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What is the best substitute for plastic bags in the world?

Plastic bags were born in Austria 100 years ago. When it was first invented, plastic bags were widely used in every corner of civilized life. in the past 100 years it got another title "almost the worst invention", people have fully realized the shortcomings of plastic bags that cannot be degraded and difficult to recycle - this was the biggest advantage at the beginning of the invention - How much damage can be caused, in order to correct With this erroneous invention, people have to continue to dig deep into material science, hoping to find the best alternative to plastic.

So, with the development of technology, until today, what is the best substitute for plastic bags in the world?

Many people may say that it should be a paper bag. You see, a paper bag has many advantages. First, it is composed of natural materials, which means that it can be completely degraded, and there is no requirement for the degradation environment. It has enough strength and toughness while maintaining a thin and light volume just like plastic bags, it can directly replace the current position of plastic bags in supermarkets, convenience stores or fast food restaurants. With these two points, paper bags should be The perfect alternative to plastic bags.

Unfortunately, this is not the case.

The first is that the strength of the paper bag is actually provided by plastic. If it is a paper bag without any additions, it is the same as the printing paper you often see. It is not strong and cannot resist moisture and grease at all. If you want to make a paper bag with similar strength and liquid resistance as plastic bags, the best way to do this is to add another layer of plastic film to the paper bag - there is no point in replacing plastic bags at all.

In addition, it should be emphasized that the process of manufacturing paper in modern industry will produce huge water pollution and air pollution, which is even more serious than the pollution of plastic manufacturing. However, because of our dependence on paper, we have to Continue to paper in the face of these pollutions. Therefore, it is not a very reasonable choice to replace plastic bags with paper bags.

What about reusable linen or cotton shopping bags?

Linen or cotton is a natural plant material, it can be degraded completely harmlessly and is much stronger than plastic bags and paper bags. It can carry much more things at one time than plastic bags and paper bags, so can it replace plastic bags?

First of all, the reusable shopping bag has undergone more processing steps, so its production process produces far more carbon emissions than the production process of single-use plastic bags, according to a 2018 British study: a cotton bag The production carbon emissions of a plastic bag are 131 times that of the production of a plastic bag, which means that if you buy a reusable shopping bag and you only use it once and throw it away, it is equivalent to throwing it away 131 plastic bags, so if you are going to replace plastic bags with reusable shopping bags, remember to reuse them, if you can guarantee that the shopping bags can be reused, then it is a good plastic bag replacement .

However, there are still some defects in linen or cotton shopping bags that are difficult to make up. First of all, it is quite bulky. The thickness of a linen shopping bag is close to the thickness of 20 plastic shopping bags. and, the fabric shopping bag cannot withstand liquids at all. Any liquid that gets into the fabric shopping bag will escape in seconds, leaving the floor around you dirty and slippery along the way.

In addition, we also have degradable plastic bags as an option, which can be degraded into natural materials harmlessly and safely. As an alternative to plastic bags, degradable plastic bags have the same appearance and texture as ordinary plastic bags, and have similar performance. In fact, if not the price of degradable plastic bags is a little more expensive, it is basically no different from ordinary plastic bags.

This stuff sounds like a perfect replacement for regular plastic bags.

Degradable plastic bags can be divided into degradable plastic bags and biodegradable plastic bags. These two things seem to be indistinguishable. In fact, degradable plastic bags and biodegradable plastic bags are produced with completely different materials.degradable plastic is Made of synthetic polymers, it can be degraded into powder by water, oxygen, and ultraviolet light, but this degradation is not complete, and it may also contain a small amount of toxic residues; while biodegradable plastic bags are more advanced, it can pass Water and microbes work together to degrade into completely natural materials (advanced biodegradable plastic bags are called compost bags), but as you can see, it needs microbes, and microbes need oxygen, which means that if you sent it to the landfill and buried deep underground, and it will stay there as long as ordinary plastic bags, and there will be no degradation process at all.

At this point, we have learned about several materials that may replace plastic bags. In fact, products that can perfectly replace plastic bags may not exist yet. We may still be entangled with plastic bags for a long time, but if we can improve our lifestyle, and make good use of these substitutes, we can abandon ordinary plastic bags in our daily life, and a better attitude to life is the perfect substitute for plastic bags.

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