Thursday, August 09, 2007

Plastic or paper ?

In Indonesia when people take their groceries from the store plastic bags was commonly use to wrap the goods. While paper bags is more friendly to environment, plastics takes years to completely degraded. I have seen many dead river, river with no running water densely packed with plastic waste, in big cities in Indonesia. "Is paper bags are the worthy replacement for plastic ones ?", I used to think so .. but reading articles from , turns out none of them better than the other.
It's a question you're asked all the time, Paper or plastic? What's the environmentally correct answer? Simran says it's really neither. More than 380 million plastic bags are thrown away in the United States every year, and those plastic bags can take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade in landfills. And while paper bags do eventually degraded, an estimated 14 million trees a year have to be cut down to make 10 billion paper bags.
Even bottled water is not healthy as you think it was.
When you buy one liter of water at the store, you're actually buying about six liters of water, Simran says. That's because when manufacturers make plastic bottles, it takes five liters of water to cool the plastic. One thing to consider if you buy a plastic bottle is its grade. Look on the bottom of the bottle for a small plastic triangle with a number in the middle. If you see a number 2, 4 or 5, the bottle is safe. If it has some other number, don't use it as a water bottle. Those other plastics can make your water taste like plastic and leach harmful chemicals into your body. "You don't want your water tasting like plastic," Simran says. "If you're tasting plastic, you're ingesting plastic."
Due to economic decline over the years, many plastics manufacturer in Indonesia tend to use lower quality polymers in their products. Sometimes I found an plastic bags with strong odor and sticky surface. I would not know what kind of chemical was used to produce them , but I knew they were harmful and toxic materials. Being exposed to them just in minutes, I immediately having nausea and felt dizzy. But with many things that going wrong in this country, bird flu; coming election; drugs; human trafficking; Lapindo Mud crisis, I doubted that anyone will notice.

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