1. What is a recycled paper bag?
Recycled paper bags are made from recycled paper, is a scrap and waste paper, and reprocessed to turn into new paper for various purposes.
According to data from paperbag.org, a paper bag is reused or recycled 3.5 times on average before being completely discarded in the European region.
What kind of paper bag can be recycled? The popular material for making recycled paper bags is most types of bags such as shopping bags, coffee paper bags, gift bags and food bags.
However, some kinds which are unable to be recycled consist of plastic film, wet and greasy stains or unremovable food.
2. Decode symbols commonly found on recycled paper bags?
Mobius Loop: A popular symbol that shows this paper bag is used to recycle.
Mobius Loop: There is the symbol of recyclable products because the internal number indicates the percentage of packaging made from recycled materials. It helps to encourage consumers to recycle the bag after use.
The Green Dot: If you see this symbol on a paper bag, it means that the manufacturer can have a certain contribution to the recycling of that bag.
FSC: FSC certified product symbol, meaning that this paper bag has a clear origin – the source of wood produced and managed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), balances between environmental protection values and social benefits of related parties (producers, society and local people).
Read more: 5 Surprising Benefits Of Using Paper Bags
3. Extraordinary benefits of recycled paper bags
3.1 Saving on production costs
The following figures will surprise you about the benefits of paper recycling. On average, every ton of paper is reused, so we can save:
24 forest trees in nature;
The amount of sufficient oxygen for 12 people to breathe in a year;
39,084 liters of water is enough for 875 baths,
5 minutes each, and provide adequate water for 3,000 toilets flushing;
Nearly 4,000 kWh of electricity is enough for a 3-bedroom house in 1 year;
605 liters of crude oil;
Limiting the amount of CO2 equivalent to the emissions of a car for 6 weeks (diminishing 95% pollutant emissions compared to the production process of 01 ton of paper made from wood).
This demonstrates that using recycled paper will economize a significant amount of budget and workforce for businesses and society, as well as protect the environment in an effective way.
3.2 Reducing CO2 emissions
The faster young trees absorb CO2, the more older trees are likely to store it. Therefore, if you use recycle paper, the number of old trees for wood will decrease, which helps reserve more CO2 in the tree and reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Every 1m3 of wood will absorb 1 ton of CO2 and emit 0.7 tons of O2.
Statistics illustrate that the average annual carbon storage of European forests reaches 719 million tons of CO2 per year. This figure is equal to the amount of annual CO2 emissions which is generated by Germany, including the energy, manufacturing and construction industries, transportation, households, agriculture, and waste. Otherwise, it estimates the equivalent of 209 coal-fired power stations.
3.3 Recycle and decompose easily
According to the research from American television channel – NBC, most paper bags contain at least 35% recycled material or more. Paper bags are able to go on be processed and reused after one use, while many other companies do not approve the recycling of plastic bags because they can cause issues about obstructing machinery or require a more complex handling process.
A plastic bag takes 500 – 1000 years to completely decompose, while a paper bag merely takes a few months. There is a great idea when you tear up paper bags and then put them into a compost pile.
3.4 Protection of marine life
These plastic bags can destroy the lives of thousands of marine creatures every year. Since it makes some marine animals mistakenly believe that they are edible food, the consequence is a stomach obstruction and many starving animals such as many sea turtles, whales or sea birds.
Paper bags have the capability of decay in water better, so the risk of harm to marine organisms is lower.
3.5 Promoting business brand
Using recycled paper bags is the best way to introduce customers that your business not only concerns but also contributes to environmental protection. This contributes to creating a positive image for the brand and attracting more customers.
4. Which elements are the quality of recycled paper bags affected?
4.1 Food stains, grease
It is thought that food stains on paper bags are one of the most difficulty in the recycling process. Grease and stains will not be a big problem because plastic, metal or glass is recycled by heating method.
However, many kinds of paper packaging, paper bags and paper boxes, which are mixed with water and into mud, it greatly affects the quality of recycled products if it does not remove grease and stains.
4.2 Components of paper bag
Most of the glue which uses for locating the bag such as hip stickers, bottom stickers and bag straps are easily dissolved in water. Therefore, many manufacturers of paper products are able to remove this glue during the recycling process.
There are many materials used to make bags of different sizes as well as colors like fabric, ribbons, cotton… As usual, recycled paper bags often have straps with twisted or folded paper that still can ensure aesthetic and environmentally friendly of the bags.
If bag straps are made of twisted or folded paper, they will be recycled together with the body of the bag. Nevertheless, bag straps will be removed before recycling if it is other materials such as cotton, ribbons, cloth…
Paper bags which use printing techniques, including hot stamping, lamination/ glossy lamination, UV coating – varnish, will also be considered for classification before recycling.
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KHANG THANH – HOUSE OF PACKAGING