Energy and Air Emissions


Michigan Environmental Education Curriculum
Life Cycle Analysis of Paper and Plastic Bags

During each step of a bag's life cycle, energy is consumed and air pollutants and other wastes are emitted as by-products.

Play with the following animation to see how the levels of pollutants and energy consumed change depending onthe number of paper vs. plastic bags. It's divided according to the different life cycle stages.

Alt | Win

Note: The comparison is being made with pairs of plastic bags vs. single paper bags, due to the difference in capacity that exists."Paper bags can hold twice as many items as plastic bags."

Pollution over France

Urban Smog


A packed standard-sized paper bag can hold up to 14 items, an average plastic bag often holds 5-10 items.

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