We are all aware that plastic pollution is one of the biggest threats that the wildlife in our world are facing in the present day. Due to ease of production, plastic bags have been filling up our everyday lives for a number of years and because they take around 1,000 years to degrade they are likely to be hanging around in our environment for a while longer.

Due to the damage that plastic bags are doing to our planet and the wildlife we have on it, many people and businesses are turning towards plastic bag alternatives to help reduce demand for plastic bag production. Luckily there are now a wealth of alternatives ranging from natural jute bags to compostable brown bags. Here we will explore a number of the top alternatives to plastic bags.

Paper Bags

One of the better alternatives to plastic bags are paper bags. Being made from paper, they are 100% biodegradable, recyclable and higher quality ones can even be reused a number of times. Usually there are two main styles of bags, these are brown bags and white bags. Compostable brown bags are usually used for shopping bags whereas the white ones are most commonly used at corporate events and are good for branding or printing on.   

Cotton Bags

Cotton bags again are a great biodegradable alternative to plastic bags. Cotton bags are sturdier than paper bags so can be used many times, cotton also means that they can be washed easily and given a new lease of life. Cotton bags also require less water energy and oil to produce than plastic bags. 

Canvas Bags

Canvas bags are made from canvas which is a thicker type of cotton fabric and is woven with some polyesters. Canvas is an exceptionally strong and durable material making it great for heavy duty uses such as shopping bags as you can be safe in the knowledge that you are not going to suffer a broken bag on the way back from the supermarket as canvas does not tear easily.

Jute bags

Another eco-friendly alternative to plastic bags includes those made from jute, jute comes from fibres of a plant that grows in monsoon conditions. The fibres are woven into fabric and can then be made into mats, rope and bags. Jute bags, like the others discussed, are also biodegradable meaning that it is much easier to dispose of responsibly than plastic bags.

Plastic bags have been doing a lot of damage to the environment for a long time, thankfully alternatives are being developed all the time and currently there are a wide number of other alternatives on the market from compostable brown bags to biodegradable canvas bags. When deciding on the best option for you, you need to consider how often and how much your bags will be carrying. This should help you to decide the best material for your new eco-friendly bags.

Zoe Kickhefer