The 'enemy ' used to be plastic bags, with paper manufacturers promoting paper as an environmentally-preferred alternative. Now, in some areas, paper is also seen as part of the ‘problem’. Below are arguments from both sides of this coin: European Paper Bag Day, which promotes use of paper, and from New Jersey, USA, which has passed legislation to outlaw a number of single-use items, in which paper bags will also be caught.


European Paper Bag Day

The 18th October is "European Paper Bag Day". This day draws the attention of consumers to the paper bag as a sustainable packaging option. Starkraft celebrates this special day by providing local businesses with paper bread and shopping bags.

This annual event takes place on 18th October, in 2019 for the second time. The day aims to raise awareness of paper carrier bags as a sustainable and efficient packaging option for the future. Consumers should be encouraged to refrain from using hard-to-decay plastic carrier bags and switch to the more environmentally friendly paper bags.

Paper bags are made from long, strong fibers which makes them a very robust shopping companion. To boost sustainability therefore, paper bags can be re-used several times. Paper bags produced in Europe in particular, are made from renewable raw materials, that are produced exclusively from sustainably managed, European forests. In addition, they are biodegradable and compostable in two to five months.

At Starkraft we celebrate the "European Paper Bag Day" by providing all the businesses within the vicinity of Pöls free shopping and bread bags.

The European Paper Bag Day will take place on 18 October every year. It was launched by “The Paper Bag” platform in 2018."The Paper Bag" platform comprises of leading European paper munufacturers and producers of paper bags and is steered by the organisations CEPI Eurokraft and EUROSAC.

In a world facing changing requirements due to globalization, climate change and the scarcity of raw materials, consumers are increasingly adopting sustainable lifestyle choices. Using paper bags is an expression of this modern, responsible lifestyle – it helps to fight climate change and reduce plastic waste in the environment. Taking responsibility for the environment can be that simple – and it is an important cornerstone of preserving our planet for future generations.

New Jersey Bans Single Use Bags

Paper-bag ban passed by New Jersey legislature would be first in nation. The bill, which now heads to Gov. Phil Murphy, would also limit single-use plastic bags, polystyrene takeout boxes, and plastic straws.

A man carries a bag containing meals, face masks and other personal protective supplies during a distribution to residents in need outside the NAN Newark Tech World in Newark, N.J., on May 6,

The New Jersey Legislature on Thursday passed a sweeping bill that would make the state the first in the country to ban single-use paper bags at supermarkets.

The bill, which would also prohibit single-use plastic bags and limit the use of polystyrene takeout boxes and in some cases plastic straws, now heads to Gov. Phil Murphy.

The governor's office could not immediately be reached for comment Friday. But his spokesman, Mahen Gunaratna, told The New York Times that Murphy supports the legislation.

"The governor is proud to support the strongest bag ban in the nation,” the spokesman said. “This bill will significantly reduce the harm that these products cause to our environment.”

Environmentalists in the state praised the legislation as an important measure to help curb pollution from plastic, paper, and polystyrene.

“New Jersey Assembly voted to pass the strongest single-use ban on plastics in the country to prioritize our wildlife and our communities over endless plastic waste polluting our waterways,” Doug O’Malley, the director of Environment New Jersey, said in a statement.

Eight other states have passed bans on the use of single-use plastic bags in supermarkets, including New Jersey neighbor, New York state, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Some of these states have temporarily eased their bans amid the pandemic due to concerns over the possible transmission of coronavirus through reusable bags.


New Jersey’s bill would ban single-use plastic and paper bags at supermarkets

It would also prohibit any business that sells or provides food for consumption on or off their premises from providing polystyrene takeout containers or foam cups that hold more than two ounces of liquid, and requires that plastic straws be given to customers only upon request.

Murphy in 2018 vetoed a bill that would have added a 5-cent fee on single-use plastic carryout bags.

"I cannot support this bill," Murphy said in a statement at the time. "While well intentioned, the approach reflected in this bill strikes me as incomplete and insufficient."

Republican lawmakers opposed the bill, saying it would harm small businesses already hurt by the pandemic.

“This bill impacts manufacturing plants in New Jersey and New Jersey jobs during this terrible economic and pandemic time,” said Dennis Hart, the executive director of the Chemistry Council, which represents plastics manufacturers.

Sept. 25, 2020, by Stefan Sykes