Life Cycle Assessment of grocery carrier bags
The Government of Denmark LCA of grocery carrier bags found that thin plastic shopping bags have the lowest environmental impact of all bags in their marketplace and that reusable bags have to be reused multiple times to provide the same environmental performance of the average conventional LDPE carry bag reused as a waste bin bag before incineration.
They measured the carbon footprint and global warming impact of each reusable by comparing each reusable bag against the environmental impact of a thin plastic bag used just once; the thin plastic bag was used as the standard.
This piece of science found that the minimum number of reusable bag reuses to equal the environmental impact of the thin plastic shopping bag was very high.
The Nonwoven PP Reusable had to be reused 52 times and the Woven PP Reusable had to be reused 45 times to equal the environmental impact of the thin plastic bag used just once. Similarly, Recycled PET Reusable Bags had to be reused 84 times; Polyester PET bags – 35 times, Unbleached paper – 43 times, and Organic Cotton – 2,000 times.
Government of Denmark Life Cycle Assessment