What Is Kraft Paper Bag? Safe for Food

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Kraft paper bags have become a common packaging solution for their versatile eco-friendly features. Learn more about how these bags can benefit your business.

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Last Updated on February 20, 2024 by Packoi Team

Imagine a table filled with two types of chocolate chip cookies. One is packaged in a kraft paper bag, while the other is in a clear plastic bag. Assuming that the cookies inside are the same, which packaging will end up selling more?

kraft paper bag with cookie

If you chose the kraft paper bag, your answer is correct. According to one article, the versatility of paper and the fact that it’s recyclable makes it a preferred packaging material. Several studies and surveys have shown that customers would choose to support eco-friendly products and companies.

In particular, a study reveals that food packaging has a significant role in influencing a consumer’s choice of product. So if given the choice between plastic and paper packaging, you can bet that they’d always choose the more eco-friendly option. That means companies that use recycled paper bags are more likely to get more sales compared to those who keep using single-use plastic bags.

In this article, you’ll discover what kraft paper bags are and why they bring a lot of advantages to businesses.

What Is a Kraft Paper Bag?

A kraft paper bag epitomizes sustainability and eco-friendliness in packaging solutions. It’s made of kraft paper that comes from wood pulp – which makes it incredibly versatile and sturdy. It’s different from regular paper because the way it’s processed makes it more tear-resistant than other types of paper.

kraft paper bag

Unlike plastic bags, the packaging materials used to create these paper shopping bags are biodegradable and sometimes even compostable. That means using these recyclable shopping bags leaves a positive impact on the environment with a minimal carbon footprint.

This type of packaging material is popular in its natural color: brown paper bags. But you can also see it in white or black. It also comes in different sizes and styles. It offers flexibility in design, making it an ideal option that can meet various packaging requirements.

Since it’s made of paper, you can print different kinds of patterns, illustrations, and designs. You can personalize it to represent your brand image.

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7 Different Types of Kraft Paper Bags

If you want to use the right type of packaging for your business, it’s important to familiarise yourself with the different types of kraft paper bags. Here are some of the options that you can choose from.

types of Kraft Paper Bags

  • Standard bags: These are basic brown paper bags with a plain and simple design with no handles. Usually, these are from unbleached virgin wood pulp.

  • Laminated bags: These use kraft paper that’s reinforced with a film coating. It makes the bag look glossy and sleek, making it perfect for high-end brands.

  • Recycled bags: These use recycled paper to emphasize their sustainable nature.

  • Window bags: These have windows covered in transparent material that gives a glimpse of the contents. These are great options for bakeries or pastry shops.

  • Twisted handles: These are shopping bags with twisted paper handles that provide a more comfortable and durable grip.

  • Flat handles: These bags use paper handles that are folded to be flat. This gives it a modern appearance.

  • Die-cut handles: These bags have the handles cut on the top part of the bag – giving it a stylish look that makes it a great option for gift bags.

Any one of these types of shopping bags can be custom-printed with different designs, brand logos, and even messages. But it can also be plain with solid colors that could either be natural brown, white, black, or bright hues.

How Are Kraft Paper Bags Made?

Kraft Paper Bags

The process of creating kraft paper starts with the selection of raw materials—deriving wood pulp from softwood trees. This is also known as the kraft process. The wood chips go through the pulping process so they can be broken down into fibers. Thanks to the long fibers and the addition of sulfates (special chemicals), kraft paper is made to be very strong, making it ideal for packaging solutions. When this is washed and refined, it ends up having a smoother texture.

The pulp is mixed with water to easily spread on a mesh screen. Once the water is drained from the screen, it takes the shape of a thin sheet of paper. This is pressed through rollers that compress the fibers and squeeze out the rest of the water. The result is a denser sheet that will then be dried using both heat and air.

The coating process comes next, but only if you wish to have a coated kraft paper that’s more water-resistant or has a glossy finish. This part of the production process can be skipped if you want uncoated paper.

Once the large sheets of paper are dry (and coated), they are cut and folded into the desired shape of the bag. The handles are attached, and the design is printed.

Are Kraft Paper Bags Safe for Food?

The process of turning wood pulp into kraft paper and eventually brown paper bags involves a meticulous procedure. But the question remains: is this sturdy material safe enough to be used as food packaging?

Among the other packaging materials available, using kraft paper is ideal and brings a lot of benefits to food products. Here are the reasons why:

1. Eco-Friendly and Biodegradable

Kraft Paper Bags for Food

A kraft paper bag is made of renewable materials (wood pulp), which makes it biodegradable. Unlike single-use plastic bags, the paper used won’t take a long time to break down and decompose. Kraft packaging can also be made of recycled paper, which greatly reduces the negative environmental impact and carbon footprint.

The way paper shopping bags are processed and the use of non-toxic chemicals make them one of the most eco-friendly options in the packaging industry. It’s proven to be safe, even if it comes into contact with food.

2. Strength and Durability

Did you know that the word kraft originates from the Swedish language and means strength? But that’s not the only reason why using kraft paper packaging is ideal.

The durable nature of kraft paper comes from the way it’s processed. Unlike standard paper processing, the kraft process removes more lignin from the wood pulp. This leaves more cellulose, which is stronger and more sturdy. It also means it can protect products better. Of course, putting sharp items inside would puncture the paper material. But regarding weight, packaging made of kraft materials can carry more.

3. Food Preservation

Kraft paper material has breathability, something that’s crucial in some food products to preserve and keep them fresh for consumption. It can be processed to be resistant to moisture, grease, and other types of liquids. This keeps contamination low and the food from getting soggy.

food kraft paper bags

This is why it’s a favorite among bakeries and pastry shops. They use these as shopping bags for bread and other baked goods that can be eaten on the go.

4. Design Versatility

It’s very easy to customize kraft paper shopping bags. The paper material allows different printing options that include foil stamping, embossing, UV printing, etc. It can also take on any design – including window cutouts, handles, and unconventional shapes. You can also add your branding easily by printing the logo on the bag itself or the handles.

It can also accommodate food products of all shapes and sizes. Apart from being a great packaging option, it can also be used to wrap food to protect it before consumption.

The Drawback

While kraft paper is a great option when it comes to food products, you have to realize that it has a couple of restrictions. As mentioned, it’s stronger than regular paper, but it can still be punctured by sharp objects, so you have to be careful with what you put inside.

Also, it’s moisture- and grease-resistant, but it’s not completely water-proof. You need to choose the right lamination, and if necessary, use biodegradable plastic to keep the paper from getting soggy.

It’s also important to choose the right storage conditions for unused Kraft packaging so it won’t get ruined.

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How to Customize Kraft Paper Bags to Meet Your Packaging Needs

The versatility of kraft paper means you can make it unique, so it represents your brand perfectly. It’s not just about having your printed brand logo on it. These eco-friendly paper shopping bags can carry your brand’s message so customers can recognize it. Even from afar, it can serve as a free advertisement for your business.

But that’s not all. Customizing your packaging will allow it to cater to the specific needs of the product. Whether it’s meant to keep food products safe or protect fragile items, you can meet these specific product requirements through the design of kraft shopping bags.

There are many ways you can customize this packaging solution.

1. Size and Strength

The size and strength of the kraft paper bag will depend on the type of product that it will carry. You can have multiple sizes, so it can accommodate various products that you sell. Small pouches can be reserved for customers who only bought one item. Bigger shopping bags can be made available for bulk items and heavy-weight products. The paperweight can be heavier, so it’s thicker and able to carry more items.

2. Type and Style

kraft paper shopping bags

This is another way you can customize your kraft paper shopping bags. You can pick different styles like those with side gussets or flat bags. You can choose among the different handles available like ribbon, twisted paper, die-cut, etc.

Even the top part of the paper bag can have sealed closures or be left open. Think about what the product needs. It’s also about providing a type of packaging that’ll make things more convenient for customers. Create a functional bag that is easy to carry, open, and reuse.

3. Color and Finish

The natural brown color of kraft paper gives it a more eco-friendly look. However, you also have the option to use black or white, if that’s what fits well with your brand image. You can also use bright or earthy colors if it goes well with your product and brand.

Once you’ve chosen the color, you can choose between a glossy or matte finish. This will make your bag look shiny or muted. Think about the theme of the paper bag design so you can choose the type of finish that suits the look that you are going for.

4. Design and Patterns

customize kraft paper bags

There’s no limit to the design and pattern that you can do to customize your kraft paper packaging. From the printing options to the printed graphics and brand elements, you have a lot of options to make your packaging unique.

You can stick to just your brand’s logo and name. Or you can have an all-over print on the bag. You want to create an eye-catching design that advertises your business effectively and promotes your product at the same time.

Kraft Paper Bags: A Look at Various Industry Applications

With the growing concern about climate change and global warming, there’s a general call for various sectors to be more sustainable in their business operations. Fortunately, the functional and versatile nature of kraft paper bags means they can be used by different industries. This makes it easy for them to answer the call to practice sustainability.

Here are the different ways that kraft paper is used by various industries.

RetailFor product packaging and shopping bags to carry the customer’s purchases. It’s a great alternative to single-use plastic bags.
FoodFor carrying take-out food from restaurants or any purchased goods from bakeries and pastry shops.
AgricultureFor packaging fertilizers, seeds, plants, and other farm produce. Fruits and vegetables are kept fresh thanks to the breathability of kraft paper.
CosmeticsFor highlighting organic health and beauty products. It can also promote the natural ingredients of skincare, beauty, and other personal care products.
Arts and CraftsFor durable packaging that can carry various stationery products in different shapes and sizes.
EventsFor giveaways - where branded bags can be used to advertise the event and the business that’s involved in it.

These are only a few of the ways that eco-friendly paper bags can be used. You can be creative and innovative with the way you’ll use this packaging material to promote your brand and protect your product.

Packoi Printing Is FSC-Certified to Create Sustainable Kraft Paper Bag

Using kraft paper shopping bags is a good idea if you want to be known as an eco-friendly brand. You can attract eco-conscious customers, comply with the call for sustainability, and do your part in preserving the environment.

The design options are endless, thanks to the versatility of kraft paper. This is also what makes it ideal packaging for various industries.

If you want to start using Kraft packaging in your business, Packoi Printing can help. We have skilled designers who can help you create customized paper packaging for your products. Packoi Printing is also FSC-certified. That means our paper products come from responsibly managed forests.

Get to know more about your options when it comes to kraft packaging. Give us a call so we can discuss how we can help you create the best packaging to promote your brand and products.

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Hey there, I’m Shelly!

I really enjoy the packaging and printing industry because my work makes my clients’ products more beautiful and enjoyable. If you have any questions about packaging and printing, feel free to contact me!

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