Dr. Kay Cooksey, Professor
Cryovac Endowed Chair
Dept. of Food, Nutrition and Packaging Sciences
Students: Michael Amico, Kaitlin Elliot, Gillian Fruth, John Kirkland, Josh Layfield, Benjamin Lagare, Isaac Levin, Adam Mcdonnough, Anna Miller, Marcus Mrazeck
Abstract: In reaction to the public's rising concern for environmental footprint, many cities across the country are reducing, and even eliminating the use of plastic bags for retail use. Through examination of current literature and case studies comparing the environmental effects of paper, plastic and reusable bags, we plan to uncover the unbiased truth on each of their environmental footprint, and in the process, debunk any myths and rumors concerning grocery and retail bags. We seek to examine the underlying reasons for the public's concern of single-use bags, and even packaging in general, and address each of these issues by researching and finding the unbiased facts about their true impact on the environment. In addition, legislative actions and consumer and industry response to those actions will be illuminated. Ultimately, we will propose the best solution concerning bag material for retail use based on economic, social and environmental impact.