21 Things You Should Know About Paper Bags

Here’s a list of 21 cool things about Paper Bags compiled from a list of Frequently Asked Questions encompassing everything you need to know about Paper Bags from manufacturing to application and waste management.

1. Are Paper Bags Better Plastic Bags?
From an environmental and eco friendly perspective, Paper Bags are better as they are deemed compostable and/or biodegradable and do not add to waste in landfills as is the case with Plastic Bags. From a cost and efficiency perspective, Plastic Bags are cheaper and generally offer more tensile strength to carry weight.

2. What are Paper Bags used for?
Paper Bags with Handles can be used as Shopping Bags for Retail, Takeout Bags for Hospitality and any other application involving goods where a user needs a handle for ease of carrying. Paper Bags without handles can be used for carrying grocery, bottles, lighter products – also referred to ask SOS Paper Bags or Grocery Paper Bags.

3. What are SOS Paper Bags?
SOS is referred to as Self Opening Satchel Paper Bags. These bags do not have a handle and they usually have a ‘thumb-cut’ on one of the sides of the paper bags for convenience of opening.

4. Are Brown Paper Bags more eco friendly than White Paper Bags?
Brown Paper Bags are generally made with recycled content, sometimes up to 100% recycled content, whereas White Kraft Paper Bags are generally made with Virgin Content which maybe bleached white for presentation purposes. More recycled content implies lesser use of fresh pulp thereby more eco friendly.

5. Is there a difference in strength of Brown vs White Paper Bags?
The recycled content in Brown Paper Bags makes the paper bag strength weaker when compared to White Paper Bags which may be made with Virgin Pulp – i.e. stronger raw material on it’s own.

6. What are the Disadvantages of using Paper Bags when compared to Plastic Bags?
Paper Bags unlike Plastic Bags are not waterproof. Paper Bags take more storage space than plastic bags. Paper Bags are more expensive than Plastic Bags.

7. Can Paper Bags be customised with branding and logo printing?
Yes – all paper bags including paper bags with handles, SOS paper bags and Paper Bags with Windows can be custom printed with the desired artwork, logo, etc.

8. Can you make any size of Paper Bags i.e. any Length, Width or Height?
Paper Bags can be made in a variety of industry standard sizes however there are minimum and maximum measurements for each i.e. Length, Width or Height. Standard Sizes are made with Automatic Machines and Custom Sizes which are beyond certain manufacturing capabilities, are generally made manually.

9. How many pounds can a Brown Paper Bags hold?
Different sizes and paper bag constructions prescribe different weight carrying capacity. Brown Paper Bags (or Grocery Paper Bags) are generally referred to as their weight carrying capacity in the marketplace. For example: 20 LB Paper Bag implies it can carry up to 20LB of weight.

10. Why are Paper Bags Eco Friendly compared to Plastic Bags?
Paper Bags decompose faster than plastic bags and can be recycled/repurposed thereby promoting a circular economy and reducing demand for new raw material to be produced for making new bags.

11. Are Paper Bags Compostable?
Generally, yes – Paper Bags are considered compostable in an industrial compost unless they have a lining or a plastic film window of any kind.

12. What is better for Paper Bags – Composting or Recycling?
Given the nature of the raw material and application – it is environmentally friendly to Recycle Paper vs Composting it as the Recycled Content can be re-used for another Paper based application vs fresh pulp to be manufactured into Paper. By Composting Paper, it removes the raw material from the supply and demand cycle.

13. How much do Paper Bags cost?
The prices vary depending on size, raw material used, production quantity, factory location and plain or custom printing. The average price of Paper Bags from the smallest to the largest can range anywhere between US$0.04 to US$0.90 cents per bag.

14. What are Yard Waste Bags made of?
Yard Waste Bags or Lawn Leaf Bags are made of high tensile strength paper sometimes double waled for extra durability.

15. What are Paper Bags made of?
Generally, Paper Bags are made of recycled paper which is collected and processed in a recycling paper mill. Unless required, Paper Bags are also made from virgin pulp extracted from trees, which is a renewable resource.

16. What do FSC Certified Paper Bags mean?
FSC™ stands for Forest Stewardship Council. FSC™ certified paper means that the paper used in the making of paper bags, is made from responsibly sourced wood fiber. It may also include Chain of Custody Certification as per FSC™ website.

17. Are Paper Bags Reusable?
If handled properly, Paper Bags can reused till their construction is intact. You can fold and store unused Paper Bags at home or in office for carrying items when you need to.

18. Where can I buy Paper Bags?
End Consumers can purchase a variety of Paper Bags from a supermarket or neighbourhood variety store. Small and Medium Businesses can purchase Paper Bags from a Wholesale Paper Bags Supplier. Large Businesses which may require a large quantity of paper bags or Custom Paper Bags can procure directly from a Paper Bag Manufacturer.

19. What options does one have when ordering Paper Bags with Handles?
Paper Bags with Handles including Flat Handle (made with Paper), Twisted Handle (Twine Paper), Die Cut Handle (a D shaped cut to insert fingers inside), Rope Handle or Ribbon Handle.

20. Does one need to have the same color of handles as the color of the Paper Bag?
No, you can choose a different handle color from the color of the paper bag.

21. What are the types of Paper used in making Paper Bags?
Paper Bags can be made with Recycled Kraft Paper (mostly Brown), Virgin White Paper, White Cardboard, Coated Paper, Offset Paper and Newsprint Paper.

Paper Bags are a great alternative to plastic bags as they are environmentally friendly, are able to carry reasonable weight and custom paper bags allow brands to add their logos and other messaging to create a personalized product and allow for advertising opportunities.