printed paper bags
February 19, 2016

Paper Vs. Plastic: Which Printed Bag Is Best For You?

Today, there’s a battle of the heavyweights on the TPBS blog – we’re putting plastic and paper bags to the test, in order to find out which material is best for you!

We know it can be hard to choose which kind of bag you’re after (I mean, a bag is a bag, isn’t it?) so we want to help!

Printed paper and printed plastic bags are both bestsellers here at The Printed Bag Shop, and both offer fantastic benefits to the user.

So, forget Rocky vs Apollo, and Ali vs Foreman – we’ve got a real fight on our hands!

Seconds out, ding ding… Round 1!

Printed Paper Bags

What are the benefits of choosing paper?

Where do we start? We bloomin’ love paper bags! Not only are they super stylish, whatever your brand, but paper bags in general are really eco-friendly, recyclable and degradable – our twisted handle kraft bags in particular have a really low environmental footprint, our flat handle bags are fully biodegradable, and our printed sandwich bags are manufactured using recycled or biodegradable materials, and then printed with water based inks so that they have a minimal effect on the environment.

Another major benefit of choosing printed paper bags to boost your brand is, dum dum dum….. they’re completely EXEMPT from the 5p plastic bag charge which has been introduced across the UK! Though the 5p charge does have exceptions, it requires most retailers to charge their customers an additional 5p for every plastic carrier bag they use; this can cause extra admin for the company, and leaves the customer that little bit more out of pocket. However, choose a printed paper bag – and you don’t need to charge your customers anything!

There’s a range of quantity and delivery options with our printed paper bags – if it’s buying in bulk you’re looking for, our printed sandwich bags come in a minimum quantity of 10,000; if it’s a smaller batch of bags you need, our fab printed laminated bags come with a minimum order of just 100 bags, have a fast track delivery service available, and come in a material of 200gsm as standard.

What kind of customisation is available?

With printed paper bags, the possibilities are almost endless! You can use them to do so much more than show off your logo and contact details, although they’ll do that really well too!

Our luxury laminated bags give the most scope for really making them your own – for a start, they’re actually manufactured from scratch to match your exact size and specification, giving you maximum control over your bag order. They can be printed with anything up to full CMYK, which is a photographic image, and your design can be used to cover 100% of the bag – so you’ll really make an impact. And – we’re not done! There’s a choice of a polypropylene rope or cotton rope handle in 4 different colours, or you can even add an extra sophisticated touch by using printed ribbon. Finally, you can choose add-ons for your printing like foil blocking, spot UV and embossing! Basically, whatever you can imagine, we can make happen with our printed laminated bags.

For our printed twisted handle paper bags, flat handle and sandwich bags, you can choose to print anything from one spot colour through to full CMYK, and these can also cover 100% of the bag due to our flexible manufacturing process.

What sort of businesses are they good for?

In truth, there’s no rules about which kind of bags can be used for which business – you can choose any you like and it’s fine by us! But, here’s our recommendations for the kinds of brands that favour our printed paper bags:

Printed laminated bags are ideal for a range of high end and high street businesses – fashion boutiques absolutely love them, as well as accessories brands like jewellery, handbags, and cosmetics companies. They also make great goodie bags for product launches, exhibitions or conferences – whatever your product, printed laminated bags will add an extra bit of sparkle for the customer.

Similarly, twisted handle paper bags are already a popular choice for fashion and high street retailers like department stores, as well as museums and gift shops.

And, for our flat handle and sandwich bags, food tends to be where it’s at – bakeries, delis, sandwich bars, takeaways, whatever you’re cooking, our printed paper bags can handle it.

Overall? Printed paper bags are a greener choice of bag with lots of potential for customisation, and allow you to give your customers their purchase in something that bit more special without having to pay that pesky 5p!

Now, for the turn of the classic carrier bag. Over to you, Mr Plastic…

Printed Plastic Bags

What are the benefits of choosing plastic?

For a start – there are more bags in our plastic range for you to choose from, giving you more variety!

Even better, all of our printed plastic bags are completely biodegradable. We know plastic carrier bags get a bad rep for the effects they have on the environment, which is why we work as hard as we can to ensure our printed plastic bags have as minimal a carbon footprint as possible. Our plastic punched handle bags are made from biopolythene, meaning they begin to degrade after being exposed to sunlight and eventually degrade completely, and our vest bags don’t use virgin polythene (which can take thousands of years to degenerate), instead offering a choice of high or low density polythene which is either recycled or fully biodegradable and makes a much smaller environmental impact.

A big reason for choosing plastic carrier bags over paper ones is their durability and practicality – plastic lasts far longer than paper and is much harder to damage, making printed plastic bags comfortable to carry and more reusable. That means multiple uses per bag, and more exposure for your business.

If it’s speedy delivery you’re looking for, then our plastic bags deliver on that too – our punched and patch handle bags are available with fast track delivery within 7-1o days, and so are our flexi loop bags. Or, if you’re looking to buy in bulk and save some moolah on each bag, then our printed vest bags are a great option, with a minimum order of 25,000.

What kind of customisation is available?

There may be more of a limit to the designs you can print on our plastic bags, but there’s still enough options to help your brand really make an impression.

For a range of sizes, go for our punched or patch handle bags – they’re available in just about every measurement you can think of! For photographic images, think patch handle or duffel bags – they’re the only ones that have the option for full CMYK printing. Our patch handle bags also allow you to choose from white, clear or frosted polythene! There’s the ability to choose between thicknesses on several of our plastic bags, as well as a much wider range of base bag colours than there is with our paper bags.

What sort of businesses are they good for?

Our plastic bags are so, so versatile, meaning they really are a good choice for just about every business out there! The punched and patch handle options are especially good for any kind of retailers, gift shops, or for exhibitions; our flexi loop handle bags are ideal for supermarkets and are often the product marketed as ‘bags for life’; and our plastic duffel bags are ideal for sports brands, leisure centres, or promotional bags at a university or college open day.

So, there you have it! A battle of the printed bag titans! Which do you prefer?

If you’d like to find out more about any of our printed bags, or request a price for your order, simply get in touch with our super duper sales team on 0191 268 7555, or email