paper. When you are shopping and asked if you want paper or plastic, just say “paper please.”

Bob Hershey