Paper bags have consolidated their position as a natural alternative for retailers. In the last three years, there has been an increase of 45% in the number of Spanish retailers using bags made of this renewable, recyclable, biodegradable material, according to figures provided by manufacturers affiliated to the labolsadepapel (thepaperbag) organisation. Retail outlets in large cities account for three quarters of this growth, which will undoubtedly be boosted by new European legislation setting targets to reduce the use of bags made of materials that do not have the eco-friendly features of paper (natural, renewable, recyclable and biodegradable).
Paper bags for all types of retailers and uses
The Spanish retailer is committed to sustainable bags. The majority (60%) of retail outlets operating in the sectors of fashion and accessories, gifts, footwear, household goods, as well as opticians, now use such bags.
Bakeries and confectioners, as well as larger retailers that sell bread and cakes, are now using paper bags without handles for their products. 53% of these establishments have now opted for the paper bag.
The competitiveness of the paper bag value chain enables it to provide new responses to market needs, in the form of specialised paper and the design of more versatile bags aimed at different types of stores and consumer uses.
The natural alternative: renewable, recyclable and biodegradable
The wood used to make paper bags is cultivated on regenerated plantations on which trees are continuously replanted. These plantations are large CO2 sinks that help to slow down climate change. The carbon stored on the plantations subsequently remains within the paper products, such as paper bags, which store CO2. And the recycling of these bags extends the period of storage.
Besides being recyclable, paper bags are in fact recycled on a massive scale. In Spain, we recycle over 70% of the paper bags we use. And even if a paper bag does not enter the recycling process, biodegradation occurs within a period of between two and five months.