In the early days of supermarkets, food was sold on paper. The first grocery store in the U.S., opened by an Italian immigrant, Antonio Scarpitta, sold his products from a cart on paper bags. Today, these same paper bags are widely used to bring home groceries and other items. They come in so many different shapes and sizes that they’re virtually impossible not to use. But did you know that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure?
The history of paper bags began with their introduction into the United States during World War II when paper sacks were needed for transporting goods overseas. After the war, the demand for this product remained high, but the supply was limited due to the scarcity of pulpwood. In 1947, Kraft introduced a new process called “wet-pressing” which allowed them to make a pulp out of cellulose fibers rather than wood. This new technology enabled the company to produce up to 50 million tons of paper per year. However, the price of paper increased dramatically as more trees had to be cut down to meet this production volume.
In 1948, American Paper Mills Association (APMA) created a committee to study the viability of using recycled paper in place of pulpwood and discovered that about half of the waste paper discarded daily could be reused. The result was the first ever paper bag made entirely of recycled materials. The first commercially successful paper bag was produced at the APMA-sponsored New York State Fair in 1949 by the Syracuse Cordage Company. It took the shape of a large, flat, oval basket and was designed to hold two gallons of milk.
This breakthrough led to further innovations. In 1951, the paper industry introduced its first disposable plastic bags. Since then, the number of uses for paper bags has continued to grow. In addition, they’ve become increasingly durable and convenient. And now, because so much of what we buy comes wrapped in plastic, paper bags have even taken on the stigma of being environmentally unfriendly. But if you think that means people stop buying them altogether, you’d be wrong.
According to the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), Americans bought $9 billion worth of paper bags in 2015 alone. That doesn’t include the billions of paper bags brought home every day by shoppers who don’t buy anything in the store. And there are plenty of reasons why shoppers continue to choose paper over plastic:
- They’re lightweight and easy to carry.
- When not in use, paper bags can be folded or rolled up for storage.
- They provide superior protection against moisture, dirt, pests, and odors.
- They fit easily through standard doorways and around fixtures such as sinks and toilets.
- Paper bags are recyclable and biodegradable.
- They’re less expensive than conventional plastic bags.
- Paper bags also work better in hot weather since they don’t melt like plastic does.
- They don’t take up valuable shelf space or require refrigeration.
- Paper bags are available in a wide variety of colors, textures, and sizes, making it easier to find just the right one for the job.
And finally, paper bags are usually free. Many stores give them away as part of a loyalty program; others simply allow customers to take them. Still other retailers offer coupons and discounts to entice customers to purchase paper bags instead of plastic ones.
Hopefully it is clear that using the paper bags will make the shopping option a convenient option for the people. Even when they will make use of the paberkotid logoga, it will be a good option for thr expansion of the business. A person should try to use the bags of the paper on a large scale.
But while paper bags have revolutionized the way people shop, they have their downsides too. For example, they can be very heavy and bulky, taking up lots of room in your car trunk or backseat. On top of that, they can break easily if dropped or mishandled. If you have pets, you’ll need to keep them inside when shopping. And if you live near an ocean, the saltwater makes them more susceptible to rotting.
According to Consumer Reports, paper bags can last anywhere from three to ten years depending on how often they’re washed and stored properly. But once you start using paper bags, it becomes hard to switch to any other type of carrier. So unless you want to go back to carrying your purchases around in your hands, you might as well stick with paper.
As consumers become increasingly aware of the environmental impact of single-use plastics, paper bags are becoming a victim of their own success. While it may seem wasteful to throw something away after just one use, paper bags are actually far worse. Because most paper bags don’t decompose quickly enough to avoid piling up in landfills for decades, they end up contaminating our oceans, rivers, streams, and groundwater. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, a mere 10% of all paper bags end up in recycling plants. The rest get tossed in the garbage. And that’s only counting those that can be recycled.
So if paper bags aren’t the worst thing in the world, what are they? Well, for starters, they’re made from petroleum. And according to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average consumer uses about 100 pounds of oil each year just to manufacture and transport their plastic shopping bags. That adds up to over 20 million barrels of crude oil. As a result, the EPA estimates that Americans will collectively burn through 2 billion gallons of gasoline to dispose of their plastic bags every year.
That’s not even including the fact that plastic bags leach chemicals into water supplies. A 2007 study found that a typical family of four uses 100 pounds of plastic each year. And although some states are starting to ban certain types of single-use plastic, such bans don’t apply to paper bags because they’re not considered hazardous waste.
While it’s true that paper bags are often cheaper than plastic bags, they cost you money in other ways. For instance, they can be harder to recycle. And they cost retailers extra to ship and store. While it may seem like paper bags are just another form of packaging, they’re actually a unique product for themselves. There are no substitutes for paper bags. Not even paper straws. So while it’s tempting to try to reduce the amount of paper bags you use, remember that you’re still taking advantage of one of mankind’s greatest inventions.