Wood is the raw material used in paper making and the key source for paper bags. This natural source is renewable and ever-growing. Forests offer a wealth of natural resources and potential to mitigate climate change. Sustainable forest management protects water sources, increases research in new species, protects biodiversity and looks after the welfare of forest industry workers. All constituents of a tree are fully utilised when a tree is harvested – there is no waste. They are 100% natural, renewable and biodegradable.
As young trees grow, they absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. Furthermore, as a wood product, paper also continues to store carbon throughout its lifetime. The carbon stored is not released when the tree is cut, but rather remains in the forest’s products, such as wooden products and paper bags. One kilo of paper stores 1.3 kilos of CO2 equivalents and this carbon sequestration time is extended when we recycle the paper.
Paper bags have a low climate impact while all other industrial activity impacts the environment. A study on greenhouse gas emissions caused by the production of different paper and plastic bags concluded that paper bags have a remarkably low impact on Global Warming Potential.
A cellulose fibre from a paper product can be recycled up to six times before it is turned into bioenergy or composted at the end of its life cycle. Recycling paper means reducing polluting emissions produced by landfills. If a paper bag was to mistakenly end up in nature, it would not harm the land or the ocean and their respective wildlife. It is biodegradable within two to five months without harming the environment, unlike other shopping bags that can take more than 400 years to decompose.
Experience shows that consumers repurpose shopping bags or use them for their next shopping trip. Regardless of the type of handle, paper bags are reusable, both for textiles and for other uses.
It is a fact, 21st century consumers prefer paper and 79% believe that paper is more pleasant to handle and touch. 93% agree that if they can choose between paper packaging and another material, they choose paper. 86% agree that paper is sustainable and should be used more as packaging.
Eight million tonnes of plastic waste are deposited into the sea each year. This corresponds to 16 plastic bags per metre of the world’s total coastline. Paper shopping bags are now a key factor in developing the brand image of shops and contributing to more sustainable habits. Contact us to discuss your branded paper shopping bags and check in to our blog page for more fun and factual pieces.