American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA)

Paper Bags & Shipping Sacks


A paper bag is a pre-formed container made from paper. They usually have an opening on one side for easy packaging. Paper bags come in a variety of shapes and sizes and exist with or without handles for carrying. Often, paper bags are printed with store and/or brand logos.

Paper shopping bags, brown paper bags, paper grocery bags, paper bread bags and other light duty paper bags are made from a single layer of paper. Other types of paper bags are made from multiple layers of paper and other flexible materials.

Paper bags are ideal as a container to hold compostable waste. They are readily compostable, as evidenced by its use throughout the country in municipal leaf mulching programs.

Paper shipping sacks, also known as multi-wall paper sacks, are often used as containers to ship bulk materials such as fertilizer, animal feed, sand, dry chemicals, flour and cement.

Most paper shipping sacks are made from several layers of sack Kraft paper, which is elastic and tear-resistant, a printed external layer, and inner plies. Some paper sacks also have a layer of water-repellent foil or coated paper to protect their cargo.

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