How Fast Do Paper Bags Break Down in Landfills?

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Summary: The reasons why recycling paper is the most crucial thing that we will ever do.

There is an endless debate on social media and other online forums on the topic, paper versus plastic. A lot of people feel that paper is the best material than plastic for numerous reasons, especially since plastic did cause so much damage to the world than we can ever imagine. 

But, if you sit back and introspect not keeping any biases, you will soon realize that paper is as much harmful as plastic is. 

Since we think the paper is better than plastic, we all started to purchase paper bags. But you are contributing significantly to the damages caused to nature when you do not sit back and think about these things. 

The only way to overcome this problem is to recycle the paper instead of throwing it in the landfill. Since many do not understand this concept, they are not doing it. Having a clear understanding of this theory will help the globe in unimaginable ways. 

Here are the reasons why you should be doing this thing:

Time It Takes to Decompose

Paper is one of the materials that will have a high demand not just in America but all around the world. In the year 2017, the global production of paper and the cardboard is around 419.69 million metrics tons. While China was topping the chart, the US was second in the line producing almost 72 million metric tons of paper and cardboard in that year. 

Imagine how much amount of paper goes to the landfill every day. It is something that we cannot even imagine. Paper takes around two to six weeks for the paper to get decomposed in landfills. The conditions in the landfill are not apt for the paper to decompose faster as there is not enough air, oxygen, and sunlight. 

Wastage of Virgin Materials

We will waste a lot of virgin materials when we do not recycle the paper. Paper recycling helps in using the available materials wisely. Companies that produce paper spend almost four times more energy when creating paper than when they do plastic.

If we do not recycle the paper, we will be contributing to this factor. The best thing that you can do when you get a paper bag is to fold and store it in the cupboard instead of discarding it. This way, you will not waste energy. If the bag has a tear and is not useful, you can place it in the recycling bin than to throw it in the garbage. 

Covers More Space Than Plastic

We all understand the fact that paper takes more space than plastic. When we dump paper bags or other related goods in the landfill, they are going to occupy a lot of space. As a result, the landfills are full as there is too much paper wastage that we have every day. If we want to reverse this condition, we need to plan on recycling the paper instead of throwing it in the dump yard. Now, this is a simple task. All of us need to commit to doing this task.

Increase in Pollution

Most of us believe that plastic is the biggest contributor to pollution on the earth. But, if we sit back and check the stats and contemplate the damage that paper is causing, you will be startled. 

Paper bags can easily contribute upto 70 percent of air pollutants in the air and almost 50 percent of pollutants in the water when you compare it with plastic. 

Without our knowledge, we are contributing to significant damage to the environment. If we want to stop this, we need to plan on recycling the paper. We need to empower people who are still in ignorance in this matter. 

Save Energy By Choosing Recycling

We can save more than 91 percent of energy when we choose to recycle after we purchase paper bags and use them. It can also help in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The landfills than can be used to use to dump other materials that are difficult to recycle. 

Do not forget the fact that paper is thick and weighs more than the plastic. Shipping it will cost you a lot of money on fuel. Do you know that you can save almost 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, and 7000 gallons of water for making one ton of paper? On top of it, you will be saving space of almost 3.3 cubic yards and around 4000 kilowatts of energy by choosing to recycle the paper. 

With the energy we will save in the process, we can provide power to the average homes in the US for the next six months. Now, this is not a small achievement. One can recycle the paper for almost seven times before discarding it. 

These are key reasons why you should plan on recycling paper than throwing them in the trash. 


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