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    Eco-friendly paper bag in the size of 18 x 8 x 22 cm. The brown paper carrier bags have a high load-bearing capacity and are therefore very resilie...

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    Umweltfreundliche Papiertüte in der Größe von 22 x 11 x 28 cm. Die braunen Papier Tragetasche haben eine hohe Tragkraft und sind dadurch sehr belas...

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Paper bags - For the sake of the environment


Plastic bags are the epitome of environmental pollution and a waste of resources. Just 20 minutes of use, they remain in nature for centuries. Alternatives made from ecological, renewable raw materials are needed: Wisefood has developed stable paper carrier bags. It is organic and versatile.


Its end has already been decided: From January 1st, 2022, disposable plastic bags will no longer be available in Germany. This is what the packaging law wants. Light plastic bags with a wall thickness between 15 and 50 microns will be banned from the beginning of next year. Only the very thin shirt bags for fruit and vegetables should remain - there is currently no more environmentally friendly alternative for them. Consumers will hardly be bothered by the ban on plastic bags, as they have been doing more and more without single-use plastic bags for years: according to the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, around 1.49 billion single-use plastic shopping bags were sold in Germany in 2019 circulated in the Federal Republic - a decrease of around 14 percent compared to the previous year. This is also due to the fact that the thin-walled shopping bags have been costing money since 2016.


"In recent years, consumers and retailers have increasingly tested alternatives to disposable plastic bags is also reflected in the numbers, the plastic bag is disappearing more and more from our everyday life," says Svenja Schulze, who will be Federal Environment Minister in the Merkel IV cabinet until 2021. Now the time is ripe for a complete ban on plastic bags: "We are giving the plastic bag the rest and bring consumption to zero in the long term."


And that's a good thing, since plastic bags are an ecological catastrophe. According to the Federal Environment Ministries Schulze, they are "the epitome of wasting resources." For example, the disposable plastic bags made from crude oil are often only used for around 20 minutes. Then "they end up in the environment, where they remain for many decades and can cause a lot of damage," warns Schulze. But the experience of the past few years has shown: "It's also possible to go shopping without the plastic bag. More and more people are getting used to having reusable bags with them." Alternatives made from renewable ecological raw materials such as flax, cotton or wood or reusable bags made from recycled PET bottles have long since replaced conventional plastic bags.


Up to 500 years in the environment

The reason: Consumers are becoming more and more aware of environmental protection and resource conservation. And it is precisely in these points that the disposable plastic bag does not do well at all: as a rule, the thin disposable bags are made from crude oil instead of recycled plastics. About 40 grams of petroleum are used per bag. The German Environmental Aid estimates that we use around a trillion plastic bags worldwide every year. If we put all these bags together, we could circumnavigate the equator about 10,000 times.


Only a fraction of this flood of plastic bags is recycled: around 90 percent of them end up in Europe alone disposable bags at landfills; in many countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America they are thrown away carelessly. There they rot for decades and centuries and cause a lot of damage. Depending on the thickness of the material, it takes 200 to 500 years for a plastic bag to decompose - what remains is microplastics that can now be found all over the planet, even in Antarctica. In addition, when the plastic decomposes, toxic substances are released that bind metals and pollute the environment.And the valuable raw material crude oil is also irretrievably lost. According to BUND estimates, around ten million tons of plastic waste end up in the oceans every year. The problem: Fish and marine mammals, but also birds and reptiles in the water and on land, mistake the smallest plastic particles for food. If they eat the microplastic, it often remains permanently in the stomach. This is how the animals die in agony - they starve to death with their stomachs full of plastic.


Bags made from bioplastics are no better

But plastic bags made from renewable, biodegradable raw materials are not an alternative . They, too, usually consist of about 70 percent crude oil; Only 30 percent of organic raw materials such as corn, rapeseed and the like are used. However, they have to be grown on agricultural land – and they displace important food there. In addition, plastic bags made from such a mix of materials can neither be composted nor recycled. Because the bioplastic content prevents plastic recycling, in the composting plant, on the other hand, the oil content has a negative effect.


But plastic bags made from purely biodegradable plastics also damage the environment. Numerous chemical substances are used during production, which are released again when they decompose and end up in the environment. According to the Federal Environment Agency, composting such biodegradable plastic bags is the most environmentally harmful of all disposal methods. Because the rotting of the PLA plastic bag "neither contributes to the build-up of humus, nor are plant-available nutrients made available," according to the Federal Environment Agency. In addition, the greater use of material worsens the ecological balance of biodegradable bags: In contrast to conventional carrier bags made of plastic, the bag film of biodegradable plastic bags has to be thicker to ensure the same tear resistance. Bioplastic bags end up as special waste in the waste incineration plant - this is serious for the ecological balance.


