Should my bags or packaging be made of paper or plastic?

When creating and manufacturing a product, it is important to think about how you would want your product to be presented. Some questions we ask ourselves when it comes to package design are: What will the packaging look like? Will we require personalization? What is most convenient for our consumers? And lastly: paper or plastic?

Many companies struggle with whether they should use paper or plastic packaging for their products, especially in the current environment of going green and disallowing single-use plastics. Every product has an environmental consequence and figuring out whether you should use paper or plastic for your packaging is important. Each material has its pros and cons, so let’s help you make your choice.


The paper/polywoven laminated bag emerged in the mid 90’s and offers some advantages to industrial and agricultural clients over the traditional multi-wall paper bags. These bags are typically used to package animal feed, seed, feed ingredients, and dry chemicals. Paper bags come in many different styles making them easily customizable. These customizations include resealable zippers, spout tops, sewn open mouths, and more.


  • 30% – 50% less weight and bulk than multi-wall paper bags with equivalent strength
  • Highly customizable
  • Stiffer than BOPP/polywoven laminated bags


  • Fewer reuses and shorter shelf life
  • Higher recycling rates than plastic
  • Heavier in weight than plastic options


The construction of plastic bag types is similar to a paper/polywoven one, however, the paper is replaced by biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP) film. Since the inner and outer substrates are both polypropylene, these bags are easily recycled. BOPP film possesses high tensile strength, low weight and water resistant characteristics. The film is also an excellent print medium which lends itself to high definition graphics typically applied through a rotogravure print process.


  • 100% recyclable
  • Water resistant
  • High strength
  • Low weight


  • When not recycled, can take between 400 – 1,000 years to decompose
  • Less likely to be recycled properly