FFBD Environmental Issues

ABOUT FFBD | CONFERENCES | CONSUMER INFORMATION

Paper or Plastic | History of the Plastic Bag | Understanding Plastic Film | Bag Recycling Resources

Paper or Plastic: It's the perennial decision for today's grocery shopper.

Making a good choice for the environment is no longer as simple as knowing whether or not a product can be recycled. Recycling is just one of three very important factors to consider. See how plastic bags stack up in each of these areas.

History of the Plastic Bag

1957 The first baggies and sandwich bags on a roll are introduced.

1958 Poly dry cleaning bags compete with traditional brown paper.
1966 Plastic bag use in bread packaging takes over 25 to 30 percent of the market.

1966 Plastic produce bags on a roll are introduced in grocery stores.

1969 The New York City Sanitation Department's "New York City Experiment" demonstrates that plastic refuse bag curbside pickup is cleaner, safer and quieter than metal trash can pick-up, beginning a shift to plastic can liners among consumers.

1974/75 Retailing giants such as Sears, J.C. Penney, Montgomery Ward, Jordan Marsh, Allied, Federated and Hills make the switch to plastic merchandise bags.

1973 The first commercial system for manufacturing plastic grocery bags becomes operational

1977 The plastic grocery bag is introduced to the supermarket industry as an alternative to paper sacks.

1982 Kroger and Safeway start to replace traditional craft sacks with polyethylene "t-shirt" bags.
1990 The first blue bag recycling program begins with curbside collection.

1990 Consumer plastic bag recycling begins through a supermarket collection-site network.

1992 Nearly half of U.S. supermarkets have recycling available for plastic bags.

1996 Four of five grocery bags used are plastic.

Plastic Bag Resources

Recycle Plastics 365 - Pursuing Zero Waste




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