Alternatives from renewable raw materials

So we need alternatives to conventional plastic bags. Reusable bags made from renewable raw materials such as cotton or flax have already become indispensable in German supermarkets. The fabric bags can be reused as often as you like and simply cleaned in the washing machine when dirty. However, they are very resource-intensive in production – a lot of water is used to grow the products and a lot of energy is used in production. But stable plastic bags made from recycled plastics such as used PET bottles have already found their way into our everyday lives. The most important thing about all these alternatives: The more often the reusable bags are used, the better their environmental balance. Consumers are therefore well advised to always have such a bag in their pocket.


 

But the reusable bag is sometimes missing for spontaneous purchases. Here, environmentally friendly, ecological disposable products are needed - ideally manufactured without the use of plastics. In addition to reusable carrier bags, paper and cardboard are increasingly becoming the focus of consumers as an alternative to unwelcome plastic. Made from the renewable raw material wood, the paper bags are compostable and recyclable, making them a better alternative to plastic bags. Because if the paper bags are properly disposed of in the paper waste, new paper products such as bags or toilet paper can be made from them again and again.


Wisefood develops paper carrier bags for retail and gastronomy

With its Wisefood brand, the Munich start-up Wisefood has set itself the task of using sustainable alternatives to replace plastics in in gastronomy and retail The edible drinking straws were a real success and have already reduced the consumption of several hundred million plastic straws in 20 countries. Sustainable plates, bowls and cutlery made of wood and palm leaves followed - and now the paper carrier bag.


The paper bag from Wisefood shows that even single-use products can be sustainable. The shopping bag is made from certified paper fibers from sustainable forestry and is therefore 100 percent plastic-free. The handle bags are made of fresh fiber and are unbleached. Unlike plastic bags, they do not have a PE/PLA coating and are therefore fully recyclable, compostable and biodegradable. They can simply be disposed of in the organic bin or on the compost. Thanks to the 70 gsm paper, the kraft paper bags from Wisefood are stable, particularly tear-resistant and have a high load capacity.


The paper carrier bags are therefore suitable for retail as shopping bags - in Supermarket can be safely packed in the paper bag bread and other fresh food. But the paper bag can also be used as a vegetable or fruit bag. The paper bag for take-away dishes finds its place in gastronomy. Companies and organizations use the paper bags individually printed with the company logo as give-away bags or promotional bags; In private, the paper bags are used as a gift bag for a birthday present or as a party bag. Wisefood's paper bags are therefore the perfect alternative to plastic bags.


FAQ


Why are paper bags better than plastic ones?

Paper shopping bags are biodegradable and compostable. They can simply be disposed of in the bio-bin or in the paper waste. There they are recycled and given a second life as new paper products. In addition, wood is used as a raw material for the production of paper bags. As a renewable raw material, wood is the better alternative to plastic, which is still mainly made from newly mined oil.


Do paper bags have a better ecological balance?

As with every bag, the same applies here: reuse paper bags as often as possible. Thanks to the use of extremely robust and hard-wearing kraft paper, the Wisefood paper bags can be reused several times. When they have served their time, they end up in the paper or organic waste and are recycled or composted.


Do we even need disposable carrier bags?

Bags that are only used once or a few times have their place. Paper bags are used, for example, in supermarkets for daily shopping or in restaurants for take-away food. At home, the paper waste can then be collected in the paper bag and conveniently disposed of in the paper bin. There the paper is recycled and given a second life - for example in the form of recycled toilet paper.


Are paper bags just as comfortable as plastic bags?

A shopping bag made of kraft paper from Wisefood is particularly strong and tear-resistant. A flat handle is also attached. It ensures that even heavy purchases can be carried home comfortably.

Sources:

https://www.bmu.de/pressemitteilung/bundesrat-macht-weg-fuer-plastiktuetenverbot-frei/

https://www .bmu.de/press release/federal-cabinet-decides-to-ban-plastic-bags

https://wwwergobag.de/nachhaltigkeit/plastic-or-paper-bag

https://www.duh.de/themen/recycling/plastic/plastic bags/

https://www.bund.net/bund-tipps/detail-tipps/ tip/on-plastic-tueten-don't-completely/

https://www.t-online.de/leben/id_90540844/nachhaltigkeit-darum-ist-die-papiertuete-nicht- better-than-the-plastic bag.html

https://www.ingenieur.de/fachmedien/hazardous materials/particles/microplastics-rich-metals-from-the-environment-another /


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