Are there any alternatives to avoid microplastic pollution in my daily life?


The pulp and paper industry has observed a raising awareness of society concerning our environment and you as a consumer may also have asked yourself how to reduce your environmental impact in your daily life.  We offer paper bags as valuable alternative to shopping bags made from bioplastics. We think ahead and perceive that bioplastics cannot be the holy grail since a growing worldwide population cannot afford to plant food crops to be used for bioplastics while other people are starving. Since paper is a fantastic and versatile material, which can be used in your daily life not only to carry your food from the supermarket, you still might not have recognized that selected markets in your neighborhood also offer plastic-free paper bags for your garbage tray. See link:


This product is a good biodegradable alternative to reduce microplastics in your daily life. The papermaking process for this bag is specially developed to maintain it watertight and strong even when wet. Thus, it maintains its performance while use.  But have you asked yourself what lies behind this specialty bag or do you believe that such a paper is a simple material?

Paper is a randomly oriented porous network of hollow randomly oriented cellulose fibers from wood that can be compared to noodles.




Fig. 1 SEM picture of randomly oriented cellulosic fibers in Mondi’s specialty papers




Those fibers are very hydrophilic, which means that they can bind water very tightly. Since organic waste or moist vegetables would harm the integrity of paper, the papermaking process must be engineered. Increasing the resistance to water (turning paper to a hydrophobic material) requires several measures: a) the use of natural hydrophobic sizing agents, which are derived from the resin of the tree, b) the use of resins to increase the resistance to rupture upon wetting with water. The underlying mechanism of such watertight bags is inspired by nature where we also use the so-called lotus effect. Papermaking is a high-tech process by using several biobased raw materials combined in the best possible way, just to suit your daily life challenges.











Johannes Leitner

Group Operations Services & Technical Applied Science Technologist R&D Paper