If you go shopping at a typical point of sale, for example, a supermarket, you need packaging to bring the products home safely and conveniently. Paper carrier bags are suitable for this purpose, depending on the specific goods. Here you can find out, among other things, what advantages this variant has, what you need to consider in terms of color design and how widespread the option already is.

What carry packs are there at the point of sale and what are they suitable for?

Basically, it's important that you offer your customers in your brick-and-mortar store options to pack their purchases and carry them home - or just to their car. This is especially important for convenience.

This way, buyers don't always have to remember to bring their own packing options, such as plastic boxes or the like, and can go shopping on the spur of the moment.

Especially people with little time, for example due to a stressful professional life, have it easier in everyday life. Basically, as packaging options for carrying the purchases are suitable and common, among other things:

Each of these variants has its own advantages and is particularly suitable for certain products. For example, cardboard boxes can accommodate bulky products. At the same time, this variant shines with a particularly stability, especially with regard to heavy items.

Cardboard boxes can be reused several times and can replace a plastic box as a constant carrying option for the purchases. At the same time, they serve as an advertising medium for a certain period of time, provided that you place your logo or company name on the outside of the crate so that it is clearly visible.


Plastic bags, in turn, have long been common for packing various products. They offer great advantages especially when the items are to be carried home in bad weather. Thus, they do not take damage when they get wet.

However, this has been a thing of the past since the beginning of 2022, at least for the most part. Since then, supermarkets have been prohibited from offering plastic bags in the checkout area.

The basis for this step was already created in an EU directive in 2015. The aim is to permanently curb the problem of plastic waste, which has become increasingly obvious in recent years. One exception to this ban is particularly thin plastic bags, which are used for wrapping fruit and vegetables.

Cloth bags are also offered at the point of sale as an option for carrying the purchases. Similar to the cardboard boxes, they have the great advantage that they can be used several times. The two options thus have the common feature of being particularly sustainable and resource-saving. Often, the look of these packaging options already gives your customers a corresponding impression.

Advantages (and disadvantages) of paper carrier bags

unprinted paper carrier bag
Paper carrier bags have many positive aspects for sellers, consumers and the environment.

Some suppliers, in turn, make paper carrier bags for retailers. This option is also now quite common and increasingly widespread (more on this in a moment). In most cases, the bags are equipped with a sturdy bottom, which makes it possible to comfortably store the purchases.

In addition, paper bags have two handles. This makes transport even easier. Without these handles, it would be much more complicated and, above all, much less comfortable for your customers to hold the paper bags and bring them home safely together with their contents.

The paper carrier bags have great advantages, especially in comparison to the plastic alternative. For example, in some cases they are made from a much more environmentally friendly material and are recyclable. In this way, plastic waste can be avoided, which greatly benefits environmental protection.

Furthermore, the paper carrier bags help you to convince an environmentally conscious target group of you and your business. After all, these customers not only attach great importance to sustainable products, but also to details such as packaging.

However, the paper carrier bags also have disadvantages. For example, when it rains or snows, there is a risk that they will be damaged by moisture and the contents will fall out. In addition, care must be taken not to overload the bags. Especially with a heavier load, they could otherwise take a damage. In both cases, your customers would surely be disappointed, which can lead to some frustration regarding the shopping experience.

Important aspects for sustainability

The fact that paper carrier bags can be a sustainable alternative to plastic options, which are now banned, has already been mentioned. However, when answering the question of how high the added value for the environment really is, it depends on a few details.


Thus, in the best case paper should be used for the production of the carrier bags should be used. The production of new paper consumes a lot of water and energy, which in turn has some disadvantages for the environment.

In addition, you should make sure that the paper used for the carrier bags is not chemically treated, or only to a small extent. This could also cause problems for the environment.

In the best case, your paper carrier bags are also very stable. This means that they can be used several times, which is especially important because significantly more material has to be used for these carrier bags than for plastic bags.

For which products is the option suitable?

It is also important to know for which products the paper carrier bags are suitable. Often they are used in supermarkets or smaller stores for food of various kinds.

Of course, you can also use them when you sell other products. This applies, for example, to beauty products. In addition, you can offer your customers appropriate carrier bags for, among other things:

    • Medicines and dietary supplements
    • Garments
    • Toy
    • Takeaway food already packed in a box
    • Electronic products

However, you should always pay attention to certain details. These include, among other things, the size of the carrier bag made of paper. If it is too small for the product, there is a risk that it will tear - alternatively, this can happen due to too much weight of the contents.

If, on the other hand, it is too large, there is a waste of material that is not particularly resource-friendly. Accordingly, you should offer a selection of carrier bags with which your entire assortment can be packed sensibly and comfortably.

Color design of the paper carrier bags

sustainable carrier bag
The visual design of the bags also plays a role for consumers.

As with all packaging materials, the question with paper carrier bags is in which color you should design them. There are versatile options for this. On the one hand, there is the option to leave them in the natural brown, which is often typical for such packaging.

This has the advantage that they leave a sustainable and environmentally friendly impression on your customers. In addition, you do not use dyes, which can have disadvantages for the environment. Furthermore, when using color, there is always the risk that the carrier bags will stain in a rain shower, which is anything but comfortable for your buyers.

Of course, you can consider designing the tote bags in a simple standard color like white, black or blue. This will certainly suit you and your business especially if you are going for a more low-key marketing and image.

You also have the option of designing the bags in the colors of your store's CI. In this way, you achieve a further marketing effect on the visual path, which increases your recognition value and thus helps you with customer loyalty.

Paper carrier bags as advertising media

In addition, the paper carrier bags can be used a little more extensively as an advertising medium. This is possible, for example, by printing slogans or a logo on them. In this way, these elements of the CI remain constantly present to your buyers. In addition, the paper carrier bags can attract the attention of other people, who will then subconsciously head for your store the next time.

Who is already using the paper carrier bags?

Particularly exciting in connection with paper carrier bags is the question of in which sectors and in which companies they are currently being used. Even before the ban on plastic bags, there were large retail chains that increasingly relied on this option to help protect the environment.

As early as 2016, Rewe began doing away with plastic bags and consistently replacing this option with paper carrier bags and cloth bags. Among the large grocery stores, the company was thus a real pioneer.

There was a special campaign in the city of Plauen in Saxony in July 2022. There, trainees from the city administration created paper carrier bags and distributed them to passersby at the market for their purchases. The carrier bags were made entirely of recycled paper. One of the aims of the campaign was to create a broader awareness of environmentally friendly carrier bags.


The paper carrier bag is a real alternative to the plastic bag. Also due to the ban on plastic bags at the checkout, it is becoming increasingly popular. It can be used for food, clothes or toys, among other things. The only disadvantage is that it can tear under certain circumstances, such as rainy weather.

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You have questions about this topic or are interested in our products? We look forward to hearing from you!


  1. What are the advantages of paper carrier bags over other options?

    Paper carrier bags, especially if they are made from recycled paper, have the advantage of being sustainable and thus generate added value. They help to curb the problem of plastic waste.

  2. How can paper carrier bags benefit marketing?

    Paper carrier bags convey to buyers that the company offering them places a certain value on sustainability. Furthermore, they can be provided with imprints that convey the CI or other brand messages.

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