When retailers are looking for a sustainable and efficient packaging solution to complete their sustainable brand profile, paper carrier bags are a good choice. However, there can be differences in the quality of paper bags. The Paper Bag platform – a collaboration of Europe’s leading kraft paper manufacturers and paper bag producers – has published guidelines for high-quality paper carrier bags. The document gives paper bag producers and their customers orientation on parameters that influence the resistance and durability of paper carrier bags.
“Offering flawless product protection is the most important function of packaging,” says Elin Gordon, Secretary General of CEPI Eurokraft. “By offering their customers high-quality paper carrier bags, retailers can be sure that their products arrive safely. With our industry guidelines for high-quality paper carrier bags, we want to support paper bag producers and their customers in producing paper bags that meet their own and customers’ expectations in terms of product protection and durability.” But what does high-quality mean for a bag? The guidelines define a high-quality paper carrier bag as follows: it should carry at least 6 kg of products from the supermarket and be reusable up to five times for the same purpose.
From the right material to quality certification
The document presents established technical methods and recommendations on how to produce paper carrier bags that satisfy these criteria. The guidelines address the most important factors that may influence the quality of a bag – from the selection of the right material, such as paper and glue, to the converting process and the handle type. To receive proof of the durability and resistance of the bag, a quality certification according to the European test standard EN13590 can be applied. The bags are tested by being lifted repeatedly with weights that are accustomed to their specific size and volume.
“To achieve the best results possible, we suggest following the recommendations in our guidelines and making use of the quality certification,” says Gordon. “Last but not least: being produced from natural and renewable raw materials that are sourced from sustainably managed European forests, high-quality paper carrier bags are excellent vehicles to project a brand’s corporate social responsibility.”