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Paper bags are everywhere and are used in many ways: From carrier bags to gift bags to flat candy bags. Paper bags are becoming increasingly popular as we all take steps to protect the environment from plastic pollution. But can all paper bags actually be recycled?
There are many factors that determine whether or not paper bags can be recycled. The material, the colour and the ink of the bag all have an impact on whether it can be recycled. So it is important to know what to look for when recycling your own paper bags at home.
While most plastic bags cannot be recycled, almost all types of paper bags can be recycled, which helps to reduce a lot of plastic waste. Since paper bags are made from biodegradable paper, which in turn can be turned into pulp, they can be recycled.
There is only one type of paper bag that cannot be recycled. Laminated bags have a layer of plastic film added to the paper that cannot be recycled. With laminated paper bags, a layer of plastic film is added to the paper to protect food, for example. However, this lamination process means that laminated paper bags cannot be recycled.
All other types of paper bags, from brown paper bags to paper carrier bags to shipping bags, can be thrown in the recycling bin and become paper pulp again.
To recycle paper bags and turn them back into paper, the bags have to be shredded, cooked and turned back into paper pulp. The paper pulp is then pressed to remove the water from it and rolled out into new sheets of paper. These sheets of paper are then used to make various paper items, including paper bags.
Paper bags can simply be thrown in the blue bin or disposed of at the recycling centre. Bags covered in paint, glue or laminate should not go in the recycling bin as these elements can interfere with the recycling process.