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The reusable paper bag, a better choice for the climate

PackagingSolutions Green Solutions

There are more and more reasons to replace the plastic Bag for Life with one in paper when you go shopping. BillerudKorsnäs and AB Group Packaging have launched the reusable paper bag, one of the world’s strongest paper bags now available in UK supermarkets.

The secret behind the power of the reusable paper bag is the raw material called FibreForm. ‘RPET, fabric or PP reusable bags have long been available for consumers but can now be replaced by a reusable bag made of FibreForm,’ said Veronica Fylkner, sales manager, Formable Solutions at BillerudKorsnäs. 

‘FibreForm is one of the strongest kraft papers in the world. It has been on the market for a while and we are still exploring its full potential. We see several new applications we can develop with FibreForm and we are eager to replace less sustainable materials and solutions. It is a journey that we are pleased to be on as we can help decrease the amount of plastics and aluminium in different applications on the market.’

Laboratory tests have shown that the reusable paper bag can be reused over and over again. 

‘We tested one bag until breakdown and it lasted 43 cycles which is equivalent with 860 lifts and this with a high weight of 16 kg. We can really say that FibreForm is suitable for reuse in all types of weather,’ said Veronica.

Today, AB Group Packaging which manufactures in Ireland, the UK and Spain, is offering the ultra strong paper bag to several major supermarkets in the United Kingdom. Compared to several other European countries, paper bags have not been an option in most UK retail stores, until recently. 

The reason behind this include cost, strong plastic industry promotion and some misperceptions that papers are weak and have higher climate impact. With good virgin paper from integrated paper mills you actually can crush both of those myths. 

‘We are really pleased to be working with BillerudKorsnäs – which we have done now for about 30 years. It is number one in all categories,’ said Dermot Brady, founder and CEO at AB Group Packaging.

AB Group Packaging has developed this ultra strong bag with one of the strongest papers from BillerudKorsnäs. The aim has been to launch a reusable paper bag, and the company has some of the largest clients on-board to make this change. 

‘Reduce, reuse, recycle – this is my vision of how the industry should operate in the future. We are responsible for every product we put on the market – all should be renewable. We want zero negative influence when producing and using our products and we are so pleased to be able to offer this product to the market,’ said Dermot. 

The bag is one step towards a sustainable future, abandoning plastic bags and using bio based and 100% recyclable material. A common misunderstanding on the market is that paper have a higher impact on the climate than plastic. Several studies have shown that BillerudKorsnas’ packaging materials have a lower climate impact than other materials. When the Swedish environmental institute IVL made a lifecycle assessment on a BillerudKorsnäs standard paper for carrier bags, the paper actually had lower climate impact than bio based plastic, recycled plastic and fossil based plastic.


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