Plastic bags should be banned because they are largely disposable. According to the Ministry of the Environment, the bags are used for an average of only twenty minutes and then disposed of. However, our nature then has a little longer to nibble on them. After the practical everyday helpers were only allowed to be handed out in shops for an additional charge since 2016, they are now to disappear from shops and businesses for good. Are you affected by the ban? We inform you here: What else is possible and what alternatives are there?
No more plastic bags in the food sector?
The plastic bag ban does not leave us, and especially you as a food business, unscathed. Plastic bags have been the most practical and cheapest method of conveniently packaging food for customers. After all, not every customer remembers to bring a cloth bag or similar from home. It should be clear to everyone by now that disposable plastic products do not do well in our oceans. However, it is also hard to find alternatives with the same characteristics. Meat products, to-go meals and co. have so far simply been best packaged in plastic bags and packaging. However, the situation is not hopeless – and above all, there is no alternative. We at Ehlert would like to continue to make work and shopping as uncomplicated as possible for you and your customers and offer you other options.
Which plastic bags will be banned?
The future ban will apply to all plastic bags with a wall thickness of up to 50 micrometers. These are a large proportion of the bags used in the retail and food trade for packaging goods. This also includes so-called bioplastic bags.
Knot bags can stay!
However, there is one exception and a small star in the dark plastic sky: the so-called knot bags with up to 15 µ thickness. The thin-walled plastic bags – familiar from fruit and vegetable counters – are still allowed in your business and may help you store and transport delicious delicacies. What speaks for the continued use of the knot bags? They are virtually without alternative. The bags allow food to be handled hygienically, so they are still allowed. Whether it’s meat, vegetables or cheese, sometimes these bags are simply necessary. And you will not have to do without them in the future.
Are there true alternatives?
There is no general answer to this question, as opinions differ on the subject. While some people adore their 20-year-old burlap bag, other customers like to have a short-term solution in which they can stash their groceries and fresh treats at the checkout. And this must continue to be necessary, after all, not everyone always has a cloth bag with them.
A paper bag could also be an alternative to the plastic bag for your business. You can already find these bags at some supermarket checkouts. When folded, they take up a little more space than plastic bags, but are more environmentally friendly – and above all, they are allowed. Quickly unfolded, they offer a wide base and space for some food. To-go products are also transported safely standing up in it. This way, salad dressing and co. stay in their designated containers and are protected from leakage. With us you find the bags in different strengths. On request also with imprint of your label!
Similarly, permanent carrier bags made from recycled plastic are a serious alternative. They are a little more expensive than the paper bags, but are also more tear resistant. And unlike their light brown counterparts, they are not just for one-off grocery shopping, but sometimes become a fashion accessory. With a nice company print the permanent bags are also companions to the bathing lake or to the park. They are extremely sturdy and a real competition for jute bags. Made of polyester, they are particularly light and durable. Because the space they offer also leaves nothing to be desired. With your logo and a beautiful motif or saying, the bags will soon be taken by your customers to the shopping spree. So also see the plastic bag ban as an opportunity to switch to alternatives and use it to advertise your business.
In addition to reusable bags, boxes are also practical for storing food. Folding boxes take up little space in the car and food can be easily transported in them. And the folding boxes are even much more stable than the good old plastic bag. During the car ride they can not fall over. Whether it’s a large roll roast, pickles or fresh vegetables: everything is safely stored in it.
And what about small, but fine foods?
They feel comfortable in twist off glasses too! Whether it’s a fresh potato salad or pickled olives: They look beautiful in a jar and are definitely just as safely packaged as in plastic. With a deposit, you are sure to see your jars again – your customers can come to you again and again with them and have fresh delicacies refilled.
Ehlert is your tear-proof partner for plastic bag alternatives
With our help, you can survive the switch to alternatives to the 15 to 50 µ thick plastic bags. Whether permanent carrier bags, boxes or other packaging for food – at Ehlert you will find everything you need for packaging in the future. Don’t let the plastic bag ban get you down and make the switch in your business early. Do you have any questions about the upcoming ban? Would you like personal advice on the alternatives? The customer service of Ehlert is at your disposal.
Frequently asked questions on this topic can also be found on the website of the Ministry of the Environment: https://www.bmu.de/faqs/plastiktueten-verbot/.