Paper Bags

Plastic Bags

Highly biodegradable within a month or less under the right conditions

Reusable around the house, garage and for more shopping trips; strong

Easily recycled

A large percentage of recycled material is used in manufacturing

Made from primarily virgin material
Manufacturing process releases fewer emissions

Weigh less, so require less fuel to transport and take up less space in landfill

Reusable around the house, garage, and for more shopping trips; can be used for wet trash and other items

Made from wood, but that's a renewable resource

Weigh more, but can carry more groceries, so you use fewer

Somewhat biodegradable, over a period of hundreds of years

Manufacturing process releases sulfur dioxide into the air

Made from petroleum, a nonrenewable resource

Can be difficult to find recycling outlets