The Future of Paper Bags

Say no to plastic bags!

Environmental pollution has been a part of our lives since birth. Remember those “Save a tree, save a life” slogans that were broadcasted on TV? Yes, those are very relevant even today. With passing years, the government of the country has been more diligent in preserving the environment by planting more trees, controlling deforestation, and reducing the emission of harmful pollutants in the environment. As a result, we have become more cautious about the use of plastic in our daily lives. Today, the shopkeepers hand us over the goods in polythene bags of more than 75 microns because microns of lower value are already banned in India. This limit is expected to rise till 120 microns by December 2022. With effect from July 2022, the application of single-use plastic will also be banned as has been confirmed in the Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021.

So, what does it mean? Very simple, it’s apparently going to work as a boon for the paper bag market. A report by imarcstates that the paper bags market in India is likely to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 6.5% throughout 2021-2026. Having said that, the next phase of the discussion should be able to explain the growing demand for paper bags in India.

Paper bags vs. Plastic bags

Paper bags are environment friendly which implies that paper bags can be degraded in soil with the gradual infestation of bacteria. On the other hand, plastic bags will take thousands of years to decompose. Plastic bags often emit toxic gases during recycling, while paper bags are cent percent recyclable minus the emission of harmful gases. Paper bags can be reused without triggering any sort of disturbances in the ecosystem and more importantly, it can be used over and over again. But when we indulge in using plastic bags, we pave the way for clogged drainage systems and eventually, some destructive floods.

A fascinating news article by Forbes sheds light on the other ways through which plastic manufacturers could prove to be a threat to the planet. For instance, Ineos, the British multinational chemical company that owned 75 manufacturing units around 22 countries including the US has actively been adding up to the pile of plastic wastes in these countries. Additionally, the countries have been witnessing repetitive cases of explosions, fires, and chemical leaks, thanks to the chemical giant.

Finally, the adverse effects of using plastic could be observed among the wildlife as well as the marine life where the animals accidentally ingest plastic bags or get entangled in plastic bags ending up in a tragic death. Such deaths in large numbers could lead to imbalance in the ecosystem.

Concluding thoughts

Although plastic bags have gained huge popularity over the years, it’s high time we switch to paper bags for the sake of our environment. Considering the growing demand for paper bags, that day is not too far when plastic bags will be history and paper bags will be the trend everywhere. On top of that, there are enormous chances of introducing creative ideas through paper bags, which would have a mass appeal on the fashionistas. After all, we deserve to live in a healthy ecosystem watching our plants and kids grow amidst the greenery. And it’s only possible if we could bid goodbye to plastic bags.