paper bags
March 27, 2018

Make the change from plastic to printed paper bags


Already this year we are seeing many of our long-term plastic bag customers looking to make the change from plastic to printed paper bags. As public awareness grows about the negative impact that plastic has on our oceans and environment thanks to stuff like BBC’s Blue Planet, more and more companies (and individuals) are thinking about making the switch so as to try and reduce the amount of single-use plastic that we throw away.

Prime Minister Theresa May recently announced the government’s 25 year plan to improve the natural environment by eradicating all avoidable plastic waste in the UK by 2042. Some have called her proposal not bold or urgent enough to deal with the plastic crisis – but whatever you think of her plan, what’s important is that serious action is needed to avoid needless plastic being produced.

In her speech Theresa May called plastic waste “one of the great environmental scourges of our time”, adding: “In the UK alone, the amount of single-use plastic wasted every year would fill 1,000 Royal Albert Halls.”


Plans to drastically reduce the impact of single-use plastic on our environment include:-


  • Asking supermarkets to create ‘plastic free aisles’ to allow shoppers to play their part in helping the oceans
  • Consider putting a levy on all single-use plastics including disposable cups, cutlery and straws
  • Launch a £10million scheme to pay for schoolchildren to visit wildlife sites to educate and raise awareness of the impact of plastic on the environment
  • Announce plans to use the £13 billion foreign aid budget to help clean up beaches and oceans.


An important aspect for us here at The Printed Bag Shop is the plan to extend the 5p levy on plastic bags to include smaller retailers and corner shops. When the 5p levy was first introduced, retailers with fewer than 250 employees had the option of whether to charge it to their customers or not. Now, regardless of size, these retailers will have to charge for single-use plastic bags. This has caused a lot of our clients to ask about paper bag alternatives to their usual order, so as to avoid passing on the cost to their customers, the extra admin that comes with the charge, as well as the obvious environmental benefits.

Many of the big UK retailers are getting rid of single-use plastic bags completely. In August 2017, the giant supermarket chain Tesco scrapped the single-use plastic bags in favour of their 10p bag-for-life, and then only for their super reusable fabric bags – and Morrisons are said to be following suit. The charge has been shown to have a huge impact in reducing carrier bag usage, and despite this causing increased consumption in other kinds of plastic bags, will still undoubtedly help to tackle the problem.

Reducing the amount of plastic waste by switching from single-use plastic bags to bags-for-life is a positive move; these flexi loop plastic bags are often the product of choice. However, when you make the change from plastic to printed paper bags, you will have an even greater impact on reducing plastic waste.


What are the benefits of switching to printed paper bags?


  • Paper bags are made from a renewable, natural resource (if FSC certified, like our twisted and flat handle bags)
  • Paper bags are biodegradable (if not laminated)
  • Paper bags can be shipped back to the paper mills and made into new paper
  • They are safer for children to play with
  • They are less of a threat to our wildlife
  • Paper bags can help turn organic waste into quality compost
  • At home paper bags can be torn into small pieces and added to your compost or recycling bin


At The Printed Bag Shop we make every effort to reduce our impact on the environment with our products, our service and within our business. We have a range of printed paper bags to help you make the switch to paper in your packaging solutions.

For printed bags that are as green as possible, our flat handle and twisted handle paper bags come out on top. These bags are produced using FSC certified paper, which means the paper comes from well-managed forests. These forests are part of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), whose mission is to promote environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world’s forests.


Check out our top printed paper bags



flat handle paper bags

Flat Handle Paper Bags


Most commonly recognised as takeaway bags, these flat handle paper bags can be used for so much more, and are the ideal alternative for the corner shop, pharmacy or bits & bobs store. This low cost printed paper bag is great value for money, and they are pretty strong too.

You can have your logo or design printed in spot colour or 100% full colour; combine this with our expert design service and you will create a cost-effective marketing tool in a paper bag that is both attractive and environmentally friendly.

These paper carrier bags are made from FSC certified 80gm Kraft paper and are fully biodegradable. Available in a range of sizes with handles either external or internal, there is a size and style to suit every business, enabling you to make the change from plastic to printed paper bags.



twisted handle paper bags

Twisted Handle Paper Bags


These twisted handle paper bags are often a first choice for fashion retailers, gift shops and department stores. If you want customers to know your store’s commitment to helping the environment, this bag fits the bill. Our twisted handle paper bags are a great alternative to using plastic bags for your customers’ purchases. If you want to show your commitment to helping rid the world of plastic waste, while still offering them a stylish bag to take home, this is the perfect bag for your business.

Again, with the help of our design team you can have your logo or design printed in spot colours or full colour on the FSC certified 100gm Kraft paper. These fully biodegradable bags come in a range of sizes, they are strong and reusable, and customers will love them.



sandwich bags collage

Printed Sandwich Bags


If you run a deli or sandwich shop using printed paper sandwich bags is a more eco-friendly choice than plastic sandwich packaging, plus you can advertise your business at the same time!

These bags come with a minimum order of 10,000 units, but are a great value way to promote your business, package your product and reduce your company’s plastic consumption.

When you have an attractive brand design on your sandwich bags, you are maximising the potential to reach a huge customer base, particularly for those sandwich shops that are located next to large offices, train stations and in the high street. You can get your printed sandwich bags in a completely customisable design, at a price that you will love, from The Printed Bag Shop.



If your concern for the natural world is prompting you to make the change from plastic to printed paper bags, get in touch and we can discuss the best options in printed paper bags for your business.