April 18, 2024

Maximizing Your Packaging’s Potential: Types of Paper Bags Explained

For ages, paper bags have been the go-to option in the packaging industry. They’re convenient, eco-friendly, and affordable for companies and consumers alike.

It started in 1852 when Francis Wolle invented the first machine to mass-produce paper bags. Since then, the industry has grown and evolved, with various types of paper bags being introduced to meet market demands. Today, as more people prioritize sustainability and environmental conservation, paper bags are gaining popularity as a greener alternative to plastic. Made from renewable resources, these bags are recyclable and easily customizable for different purposes.

Overview of Types of Paper Bags

Paper bags come in a wide array of different shapes, different sizes, and different designs, each tailored to meet specific packaging requirements. From simple flat bags to intricately designed shopping bags with handles, the variety of paper bags available in the market is truly impressive. Some of the most common types of paper bags include:

  • Flat bags
  • D-cut paper bags
  • Square bottom paper bags
  • Paper bags with plastic windows
  • Satchel paper bags
  • V-bottom paper bags
  • Greaseproof paper bags
  • Pinch bottom bags
  • Mailing bags
  • Shopping bags with handles
  • Double-layer paper bags

Flat Bags

types of paper bags

Known sometimes as flat paper bags, flat bags are among the simplest and most practical kinds of paper bags available. It’s really simple to make flat bags without the need for expensive machinery or specialized equipment. These bags are manufactured from a single piece of paper that has been cut to the desired size—usually kraft paper. To build the bag, the edges are folded and bonded with heat or adhesive, leaving the top open to be filled.

Flat bags are often the cheapest option for firms who need to package their items because of their basic form and low material requirements. Furthermore, because they stack flat and take up little space, flat bags are easy to transport and store. Many manufacturers of packing equipment have flat bag making machines available. Businesses may easily produce more or less bags based on their needs because these machines can produce bags in a variety of sizes and thicknesses.

More and more people want packaging that’s good for the environment, especially in the food and retail industries. This is driving growth in the flat bag market. According to a 2020 study by the Packaging Consortium, 45% of respondents claimed they package their items with paper bags, with flat bags being the most widely used type. Flat bags are frequently used in the food industry to package a wide range of products, including snacks, candies, and baked goods. They’re also often utilized in grocery stores for packaging office supplies, tools, greeting cards, and tiny consumer goods. Flat bags are also widely used in the e-commerce sector since they work well for sending little, light goods.

D Cut Paper Bag

types of paper bags

Die-cut paper bags, also known as D-cut paper bags, are a popular choice among businesses looking to add a unique touch to their packaging. These bags are incredibly simple to open and close thanks to a unique D-shaped incision at the top. They resemble flat bags in appearance, but have a diagonal incision at the top to make a larger aperture for easy access to the contents.

It takes a specialized die-cutting machine to create that unique D-shaped opening at the top of the bag. Packaging equipment firms like KETE have an abundance of these machines. Similar to a flat bag, the D-shape is cut out, and then the bag is folded and sealed.

More and more people are wanting D cut paper bags, especially in the food and drink business. D Cut paper bags are often used to package things like baked treats, sandwiches, and other snacks. The special D-shaped cut at the top of the bag makes it a snap to grab what’s inside and gives you a handy handle for carrying. The bigger opening lets customers easily see and smell what’s in the bag, which makes the products look more tempting and more likely to be bought. These bags can also be used for things besides food, like gift packaging or small retail items. The pharmaceutical industry is another big fan of D cut paper bags since they’re perfect for packaging medical supplies and equipment.

Plus, with quick-service restaurants getting more popular and more people ordering food online, there’s an even bigger demand for D cut paper bags. In 2021, for example, Burger King said it would switch from plastic bags to D cut paper bags in all its UK restaurants, which shows how this bag style is catching on in the fast-food world.

Square Bottom Paper Bag

Square bottom paper bags, also called SOS bags, have a flat bottom that allows the bag to stand upright when filled. The square bottom provides a stable base, preventing the bag from tipping over and spilling its contents. This makes them ideal for wide variety of uses from food items to retail goods.

In the food industry, these bags are increasingly being used to package dry goods such as coffee beans, tea leaves, flour, sugar, and grains. For instance, in 2021, Starbucks introduced new square bottom paper bags for their whole bean coffee, demonstrating the growing popularity of this bag style among major food and beverage companies. Square bottom paper bags are also gaining traction in the retail sector such as gift shops, boutiques and cosmetics stores. E-commerce businesses also utilize these bags for shipping small, lightweight items, as the self-opening feature makes them easy to fill and pack.

Paper Bag With Plastic Window

types of paper bags

Paper bags with plastic windows, sometimes referred to as window bags or peek-a-boo bags, are a great option for packaging items that must be seen. With the clear cut-out window on these bags, customers can see what’s inside without ever opening the bag. Usually, heat or glue is used to bind the plastic window tightly to the paper bag, making the packaging impenetrable and difficult to open. Paper bags with plastic windows are growing in popularity because this feature is very helpful for food products as it allows buyers to see how fresh and attractive the things are before they buy them.

