Is There A Paper Bag Shortage With All The Plastic Bag Ban Going On?

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According to, eight states have already banned the use of single-use plastic bags. This is creating an increased demand for paper bags as a wonderful alternative. There is great fear of the increasing demand for paper bags. Fortunately, paper bags are made from trees that are regrown to avail material for producing more bags in the future. Additionally, paper bags are readily recyclable and compostable to limit shortage in the market.

Recycling paper bags

Shopping bags are made from paper which is bio-degraded or pulped to form new paper bags. This eliminates the chances of a shortage in the market. As many people are running away from the use of plastic bags, paper bags are a wonderful environmentally friendly option. Recycling paper bags is so easy especially those without plastic coating, ink, or other contaminants. Brown paper bags are unadulterated making recycling them very easy.

Kraft paper bags

These are available in white and brown. Kraft paper bags are from chemically produced pulp. This paper has high elasticity backed with exceptional tear resistance for strong and durable packaging. Additionally, Kraft paper bags are recycled through pulping to form new bags or shredded to become filler for use in packaging various products. Kraft paper bags are compostable or biodegradable to limit the impact on the environment.

Composting paper bags

One of the motivations to buy brown paper bags is environmental friendliness. Unadulterated paper brown paper bags are easily composted in about 12 weeks for an energy-efficient solution to extract environmental value. This process requires the use of brown and green materials. Cardboard, plain brown paper, and dead leaves combined with grass clippings or kitchen wastes are great for fuel composting.

Paper bags are recyclable and compostable including those having grease proof coating. However, the process requires treating organic waxes. Bags with plastic lining or those treated with chemicals are not easy to compost or recycle. This is because separating paper and plastic becomes a problem during the recycling process. each material is recyclable but differently through particular treatment.

How consumers compost paper bags to protect the environment

Composting is a popular way to handle organic waste in households. The popularity of the use of paper bags comes with a problem of environmental impact. Apart fromrecycling, composting alleviate any impact of paper bags on the environment. A compost bin in the backyard is filled with garden waste including soil, grass cuttings, and leaves before adding compostable waste like paper bags and food left-overs.

Over time, worms and microbes in the compost bin begin digesting the materials. The process might take some time depending on the contents in the bin. Afterward, it leaves a lovely rich soil additive for use to fertilize the garden for home-grown veggies. More compostable materials are added to be digested similarly. 

Reusing paper bags

Another way how paper bags protect the environment is by reusing them. Shoppers can use their shopping bags more than once. Luckily, paper bags are durable and strong to limit rears, damage, or splitting after a single-use. Even industrial paper sacks and bags are reusable as rubbish bags to collect organic waste for adding to the compost bin. Additionally, the rubbish bags are picked for recycling. Paper sacks are reusable as packing material for protecting delicate items or lining pet trays in homes.

Strategies to limit a shortage of paper bags

Bulk orders

With about 16 paper bag production facilities across the US and Canada, business owners should have a strategy to limit shortage. According to Novolex, New York expects a shortfall of about three billion paper bags likely to last about five years until the entry of more suppliers. To maintain a ready supply of paper bags in business, making multi-year supply contracts with suppliers is a great idea. This is true for bulk orders of customized paper bags in anticipation of the great demand resulting from the ban on plastic bags.

Encouraging reuse

Additionally, encouraging shoppers to reuse their paper bags allows mitigates against potential shortage. Customers averagely use a paper bag about three times before it tears. With customers coming with their paper bags, store owners limit the demand for packaging materials from their suppliers. This lowers the chances of creating a shortage in the market.


Paper is from trees grown in production forests. These have fast-growing wood harvested in cycles of about 5 to 10 years. The production forests including seedlings and growing trees that effectively capture carbon. This production approach encourages the availability of wood products without logging old forests.

Sustainably sourced paper from trees comes with certifications including Forest Stewardship Council. This categorizes paper using various tree forestry and logging standard to maintain a steady supply to the market for paper bag production. The production forests are regularly re-afforested to ensure supply to the papermaking industry.

Bottom line

The ban on the use of single-use plastic bags has stimulated demand for paper bags. Maintaining a steady supply of paper bags requires reuse, recycling, and regular afforestation of production forests.

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