paper or plastic?

There have been a lot of posts about how paper is kind of being phased out of our everyday life..that it is somehow a distant memory. I started thinking about how paper is represented and used in our society. Even though we don’t notice as much, paper is just as ubiquitous as plastic. Paper or plastic? Tho two are often compared and for some reason,  paper has always had the image of being “better” for the environment that plastic or foam. As Royte mentions in Garbage Land, when McDonald’s switched from styrofoam packaging to paper as if it was a positive thing for the environment. As demosntrated from the documentary Supersize Me, to think that the trash of McDonald’s paper packaging alone produces “enough garbage to fill the Empire State building. When posed with the question – paper or plastic? at a grocery store, I think the belief is still that paper is better for the environment than plastic., even though I think the cons are fairly equal (not too sure..but according to a few articles I read). We have also come to associate paper with money (tangible, real) and plastic with credit cards (over-consumption, gluttony)..also goes back to my earlier post about how we give these materials meaning and  associate them with grand ideas or themes. Words that are often associated with plastic are: fake, phony, unreal and paper is more: organic, natural.

Vicky

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