The shopping bag can pose a burden on the environment, especially when shoppers use disposable plastic bags. But which one is the most environmentally friendly? According to the study of University of Chemistry and Technology - UCT, which was commissioned by the Ministry of the Environment, it is reusable polyester bag. On the other hand, disposable plastic bags made of lightweight plastic (HDPE) represent the worst option.
The study used Life Cycle Assessment method - LCA to look at environmental impact of bags during their whole lifecycle. The study focused on six types of bags: made of lightweight plastic (HDPE), made of rigid low-density plastic (LDPE), paper bag with tapered ear, textile polyester bag (PES / PET) and two variants of textile bags, ordinary and organic cotton.
The worse result of disposable bags was expected, but the interesting finding is that "a cotton bag has a higher environmental impact than a polyester bag, even if it is made of organic cotton," says doc. Ing. Vladimír Kočí from the Faculty of Environmental Protection of UCT. In any case, all bags, no matter whether disposable, polyester or cotton, reduce their environmental impact and limit the generation of waste hand in hand with frequent usage.