12 July: Paper Bag Day

OV Digital Desk
3 Min Read
Paper Bag Day

Paper Bag Day is observed annually on 12 July. It is aimed at raising awareness about the benefits of using paper bags instead of plastic bags. As we become aware of the dangers of plastic bags, the observation enhances awareness to the public of better alternatives like paper bags. The day is observed on different dates in some countries.

Paper Bag Day 2023: Theme

The Theme for World paper bag day 2023 is not announced yet. Last year the theme for Paper Bag Day 2022 is, “If You’re ‘Fantastic’, Do Something ‘Dramatic’ To Cut The ‘Plastic’, Use ‘Paper Bags’.”

Quick facts about paper bags and plastic bags

Here are quick facts about paper bags and plastic bags

  • Plastic production has increased at a faster rate than any other material since the 1970s. Global production of primary plastic is anticipated to reach 1,100 million tonnes by 2050 if historical growth rates hold true.
  • By 2040, the amount of greenhouse gas emissions related to the manufacture, consumption, and disposal of traditional plastics derived from fossil fuels is expected to increase to 19% of the global carbon budget.
  • Paper bags are a vital part of a sustainable paper circle. It is derived frok natural source like bamboo and lesser environmental impacts.
  • Paper bags store CO2.
  • Paper bags are environmentally friendly and reusable
  •  Paper bags are recyclable and biodegradable.

Significance of Paper Bag Day

The significance of Paper Bag Day is to discourage the use of plastic bags and generate consciousness about how harmful they are to the environment. This is because it takes thousands of years to decompose. However, paper bags are biodegradable and an important cornerstone to preserving our planet.

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Read More: 12 July in Indian and World History

History of Paper Bag Day

American Francis Wolle invented the first paper bag machine in 1852. A new paper bag manufacturing machine was invented by Margaret E Knight in 1871. A flat-bottomed paper bag could be produced by the machine, which was unique. Knight earned the title ‘Mother of Grocery Bags’ as the machine grew in popularity.

Charles Stillwell invented square-bottomed paper bags with pleated sides in 1883. People liked such bags since they were easy to fold and store. In 1912, Walter Deubener designed a paper bag with a handle. Paper bags have changed and improved over the years. Plastic bags replaced paper bags as a cheaper alternative in the 1970s.

Plastic bags are non-renewable, non-recyclable, and non-biodegradable; some of them are LDPE (low-density polyethylene), HDPE (high-density polyethylene), and LLDPE (linear low-density polyethylene). It takes thousands of years for these materials to decompose, so they’re bad for the environment. Therefore, World Paper Bag Day promotes the use of eco-friendly, renewable, recyclable paper bags.

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