Paper bags a better choice for enviroment than plastic

Good for Everett for outlawing plastic bags (“Everett City Council approves ban on singe-use plastic bags,” The Herald, Dec. 6). It has been said that when civilization has been destroyed two things will remain: cockroaches and plastic.

Excess carbon in our atmosphere is the main cause of global warming which is already causing serious consequences. There is an aspect of reducing plastic that many have not considered. Plastic containers will in many cases be replaced with paper containers. Used paper may be recycled if clean. If not it goes into the garbage which then goes to landfills in desert areas of Eastern Washington. This paper will probably remain without degrading and releasing carbon back to the atmosphere for decades if not centuries. This is a form of carbon sequestration.

Paper is generally made from fast-growing trees from tree farms all over the world. These trees are growing faster than we are harvesting them and they remove huge amounts of carbon from the atmosphere. A high-quality tree goes into building material and that is another way carbon is sequestered for a long period of time. The poorer quality trees go into paper. Timber farms support the local economy and are removing carbon from our atmosphere.

Hooray for replacing plastic with paper!

Richard Guthrie


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