Here are the Pros and Cons of Paper or Plastic Bags

One of the many decisions you have to make as a business owner is how to present yourself to your client. Small details of how you run your business can be the difference between whether someone comes back or not, so no detail is too insignificant. When deciding what kind of bags to offer your customers, research the pros and cons of each bag type.

Here are some advantages and disadvantages to weigh when deciding which product is best for your customer base:


Plastic grocery bags vary in design, material, and style. Empty plastic t-shirt bags and thank you bags are the most common styles for businesses. Consider the pros and cons of offering plastic bags to your customers:


Sanitary – Due to the non-porous nature of plastic, bacteria and viruses cannot live well on its surface. Many cities around the world are promoting the use of plastic bags instead of paper bags due to COVID-19. They are even preferred to reusable cloth bags.

Stops Leaks – Also, due to its non-porous nature, a plastic bag can prevent leaks from escaping. This will prevent a customer from contaminating their car or home, especially in the food industry or when dealing with liquids, where damaged or improperly sealed products could leak.

Flexible – Plastic bags are also flexible, so they can accommodate different sized and oddly shaped items. It also makes them easy to pack, which can save time at the checkout.


Costly for customers – Some states require customers to purchase plastic bags to discourage people from using plastic bags. Customers can be unhappy about having to pay anywhere from 10 cents to a dollar per bag just to bring their stuff home. As this movement gains popularity, you may want to consider whether your customer base will be offended by this additional fee.


Paper bags also come in a variety of sizes and styles. There are quite a few varieties to choose from, with or without handles, white or brown, small lunch size, or large grocery size. Here are some pros and cons to consider with paper bags:


Sturdy – Paper bags can generally hold more volume and weight than plastic bags. Therefore, customers tend to use fewer paper bags than plastic, which saves you money and supports waste reduction.

Shows Brand Well – Paper bags are tougher so they better show your logo while being carried. This is particularly useful in the retail industry, where customers can walk around a mall or mall with a virtual flyer for your brand.

Eco-Friendly Image – There is a lot of debate over whether plastic or paper is better for the environment, and each option has its pros and cons. However, the general public is still under the impression that paper is more environmentally friendly. If you are building a green brand, your customers may prefer paper bags.


Not waterproof – Consider the climate your business is in. Are you in a city with heavy rain? If so, you may not want to offer paper bags to your customers. Since paper bags are not water-resistant like plastic, they get wet and tear easily, and they can probably annoy your customers trying to enter their house with their belongings.


One last thing to consider is the option to customize your bags, whether you choose plastic bags or paper bags. While there is a small additional cost to customize your paper or plastic, grocery brands have been doing this for years to increase name awareness. Whether you highlight your business name or logo, your brand will stay with your customers for many uses!