+

Paper Bags and the Environment: A Sustainable Choice for a Greener Future

With the population of India reaching approximately 1.42 billion according to the UN, the use of single-use plastic is growing simultaneously, posing a greater threat to the environment. From bottles found in the water bodies to bags left on the side of the road, plastic usage is evident everywhere. According to a Plastic Industry Status […]

With the population of India reaching approximately 1.42 billion according to the UN, the use of single-use plastic is growing simultaneously, posing a greater threat to the environment. From bottles found in the water bodies to bags left on the side of the road, plastic usage is evident everywhere. According to a Plastic Industry Status Report, India’s demand for plastic was 20.89 million tonnes in 2021–2022 and is expected to increase to 22 million tonnes by 2023.
The mounting plastic pollution is impacting each and every element of the environment in unimaginable ways. Plastic waste, when ends up in water bodies, poses a serious risk to marine life. And when it enters food chains through agricultural soils, terrestrial and aquatic food chains, and the water supply, it winds up releasing toxic chemicals, rendering them accessible for both direct and indirect human exposure and negatively affecting their health.
In response to the increased plastic footprints and environmental hazards associated with the plastic, individuals are increasingly turning to sustainable alternatives. Amongst others, one such solution that has gained greater traction is switching to paper bags. Due to their eco-friendly and versatile nature, paper bags have come to represent the global movement towards a greener future. According to Future Market Insights, the worldwide paper bag market produced revenue of over $ 5.2 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach $ 8.2 billion by 2033, with Asia Pacific regions witnessing a significant rise in consumption of paper bags.

Paper bags: An eco-friendly alternative
Made out of renewable materials, paper bags biodegrade naturally over a shorter amount of time than plastic, making them safe for environmental usage. A plastic bag takes about a thousand years to decompose in a landfill. Paper bags, on the other hand, can be reused and recycled as frequently as desired, adding to their life.
In addition to having a longer lifespan, paper bags require substantially less energy during manufacturing, resulting in lower greenhouse gas emissions and a reduced carbon footprint. Much like manufacturing, the recycling process of paper bags also demand less energy, resulting in more efficient use of precious resources.
Given the energy-saving abilities of paper bags, they are certainly deemed to be fit for the environment. Contrary to paper bags, the inability of plastic to break down and its propensity to stay in the environment for an indefinite period of time, causes environmental pollution and renders it inappropriate for the ecosystem. Whereas paper bags are largely biodegradable, ensuring that they break down naturally without releasing any hazardous pollutants, returning to the soil as organic matter. As a result, due to this natural decomposition process that decreases its detrimental effects on environment, wildlife, and the welfare of humans, makes paper bags a safer and more ethical alternative.

A step towards a greener future!
The negative impact of plastic on the environment cannot be refuted. Given its slow decomposition and contribution to both land and ocean pollution, plastic is certainly inappropriate for environmental use. This calls for the need to switch to alternatives which are more eco-friendly in nature.
Environment-friendly, biodegradable, and easily decomposable, paper bags come in as a safe choice, contributing to a greener future. According to IPMA, paper consumption in India is expected to increase by 6 to 7% per year, reaching 30 million tonnes by 2026-27. This data precisely highlights that paper usage is destined to rise in the future, making paper bags a priority for environmentally conscious individuals.
Additionally, as we progress towards a cleaner future, sustainable and eco-friendly solutions will pick up steam, with paper bags emerging as a popular option. Casting a positive impact on the environment, paper bags will certainly create a better world for future generations to come.
The author is a Founder and CEO of Adeera Packaging.

Tags: