Biodegradable and Compostable Plastic Products

​​Which is More Eco- Friendly, Paper Bag or Biodegradable Bag?

May 08 , 2021
The original intention and original sin of plastic was invented

This is a very ironic question. You may not have thought that the original intention of the Swedish Steen Gustaf Turin inventing plastic bags in 1959 was to replace paper bags. At that time, people used a lot of paper bags, resulting in a lot of deforestation. Compared with paper bags, plastic bags have the advantages of lightness and strength, water resistance, and resistance to breakage. They have been widely used after being invented, and in fact, they are easier to reuse than paper bags. The problem is that these bags are too cheap, too convenient, and easy to get so that lazy people throw them away after they use them up. When the plastic bag was invented, it was not disposable, but because of people's habits, it became disposable.

Plastic pollution

Are paper bags more environmentally friendly?

When plastic bags became popular in the 1960s, paper bags were replaced by them. Decades later, in the name of environmental protection, paper products began to regain the market that was taken away by plastic products. It's quite dramatic. However, many studies have shown that it is difficult for paper products to truly become a substitute for plastic products. As we all know, the main material for paper production comes from trees, which is why plastic bags were invented to replace paper bags. According to statistics, at present, the world's annual household paper consumption reaches 320 million tons. The production of one ton of paper requires about 4 20-year-old trees. Then the world needs to cut down 1.28 billion trees a year. If all paper bags are used instead of plastic bags, it means that the area of deforestation will expand, and it will basically return to the old path of the 1950s.

Environmentalists enthusiastically embrace paper products, the first thing to emphasize is that it is biodegradable.

Hard to degrade has always been the biggest sin of plastic. The plastic bags that people come into contact with every day are made of polyethylene (PE), the most difficult-to-degrade plastic. The degradation time is uncertain, but it is generally believed that it will take more than a hundred years. In contrast, paper can be decomposed and disappeared from the natural environment in just a few months. Isn't it a huge and obvious environmental advantage?

In fact, the truly important environmental advantage of paper products lies in their recyclability: pulp made from waste paper is an important raw material for papermaking. China's current waste paper recycling rate is 48%, almost twice that of plastics, and most of the recycled waste paper is used for paper re-manufacturing. However, not all paper can be recycled. Paper recycling is essentially a "wait and down" process, and the quality of recycled paper must be inferior to virgin paper. Paper of low quality, such as toilet paper, is non-recyclable garbage regardless of whether it is contaminated with dirt.

Environmentally friendly paper cups used as plastic substitutes, although they look high in quality, are basically non-recyclable paper. In order to prevent water, environmentally friendly paper cups and beverage cartons are covered with a layer of PE film. When recycling, the plastic film must be separated from the paper. But ordinary recycling factories can’t do this. Special paper cup recycling factories are needed to achieve this.

Even if the environmental protection assessment of papermaking enterprises is perfect and meets European and American standards, the environmental protection level of paper products is still not as good as that of plastics.

Waste reduction is the fundamental way to protect the environment.

Are Sealong Biobased products compostable?

According to the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), in order for a material or product to be considered to be "Compostable", the product must:

Break down to carbon dioxide, water, inorganic compounds, and biomass at a rate similar to paper
Disintegrate into small pieces within 90 days, so that the original product is not visually distinguishable in the compost, and leave no toxic residue.

Many of Sealong Biobased's products are made with biobased material, making them naturally biodegradable and therefore compostable in the backyard and industrial composting facilities. This includes:

  • 100% Biodegradable Mailers
  • 100% Biodegradable Poop Bags
  • 100% Biodegradable Shopping Bags
  • 100% Biodegradable Garbage Bags
  • 100% Biodegradable Straws
  • 100% Biodegradable Aprons
  • 100% Biodegradable Gloves
  • 100% Biodegradable Shower Caps
  • Shipping Packaging 100% Recycled Corrugated Shipping Boxes

Biodegradable mailers

On the other hand, compostable certifications are absolutely critical for bioplastic because bioplastic is chemically derived, so testing has to be done to see how it degrades over time and in different environments.

Degradation Process

We encourage you to order free samples to test our products and find the exact right packaging sizes for your business. Thank you for considering eco-friendly shipping supplies! If you've perused our site and want to be able to see some of our earth-friendly packaging for yourself!

Please note that while the packaging samples are free, shipping them is not. If you need free samples, please contact us at so we can accommodate your needs.
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