Comparison: Paper Bags vs. Non-woven Bags

Comparison: Paper Bags vs. Non-woven Bags

compare paper bags and non-woven bags, pros and cons, reusable bags.

Canada has recently begun banning single-use plastic bags, including shopping and grocery bags. When choosing an alternative bag, consider what makes the most sense for your business.

In this blog post, we will compare and contrast two popular options available in the market: paper bags and non-woven bags, in terms of their design, durability, recyclability, reusability and price. They both have their pros and cons, but by breaking them down into different aspects, you can decide which option suits you best.


What are paper bags?

In general, paper bags are made of recycled paper which is collected and processed in a recycling paper mill. Some paper bags are also made from virgin pulp extracted from trees, which is a renewable resource.

> Shop Retail Paper Bags

> Shop Food-grade Paper Bags 


What are non-woven bags?

Non-woven bags are made from non-woven fabric and the raw material is polypropylene. It is a new type of fibre product with a soft, breathable and planar structure.

> Shop Non-woven Bags


1) Design

Paper bags are available in two colors: brown kraft or white. The earthy tone is a neutral color that works well for many businesses, such as bookstores and clothing stores. Paper bags have been especially popular with stores that sell handmade products, like soaps and candles.

On the other hand, non-woven bags have a wide range of colors to choose from, which means you can be more creative about the design if that’s what you’re looking for - for example, you can choose the bag color that matches your brand’s color scheme without having to custom print anything.


2) Durability

Big check-out paper bags can generally hold 5 to 7 kg of weight, depending on its size and thickness of material. However, paper isn’t liquid-repellant and will break if it gets wet.

Non-woven bags have a wide range of durability, the general range will be 20 gsm to 150 gsm, and they can hold from 2 up to 15 kg of weight, depending on the size and quality of the bag. The key advantage is that non-woven fabric won’t break even if it gets wet, which makes them extremely popular among restaurants that serve food with a lot of liquids.


3) Recyclability

Paper bags can be recycled easily, and they are also biodegradable. Paper Bags are also considered compostable unless they have a lining or a plastic film window of any kind.

The non-woven Bags are generally bio-degradable and can be burned without toxic contaminants. However, since the regulations are still not very precise at the moment, some non-woven bags may not be biodegradable.


4) Reusability

Paper bags are not very reusable. They break down easily when they get wet or heavy and their creases make them look used and old.

Non-woven bags, on the other hand, are meant to be used again and again (recommended for bags that are at least 40 gsm). They can easily be folded and washed to be reused for years!


5) Price

When it comes to paper bags, the high-quality ones’ price ranges from $0.15 to $0.3 per bag. This depends on the size and quality of the bag.

On the other hand, the thinner non-woven bags are more affordable with prices as low as $0.12, because they are made from a thinner material than paper bags and therefore can be more easily manufactured in bulk quantities.


Final thoughts: Choose the bags that suit your business.

As we have discussed above, both types of bags have their own advantages and limitations. In the next 5-10 years, we can anticipate a growing number of stringent regulations eliminating the use of plastic bags and single-use plastic items, so it's important to find a bag that works for your business.

If you have any inquiries about sustainable packaging, please reach out to our ALNA team at

Back to blog