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Paper VS Polythene Mailing Bags

Paper VS Polythene Mailing Bags

As many businesses are starting to become conscious of their environmental footprint, many are looking to switch to more biodegradable packaging. That leaves the question, are Paper Mailing Bags more environmentally friendly than Polyethene Mailing Bags?

Unfortunately, there is no straightforward answer, but we have outlined the key points below:



A significant advantage of plastic bags is that the manufacturing process has less environmental impact than alternative materials, like paper. The production of plastic or polythene mailing bags does use fossil fuel resources like Petroleum, but surprisingly results in less carbon emissions, waste and harmful byproducts than paper mailing bag production. In relation to product use, polythene mailing bags are robust. reusable, and recyclable.

However, despite polythene mailing bags being recyclable, not many people do recycle them. This primarily because the process of recycling these bags is often a difficult task, with bags becoming stuck in machinery or being blown away, so many local authorities do not offer recycling collection.

Resultantly, many bags that aren’t recycled end up becoming litter (as they don’t biodegrade), ultimately adding to landfill and endangering wildlife. The lack of biodegradability poses a real problem, with scientists expecting each bag to take 500-1,000+ years to decompose.


Paper mailing bags are a very ‘in-trend’ alternative to polythene mailing bags. One key reason for this being that paper is well-known to be sustainable as well as having easily accessible recycling infrastructure.


With a decomposition time of 6-8 weeks (given the correct conditions), paper mailing bags are much more preferred due to the ease of post-use disposal, through biodegradability and compost-ability.


Despite the significant sustainability and recycling benefits that paper mailing bags have, the manufacturing process is very resource and energy heavy, with approximately four times the amount of energy expended to produce one paper mailing bag compared to one polythene mailing bag.

Ultimately in this battle of paper versus polythene, it is dependent on which factor has more weighting, being either initial energy and resource expenditure or sustainability and recyclability.

Here at Blake, we have an extensive product range to cater for all mailing needs. Explore our ranges of paper and polythene mailing bags below:

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