In a circular economy system—one in which resources and materials are used to their utmost capacity—reusable is always better. Reusable items can be used again and again, and they can still be recycled once they reach the end of their life. However, reusable items, like reusable bags, aren’t always practical. In these cases, we need the next best environmental alternative.
That’s where FSC-certified paper bags come in. On the waste hierarchy—which rates resource consumption from least favorable to most favorable—recycling comes right behind reuse, which means that it’s nearly as good of an option. When a reusable bag isn’t an option, a recyclable paper bag will do the trick. Additionally, FSC-certified bags come from both environmentally and socially responsible sources, ensuring that the paper bags you receive boast ethical practices from seedling to final product.
When it comes to sustainability, there’s a lot of greenwashing happening (companies claiming sustainable practices that actually make no difference). Because of this, it’s important that you do your due diligence to truly know that you’re using ethically sourced paper bags. When your paper bags carry an FSC certification, you’ll know it comes from an environmentally friendly source.
What is an FSC paper bag?
FSC stands for the Forest Stewardship Council, a not-for-profit and independent organization with the mission to preserve the world’s forests. When a product, like a paper bag, is certified by the FSC, it means that the product has come from sustainable and socially ethical sources.
In order to be granted FSC certification, the paper bags need to adhere to a number of strict rules. FSC offers three different certification types.
FSC 100% certification denotes that the paper bag is ethically sourced from forests that are properly managed according to FSC’s social and environmental standards. With this certification, you know that every step of the bag material’s life, from when the virgin materials were seedlings to when you receive the bag, is environmentally friendly to the highest standards.
FSC recycled certification ensures that the paper bags have been proven to come from 100% post-consumer or pre-consumer reclaimed materials. Shortly, it guarantees that the bags are 100% recycled to FCS standards.
FSC mix certification is for bags made from a mixture of virgin sources from FSC-certified forests, recycled materials approved by the FSC, or FSC-controlled wood.
According to the FSC, FSC 100% follows most closely with FSC overall mission, and is therefore their most distinguished certification. However, because all certifications hold intense standards, they all offer their own value in terms of their environmental impact. Any paper bag that holds FSC certification will be environmentally superior to other single-use bag options, especially plastic bags.
Why is the FSC certification significant?
The FSC is an independent, non-governmental organization that’s world renowned. They hold no political biases, and they are well-trusted, which makes their certifications among the most respected. It also ensures that you can feel secure in the certification; in a world where greenwashing abounds, it’s important that you know that your green investments are going toward something that’s truly sustainable.
As more and more countries, as well as agencies like the UN, push for more regulated sustainability practices globally, it’s important that your company pays attention to the details as you make more sustainable business choices. In the future, you will need to ensure that your sustainability claims hold up. Because the FSC is world renowned and follows up-to-date sustainability practices, you know that you’re making a solid sustainable choice with FSC-certified paper bags.
Furthermore, it looks great for your marketing. Your customers will love knowing that they are supporting a company that cares where their paper bags come from. It may seem like such a small detail, but it’s in the details such as these that your sustainability goals can be most appreciated.
When should you offer FSC paper bags over reusable bags?
So, now the question is: reusable or FSC certified?
As mentioned previously, according to the waste hierarchy, reusing is a more favorable resource consumption option than recycling. However, it may not always be feasible.
Paper bags are a great offering for those who have forgotten their reusable bags at home. You can offer the paper bags at a small fee, which will encourage your customers to bring their own bags next time, but they won’t be too frustrated that they forgot their reusable bag this time. And, since the paper bag is FSC-certified, it’s a much more eco-friendly option than plastic bags.
These are also great choices for food delivery or other instances where a reusable bag might not make as much sense.
Buy FSC paper bags through bk-bags
Bk-bags offers paper bags with your choice of certification, depending on your company’s budget and sustainability goals. We understand that this can be a difficult choice, which is why we can provide some guidance in this area. Just reach out!
Although we do offer standard paper bags, which are better for the environment than plastic bags, FSC-certified paper bags hold a higher standard when it comes to environmentalism. The FSC certification promotes things like circularity and responsible sourcing. Their approach follows predicted regulations should more environmental legislation comes to pass, and it follows sustainability practices that multiple experts agree upon. This means that, should your company choose to invest in FSC-certified paper bags, you can sleep easy knowing that your investment won’t see any consequences due to future environmental regulation (unlike plastic bags, which will almost certainly see a ban or financial repercussions in the coming years). Investing in FSC-certified paper bags through bk-bags is one way to ensure that you’re doing the right thing for your customers, your company, and the planet.