The Instigator
Pro (for)
3 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Shopping: Paper is Better than Plastic Bags

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/13/2013 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 983 times Debate No: 42303
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)




Paper bags are better for several reasons:
1. Paper comes primarily from trees. Trees are a renewable resource.
2. Paper can be recycled and reduce the number of trees needed to keep up with demand.
3. Paper bags are simply easier to pack and do not fall open in the car on the way home as easily as plastic.
4. For stores that still hire "baggers" (those hired to place the customer's goods in the bags for them), it is easier to finish packing paper and keep up with the checkout process.


To start I will address each of your points.

1. While trees are a renewable resource, this also promotes clear cutting of our forests. This destroys many ecosystems for the animals that live in these places.

2. It is true that paper bags can be recycled however, plastic bags can be recycled as well.

3. This seems like more of a opinion then a fact. I do know however, that paper bags are more prone to ripping, becoming wet which in result leads to wet items.

4. I believe this is an opinion.
Debate Round No. 1


1. About 2.1 million tons, or 6.8 percent of plastics generation in 2008 was actually recycled.(U.S. EPA) 1bout 1% in 2010 (
2. That is in spite of 80% of the nation having access to plastics recycling programs. (American Chemistry Council)
3. Opinion: Plastic bags rip far faster than paper when boxes with sharp corners are place in them.
4. Approximately 1 billion seabirds and mammals die each year by ingesting plastics. ( Just One Thing: Green Your Grocery Bags)


I believe that the people are at fault, not plastic bags. As you said 80% of the nation had access to a recycling program.

Paper bags produce 70% more air pollution then plastic[1] and 50% more water pollutants in production.

It takes more then 4 times the energy to produce paper bags[1].

It takes 91% less energy to recycle a pound of plastic to a pound of paper[2].

In 1999, 14 million trees were cut to produce 10 billion paper bags[2].
Debate Round No. 2
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by DudeStop 3 years ago
Not 500 words, characters.


That would be a character. You can set the highest one to 10,000.
Posted by bigcountry54 3 years ago
That was my first as well. Thanks! 500 words was a little low, I agree.
Posted by Tosui 3 years ago
Thanks for the interesting debate, it's my honest opinion that reusable bags should be used but this was a good topic.

Also my first completed debate, it was nice to have a formidable opponent. 500 words was tough though.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: This is very close, but con tipped it into pro's favor with sources actually in favor of paper bags. Keeping in mind, the common definition of paper is "material manufactured in thin sheets from the pulp of wood or other fibrous substances, used for writing, drawing, or printing on, or as wrapping material." Which makes the cotton reusable bags, in essence paper, like the dollar bill is cotton but still paper.