Paper vs. Plastic Bags: Which One is Better for Use?

Are paper bags better than plastic? Which one should I use: paper disposable bags or the traditional plastic ones? Don’t worry, we’re here to give you the answer! In this article, we will understand some basic points of comparison between paper vs. plastic bags.

The fight between paper vs. plastic bags has been ongoing for quite a while. Both have their benefits and disadvantages, but judging by the new developments to boycott and duty the use of plastic bags and move towards paper disposable bags, it appears to be clear which choice is at present winning the race.

However, there are many factors behind the scenes that you may not be aware of. 

The overall assumption is that the paper disposable bag is more environmentally friendly than plastic, but is this valid?

To get the complete picture, we must look at the two choices all the more intently, starting from their manufacturing interaction and ending at their possible disposal.

The Issue with Plastic Bags: Contamination and Litter

American customers use more than 100 billion lightweight polyethene plastic bags every year, and just a little piece is ever recycled. Most recycling communities can't manage them — they simply obstruct the machinery — thus most plastic bags end up in landfills, where they can require as long as 1,000 years to corrupt.

In all honesty, a plastic bag doesn't cause too much damage sitting in a landfill. The more pressing issue arises when individuals don't dispose of their bags appropriately, and the plastic winds up fluttering around in the wild, clogging up streams and threatening wildlife.

'Four times as much energy'

In contrast to plastic bags (which the report says are delivered from the waste results of oil refining), paper expects timberlands to be cut down to create the bags. The manufacturing system, according to the exploration, also creates a higher convergence of toxic synthetics compared with making single-use plastic bags.

Are paper bags biodegradable? Yes! Paper bags also weigh more than plastic; this implies transportation requires more energy, adding to their carbon footprint, the review adds.

Also, if new woodlands are developed to supplant lost trees, this will assist with offsetting the environmental change impact, because trees secure carbon from the air.

The Issue with Paper Bags: Fossil Fuel Byproducts

So does that mean paper bags, which debase all the more easily, are a better choice? Not really. Environmental change has become the greatest environmental issue of our time, so it merits looking at things from an emissions standpoint. What's more, on that score, paper bags fare more terrible.

Back in 2011, Britain's Environment Agency led a life-cycle assessment of different bag choices, looking at every step of the creation interaction. The end? You'd need to reuse a paper bag something like three times before its environmental impact rises to that of a high-thickness polyethene plastic bag used just a single time. Furthermore, if plastic bags were reused over and again, they would look stunningly better.

Paper bags can all the more easily be recycled or even composted, but the British investigation discovered that even these activities didn't have a tremendous effect in the more extensive analysis. Except if you're reusing your paper bags a great deal, they seem to be a less fortunate choice from a global warming standpoint.

The Beginning of a Bag's Life Cycle

To understand whether paper bags are better than plastic, let’s understand the production process.


  • Toward the beginning of anything's life cycle comes the manufacturing system.
  • The manufacturing of paper takes a high measure of energy to create in comparison to plastic.
  • Paper bags take around four times more energy to deliver.
  • Paper bags require cutting trees, an energy-intensive pulping interaction, and, surprisingly, the use of toxic synthetics hurtful to the environment.
  • Then again, producing plastic bags conveys the most minimal environmental toll compared to other bag choices.
  • What's more, although the cycle involves the use of petrol, it brings about less fossil fuel byproducts, wastes, and hurtful results.

Reusable Paper Bags are a Good Choice — If you Reuse Them

That equivalent British analysis also investigated reusable choices, such as heavier, more sturdy plastic bags or cotton bags. What's more, it found that these are the only sustainable choices if you use them now and again.

Making a cotton shopping bag is not cost-free. Growing cotton requires a fair piece of energy, land, manure and pesticides, which can have a wide range of environmental impacts — from greenhouse gas emissions to nitrogen pollution in streams.

The investigation discovered that an eager customer would need to reuse his or her cotton bag 131 times before it had a more modest global warming impact than a lightweight plastic bag used only a single time. Furthermore, depending on advancement, more sturdy plastic bags would need to be used something like 4 to 11 times before they made up for their heftier forthright environmental costs.

So if you're going to select a reusable bag for environmental reasons, ensure you reuse it — often.

The Use of Paper vs Plastic Bags

When it comes time to finally use bags, paying little mind to type, the more you reuse them, the better it is for the environment.

Furthermore, since paper bags are easier to tear and are helpless to water, plastic bags also enjoy a slight benefit in this area. 

Studies have shown that to counter their environmental impact, paper bags must be used no less than three times compared to plastic bags.

However, paper bags (disposable) can be reused in other ways, for example, for expressions and specialities, and are even accessible in different specific types that neutralize the way that paper is for the most part less sturdy than plastic.

The Types of Paper Bags

Paper bags come in different structures, are practically all biodegradable and have some expertise in their specific tasks, which helps increase the bag's usable lifetime, making it an or more for using paper instead of plastic bags.

Some well-known types of paper bags include:

SOS bags

These paper bags are more resistant to fluids and ordinarily used for food focus points as they can fit two times as much as a plastic bag of a similar size.

Flat Bags

This type of paper bag is generally normal as it is multipurpose and can carry things ranging from organic products to books.

Shopping Bags

These bags remain closely connected with fashion and lifestyle brands. They are extravagant, charming and sophisticated with the appropriate use of brand marketing.

Bakery Bags

Bakery Bags with glassine and wax paper lining assist save the taste and freshness of perishable goods like bread, treats and coffee.

Scotchban Bags

Greaseproof bags that, as the name proposes, prevent greasy food varieties from leaking out onto your clothes or surrounding area. 

Furthermore, though this large number of different types of paper bags is magnificent, where the paper bag genuinely outshines a plastic bag toward the finish of its life cycle.

What's in the Bag Undoubtedly Matters More than the Actual Bag

The next point of comparison of paper vs. plastic bags is their functionality. It never damages to think about bag decisions. But remember that if you're going to the supermarket, the food you purchase and spot in that bag presumably has a vastly greater impact on the environment than whatever you use to pull it home.

Our global food framework, all things considered, is liable for one-fourth of humankind's planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions — with meat and dairy having a disproportionately enormous impact. On the other hand, packaging makes up around 5% of the food framework's footprint. Compared with, say, the impacts of clearing away vast areas of backwoods to develop feed or raise livestock, our bags are a much more modest arrangement.

Put another way, a pound of beef purchased at the store will have around 25 times the global warming impact as the disposable plastic bag it's conveyed in. So if you're looking for ways of slimming down your carbon footprint, taking a more critical look at your dietary decisions isn't a terrible spot to begin.

Paper vs. Plastic Bags: Conclusion

So what do you think? Are paper bags better than plastic or not? The answer is yes. Paper bags require marginally less reuse than bags for life to make them more eco-friendly than single-use plastic bags. 

Then again, paper bags are less sturdy than other types of bags. So if customers need to supplant their paper ones all the more oftentimes, it will make a more noteworthy environmental difference.

Are you ready to buy your paper bag? Visit Jet Paper Bags and start your shopping journey now! We’re not only the best paper bag manufacturing company in the US but also the most sustainable choice for environment-conscious people like you!