As environmentalism and sustainability become more widespread, the automotive industry is taking great strides to cut back on carbon emissions. So are farmers, who are using more organic methods, and stores, who sell more local produce.
As a restaurateur or food business, you can do your part too. In this blog post, we'll explore why plastic sandwich bags are terrible for the environment and why you should consider using Custom Paper Sandwich bags instead.
When were plastic sandwich bags invented, and how did they become popular?
Plastic sandwich bags we are all accustomed to were introduced by the Dow Chemical Company in 1957. They were marketed as a more convenient and hygienic alternative to the paper bags in which businesses typically sold sandwiches.
The use of plastic sandwich bags quickly skyrocketed. By the 1960s, almost every American household was using them. In present day, Americans use 100 billion plastic sandwich bags every single year.
What we didn't know before mass-producing these bags is that they would have such a negative impact on the environment.
What are plastic sandwich bags made of?
Plastic sandwich bags are made from a type of plastic called polyethylene, a synthetic polymer made from fossil fuels. It's made from crude oil, natural gas, or coal tar, which are all non-renewable resources.
These oil products are then treated with a series of chemical processes to create the final product. This process releases harmful greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change. And let's not forget that plastic can take more than 1000 years to break down, leaching out those same harmful chemicals in the process.
What is the environmental damage of plastic packaging?
Plastic waste is a huge problem. Every year, at least 14 million metric tons of plastic end up in our oceans. All that plastic waste floats around, breaking down into smaller and smaller pieces until it's ingested by marine life.
This has devastating consequences for the animals who ingest it. It can cause them to starve because they feel full but haven't actually consumed any nutrients. It can also block their digestive tracts, preventing them from being able to eat at all.
And, of course, asphyxiation is possible if the animal gets tangled up in all that plastic waste. When these animals die, the plastic goes back into the food chain, where it can be consumed by other animals and so on.
It's not just the animals that are suffering, either. Plastic pollution is also causing health problems in humans. Studies have shown that chemicals in plastics can leach into our food and water, causing a host of health problems like cancer, hormonal imbalances, and reproductive difficulties.
Are plastic sandwich bags recyclable?
If we want to get technical, yes, you can recycle plastic sandwich bags. However, the recycling process is very complicated, and not all recycling facilities are equipped to handle them. Even if your local recycling center does accept plastic sandwich bags, they have to be clean and dry. We can also encourage people to reuse these bags instead of throwing them away.
However, the reality of the situation is that most people don't bother to wash out their plastic sandwich bags, so they end up in the landfill anyway.
Are plastic sandwich bags biodegradable?
No, plastic sandwich bags are not biodegradable – or at least they're not biodegradable in any sort of reasonable time frame. They will sit in landfills for centuries, release harmful chemicals, and can eventually end up in our oceans. They cannot be burned either, as burning plastic releases toxic chemicals into the air.
Why you shouldn't use plastic sandwich bags as a business
Now that you know all of this, you might be wondering why any business would still use plastic sandwich bags.
The answer is simple: because they're cheap. Plastic sandwich bags are slightly cheaper than their reusable or biodegradable counterparts. However, there are many reasons why they simply aren't worth it in 2022 and beyond.
1. You'll feel better about your business practices
After reading this, we hope you'll agree that plastic sandwich bags are not worth the cost to our planet. If you care about the environment and want to do your part to reduce plastic waste, ditch the plastic sandwich bags and switch to a more sustainable alternative.
2. Responsible consumers prefer eco-friendly packaging
Companies are expected to be more responsible these days, as consumers are wising up to greenwashing. An increasing number of people are looking for sustainable alternatives to plastic, and they're willing to pay more for it.
By switching to a sustainable option, you'll be able to tap into this market and show your customers that you're a company that actually cares about doing the right thing.
3. You're adapting quickly to the future of packaging
The writing is on the wall for plastic. More and more countries are introducing bans on single-use plastics, and it's only a matter of time before plastic sandwich bags are included in these bans.
By switching to a sustainable alternative now, you'll be ahead of the curve and won't have to scramble to find a new solution when the time comes.
The best eco-friendly alternatives to plastic sandwich bags for brands
So, you can't use plastic bags. What now? The good news is that there are plenty of sustainable alternatives that will do the job just as well as plastic without harming the environment.
At noissue, we offer 100% compostable and curbside recyclable Custom Sandwich Bags made from recycled fibers. They're perfect for delis, bakeries, takeaways, and cafes! Here's what makes them great:
1. They're fully customizable
Instead of a bland, one-size-fits-all stock Kraft design, you can customize your sandwich bags with your brand colors, logo, your social media handles, a unique pattern or all of the above. This is a great way to make your brand stand out and showcase it on a key customer touchpoint.
Our non-toxic, water-based inks are also safe for the environment and won't fade or rub off over time.
They're ideal for a variety of businesses
Our sustainable sandwich bags are perfect for a wide range of businesses, from bakeries and cafes, to restaurants, to food trucks and caterers. This eco-friendly food packaging solution that will work for you, no matter your industry.
We can adjust the bag's size, shape, and thickness to fit your needs, and we also offer a range of custom stickers that can add a branded finishing touch to your bag.
Start creating today!
Now that you know all about the benefits of sustainable sandwich bags, it's time to make the switch. Our platform makes it easy to upload your artwork, choose your colors, and select the perfect Custom Sandwich Bag for your business. We'll take care of the rest and promptly have your bags shipped to you. Eco-friendly food packaging has never been easier.