Did you know that there are about 16 plastic bags for every 1 meter of coastline? A plastic bag takes about 100 years to decompose, they are decomposed into small pieces and floated on the ocean.
Meanwhile, a paper bag is biodegradable in about 2-4 months, contributing to slowing down climate change. This article will explain the various benefits of using paper bags.
1. Why is paper bag an important part of paper recycling?
According to a survey by global market research firm IPSOS for 7 European countries:
- 79% feel more comfortable holding and touching paper products.
- 93% agree that paper is sustainable and should be used more for packaging.
- 86% agree that if they can choose between packaging made from paper or other material, they will choose paper packaging.
- Besides, most consumers are interested in environmentally friendly packaging:
- 70% support the ban on the use of disposable bags, and no decomposition in supermarkets.
- 80% agree that only materials that are biodegradable under natural conditions are called biodegradable items (that is, they can decompose in soil, freshwater or marine environments).
Paper bags are a renewable resource and a constantly growing resource. Due to the nature of being able to decompose in the wild after 2 to 5 months, paper bags will not have much effect on marine life.
Besides, paper bags are an important factor in developing the brand image. Consumers value paper bags for the benefits they bring.
2. Paper bags are made from natural materials
Wood is the raw material used in manufacturing and is the main source of paper production. This natural resource is renewable and growing. Sustainable forest management includes protecting water resources, developing new species research, protecting biodiversity as well as improving the welfare of forestry workers.
All parts of the tree are thoroughly used at harvest time to avoid waste. Stems are commonly used for sawn timber and pulpwood. The roots, branches and tops of the trees are used for bioenergy needs. Trees are pruned and waste from the sawing process is used to make pulp.
As a result, paper products such as paper bags are 100% natural, renewable and biodegradable.
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standard paper bags mean the wood materials to make those paper bags are sourced from strictly managed forests for harvesting accompanied by maintenance and reforestation. Therefore, these paper bags are rated more environmentally friendly than others.
Khang Thanh is recognized as one of the packaging companies providing FSC-standard products, licensed FSC-C137179.
3. Paper bags store large amounts of CO2
Paper is a natural and renewable material. As young trees grow, they absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. Moreover, as a wood, paper product also continues to store carbon throughout its lifetime. Every 1m3 of wood will absorb 1 ton of CO2 and emit 0.7 tons of O2.
Statistics show that the average annual carbon storage of European forests reaches 719 million tons of CO2 per year. This is equal to the annual amount of CO2 emissions generated by Germany, including the energy, manufacturing and construction industries, transportation, households, agriculture, and waste. Or the equivalent of 209 coal-fired power plants.
CO2 continues to be stored until the trees are cut down, and produced into products such as wood and paper bags. Meanwhile, 1kg of storage paper is equivalent to 1.3 kg of CO2 until they are recycled.
4. Paper bags minimize the impact on the climate
All industrial activities regulate the environment. The life cycle assessment (LCA) can be used as a measure of the environmental impact of manufacturing processes. One of those effects is the Global Warming Potential (GWP).
IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute has conducted a study on greenhouse gas emissions between the production of paper bags and plastic bags.
The conclusion has proved that paper bags – manufactured with pure or recycled fibers – have less impact on global warming (GWP) than Polyurethane bags – are manufactured using LDPE, thermoplastics made from Ethylene monomer is regenerated or recycled.
5. Paper bags are recyclable and biodegradable
- Europe is the world leader in the field of recycled paper:
- Paper recycling rate in Europe is 71.5%.
- 59 million tons of paper are recycled each year
- Every second 2 tons of paper is recycled.
- In Europe, an average of one paper bag is recycled and reused 3.5 times.
Large paper recycling plants operate under the Environmental Management Systems (EMS – Environmental Management Systems) with high environmental standards.
In cases where heavy products are needed, natural kraft paper bags will be more prominent because of their high strength and mechanical strength. A paper bag can be reused many times if the quality is good and the design is beautiful.
However, paper recycling also faces some difficulties such as:
- Sturdy – because cellulosic toughness decreases with every recycling.
- Quality – certain products like high-class artwork can only be made with fresh cellulose.
- Usable – some paper products cannot be recycled, such as books, photos, or self-destruct paper products when used (toilet paper or cigarette paper).
About 8 million tons of plastic waste is dumped into the ocean each year, equivalent to 16 plastic bags on 1 meter of coastline. Plastic waste does not decompose, crumbling into smaller pieces and mixing into the food source of marine life.
If a plastic bag is more than 400 years old to biodegrade, a paper bag is biodegradable in 2 to 5 months – significantly reducing its environmental impact.
Moreover, use paper bags that are safer and more environmentally friendly than plastic bags. If you are in need of domestic or export paper bags, but wondering about the standard, time, quality, we can make everything easier.
Khang Thanh – The packaging company in Vietnam specializes in producing paper bags, rigid box, labels, hangtag, books, calendar, POSM and so on. Contact us to support your brand with the right packaging: