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Top Environmental Benefits of Paper Bags People want to use paper bags because they are easy to carry, clean and can hold items for a good duration of time

By Gaurav Jalan.

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Paper bags have been part of trade and commerce for more than centuries. Traditionally cloth and jute bags were used to pack goods in larger quantities during its transfer from manufacturer or farms to retailers and shopkeepers then used the paper bags to distribute smaller quantity goods to end customers. In fact, paper bags are still used by small food retailers like – sweetshop owners, street food vendors, bakers and by small vegetable sellers.

On the other hand, a paper bag's structural firmness and surface feature made it ideal to print high-quality images, logo, designs better as compared to a plastic bag, and that made paper bags a hit for fashion, luxury and premium gift packaging industry.

However, the contribution of a paper bag in business and commerce gradually remained restricted due to the industrialization and betterment of plastic packaging options that had higher endurance, strength, and capability to protect products, especially food item from the external environment –increasing the product's shelf life. In fact, plastic ruled the global packaging industry for the last 5 to 6 decades. During these times, the world witnessed the ill effects of non-biodegradable waste of plastic packaging on the global environment. Plastic bottles and food packages congested the oceans to maintains, marine and land animal spices started to die with plastic deposits in their digestive systems, land fertility degraded due to plastic deposits in the soil.

Till 90's these problems were spoken and written primarily in the circle of newspapers, scientific studies and in world summits. Then in the past few years, the effects of pollution started to hit the city people and day to day life of the common man. People now are falling sick due to polluted air, normal people (especially in Indian metropolitan cities) are now appreciating organizations, government bodies and individuals who are taking environmental responsibility steps.

In such a scenario adopting paper bags adds to brand appreciation. Either due to government ban or proactive steps to win customer appreciation, organizations gradually adopting biodegradable packaging solutions and using paper bags.

Nowadays the paper bag is a new trend. One can witness people carrying paper bags from almost from every place. People carry them to schools, offices and retail stores. Thus, it is very important to go for a creative solution as well. So that it can benefit both the business and most importantly the environment.

This trend has gained popularity owing to the people and businesses becoming more aware of the ecological surroundings. Also, several individuals want to use paper bags because they are easy to carry, clean and can hold items for a good duration of time.

Paper bag Manufactured from Eco-Friendly Sources

Unlike past, the perception that paper means deforestation, today paper, and paper bags largely are not made from the tree rather uses eco-friendly solutions like-

Sugarcane waste (Bagasse): today paper is manufactured from the pulp waste that is left after sugar is made from sugarcane.

Straw: Yes, paper can be made from straw fibers too and if it is implemented effectively in rural India, it can encourage farmers not to burn crops rather sell the straw for a price.

Jute twine is used to make high-quality writing and specialty paper.

Coconut husks are usually discarded but the fine is now being used to create a paper with a thick texture.

Elephant excreta: Yes, you heard right, even paper is now manufactured from elephant poop. The nature-friendly bags are generally made out of the materials that are quite easy to get decomposed by bacteria and other microorganisms present in the atmosphere. Hence, they take very less time to disintegrate into simpler forms.

Hence, they take very less time to disintegrate into simpler forms.

Environmental Benefits of Paper Bags

1. Bio-degradable

First, paper bag waste is not going to linger on the surface of the earth for the next 1000 years, unlike plastic bags. Humans for next 1000 to 10,000 years possible don't end up losing all marine animals on the sea, rivers, lakes, and ponds with plastic pollution or they may not end up losing most land's fertility due to plastic mixture in topsoil – if world sifts from plastic to biodegradable paper packaging. In fact, most paper bag waste takes less than 6 months' time to degrade and, in most cases, they end up turning fertile waste for vegetation.

2. Recyclable

Paper bags are commonly 100% recyclable. Unlike plastic that emits extremely toxic and poisonous gases in the atmosphere during the recycling process, the paper is the recycling process involves no such hazard. . The top reason for using paper bags. Paper bags can be reused and generates no pollution. This is the point why both as a business owner as well a customer they should promote the use of the same.

3. Paper is Energy Saver

Besides several benefits of using paper bags, one of the reasons why it is so environmentally-friendly is that it helps in saving huge amounts of energy. It is usually made from locally available materials, which in terms of supports in transportation costs eventually help in saving energy.

4. Paper Bags Are Quite Helpful In Conserving Natural Resources

The big environmental convenience of using paper bags is that they are extracted from unbleached, recycled brown kraft paper a superb solution to save natural resources, energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In conclusion, it will be said that there is now no doubt that one needs to adopt more eco-friendly alternatives to save the planet. One great way to do such is by forging the use of paper bags. Thus, it is high time that one switch over towards the use of eco-friendly paper bags.

The above points discussed the benefits of using paper bags were related to the environment solely. As already stated in the beginning that paper bags are also beneficial in protecting your eatables. Just see some of the edible items for which paper packaging is a boon.

Gaurav Jalan.

Founder & Director, Packman Packaging Pvt Ltd.

Gaurav Jalan is the Founder and Director of Packman Packaging, one of the largest Indian packaging company that has been serving some of the world’s eminent technology, pharmaceutical, retail, fast-moving consumer goods, food, courier, publication, Jewellery, fashion, e-commerce organizations for the past 30 years.

A brilliant academic, a good graphic designer and a graduate from India’s top management institute IMT Ghaziabad, Mr. Jalan is a visionary businessman and an eminent spokesperson on matters related to the Indian Packaging industry.  He has witnessed and as well as participated in the growth process of India’s packaging industry’s that was few billion dollar the market in 2010, grew into USD 31 billion in 2015 and is expected to turn$72 billion by 2020.

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