For some, it’s a non-issue. You can carry your lunch in a plastic grocery bag that would even serve as a cooler, while others can’t stand the smell or the taste of most paper bags.
A few years ago I had a small disagreement with a man. He thought I was completely out of line when I said “paper bag?” when I gave him the refill of his drink from a paper bag. He said if he was going to buy a soda out of a paper bag, then he was going to buy a damn bottle of the soft drink, and that he didn’t want to put that much soda in a paper bag.
Fast forward to today. We had paper bags at our office with a pizza lunch. After having multiple paper bags being used, I thought about this fellow, and figured “maybe he wasn’t exactly bothered” and figured it was easy to see it wasn’t going to be a problem.
I worked a lunch shift and sat down with my slice of pizza. Just as I was about to eat the slice, I noticed a couple behind me also eating pizza.
The guy was using a paper bag. And that’s where it started. I didn’t look at them. I didn’t look back. I told myself I had absolutely no idea what they looked like, so it didn’t matter if they were in the paper bag. If it seemed OK, then that was good enough.
Another thought comes to mind. Is paper food bad for the environment? In general, yes. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, paper produces much more waste, is of less quality and is more likely to have contaminants. Paper takes longer to compost, and creates less oxygen for the environment.
I just wonder how the pizza guy looks back on using paper? The paper bag could have been used for a cooler. A paper bag is still going to be used for the pizza and the cooler?
I’ve done some more research, and I don’t think the paper bag is a bad idea for the future. Paper is readily available and it’s cheap to use. While the smell of paper is no longer desirable, paper is relatively easy to reuse. Paper food packaging might be more like compost, but paper bags are definitely a good idea.
You can buy paper food packaging with the pizza dough wrapped inside or you can use two pizza boxes, one with the dough wrapped inside and another pizza box without the dough. That seems like a good idea to me.
And besides paper, there are plenty of non-paper options that will benefit the environment. We know the waste is bad, and plastic can be good for the environment, but it’s not always the case. Plastic bags are still popular and probably will be for the next few years. But paper bags seem like a good way to make it an easier transition.
If the pizza guy is in the paper bag and if the pizza tastes good, then that’s good enough for me. Hopefully we’ll be able to live with our current options for a few more years.
What do you think? Is it too soon to have paper food packaging? Are paper bags more convenient than the plastic ones? What is your opinion about paper food packaging and paper food packaging in 2021?