Since they are so much better for the environment, paper bags are an excellent alternative to the old-fashioned single-use plastic shopping bag. Of course, paper bags become more eco-friendly the more you use them; a worn out bag can be pulped and recycled, but it’s far better for the environment if you make them last as long as possible.
Luckily enough, it’s easy to make your paper bags last longer simply by following these four tips.
- Use Sensible Loads
It sounds obvious, but make sure you don’t overload your paper bags. They are designed to handle quite heavy items, but carrying too much in them again and again is eventually going to cause them to come apart. As well as wasting the bag, you’ll probably end up with your shopping strewn across the ground. It’s better to use two paper bags instead of cramming everything into one.
- Store Flat
When you aren’t using your paper bags, make sure you store them flat instead of balling them up or folding them up. This will keep them looking nice, and you won’t create any tears or weak points. As an added plus, it’s much easier to use paper bags for arts and crafts when they have been kept flat.
- Avoid Moisture
If paper bags have an Achilles’ heel, it’s their inability to cope well with moisture. Laminated paper shopping bags have a coating that is somewhat resistant to moisture, but exposure to moisture is still going to weaken their structure. There’s nothing you can do to prevent the rain, but you can resist putting any food or drink that expels moisture into your paper bags.
- Double Up
If one of your paper bags has started to look a little worn, you still don’t have to throw it away. Instead, try double bagging. By placing a worn paper bag within a fresher paper bag, you’ll prevent the latter from being worn down while extending the life of the former. You’ll also be able to carry slightly heavier items than you normally would.