In the food industry, window bags are frequently used as bakery bags or bags that package salads, sandwiches, and other fresh commodities. The plastic window is typically made from clear polypropylene or cellophane, which is heat-sealed to the paper bag. The window can be customized in various shapes and sizes to suit the needs of the package and the particular product.

Window bags are utilized not only in the food business but also in retail establishments to package small goods like stationery, jewelry, and crafts. Customers can see the product clearly via the plastic window, and the paper bag offers some protection as well as an opportunity to display the brand and product details.

Satchel Paper Bag

Wallet bags, pocket bags, or satchel paper bags are distinguished by their distinctive fold-over closure. These bags have a flap that folds over the top and is fastened with a sticker or an adhesive strip. Satchel paper bags with this closure style are perfect for packing items that need an extra layer of security or protection since they offer a reliable and tamper-evident seal.

Satchel paper bags are commonly used as grocery bags for packaging products such as cookies, crackers, and other snacks. The fold-over closure gives customers a handy way to reseal the product while simultaneously preserving the contents’ freshness and crispness. These bags are also popular in the retail sector for packaging small items such as jewelry, crafts, and stationery items. Satchel paper bags are also used in the pharmaceutical industry for packaging medical supplies and equipment, as the fold-over closure helps maintain sterility and prevents contamination.

V Bottom Paper Bag

types of paper bags

V bottom paper bags, also called wedge bottom bags or triangle bottom bags, are known for their distinct V-shaped bottom seal. These bags are made by folding the bottom of the bag into a V-shape and sealing it, which creates a triangular base that lets the bag stand up straight when it’s filled.

The V-shaped bottom makes it easy to fill the bag and pour out what’s inside, while also giving the packaging a unique and eye-catching look. These bags are popular in many industries, like food, gifts, and clothing, because they’re so versatile and attractive.

They offer a good-looking and eco-friendly option instead of plastic stand-up pouches, helping businesses cut down on their impact on the environment while still providing high-quality packaging. Many companies that make packaging machinery offer V bottom bag making machines that can quickly produce these bags in big quantities.

Greaseproof Paper Bags

types of paper bags

Greaseproof paper bags, also known as lined bags or Scotchban bags, are a special type of paper bag designed for packaging greasy, oily, or damp items like pastries and french fries. These bags are made from a unique paper that is treated with a water-resistant chemical, such as fluorochemicals. The special lining inside these bags prevents grease and oil from seeping through the paper, ensuring that the contents remain fresh and the exterior of the bag stays clean and presentable.

In the food business, greaseproof paper bags are becoming more and more well-liked because of their special qualities. By 2021, oil-proof paper bags made up 12% of food packaging; by 2031, this percentage is predicted to rise to 15%. Furthermore, according to a survey done by the American Food Packaging Association (FPA), more than 60% of the food companies surveyed are either contemplating utilizing greaseproof paper bags for packaging or presently use them, with the majority of the companies in the fast food, bakery, and snack food sectors. But the uses for oil-proof paper bags go beyond fast food and baked goods; they are also frequently employed in the packaging of snacks, agricultural products, makeup, and other things. Because more and more products and industries need packaging that can withstand oil and moisture, the market for oil-proof paper bags is expected to continue its growth trajectory.

Pinch Bottom Bag

Pinch bottom bags, also known as pinched bottom bags or open mouth bags, are typically made from high-quality kraft paper. They are characterized by the unique bottom seal. These bags are formed by pinching together the bottom of the bag and sealing it, creating a flat base that allows the bag to stand upright when filled, providing a convenient and stable packaging solution. This feature makes pinch bottom bags ideal for packaging a wide range of products, from food items to retail merchandise.

Mailing Bags

Mailing bags, also called envelopes or shipping bags, are made from strong and durable kraft paper. With the self-adhesive strip on these brown paper bags, closing them securely without additional tape or staples is a breeze. This offers a low-cost, lightweight method of shipping item protection. Mailing bags were originally mainly used by the postal service for small items, documents, and letters. In recent times, mailing bags have become increasingly in demand, mainly due to the rapid growth of online shopping. The global mailing bag market, according to a report by Mordor Intelligence, was estimated to be worth 9.03 billion dollars in 2020 and is expected to rise at a compound annual growth rate of 4.8% from 2021 to 2026, to reach 11.98 billion dollars. Businesses may easily create bags in different sizes and thicknesses to satisfy the increasing demand from the postal service and e-commerce sectors by streamlining their production process and utilizing sophisticated mailing bag manufacture machines.

Shopping Bags with Handles

types of paper bags

Many high-end shops and fashion labels love using shopping bags with handles because they make it super easy for customers to carry their new purchases. The two main parts of these bags are the body and the handles. Kraft paper or white cardboard are often used as raw material to make the bag body. When it comes to handles, there are lots of different types of materials and styles. The most common types of shopping bags with handles include twisted handle paper bags, flat handle paper bags, cord handle bags, and twill handle bags.

Twisted Handle Paper BagThese bags feature a twisted paper handle that is cut into a J-shape and attached to the bag body. The J-cut design provides a comfortable grip and adds a stylish touch to the bag. These bags are always used as party bags for small gifts.
Flat Handle Paper BagThese bags are also called Euro tote, they have flat paper handles that are folded inward and glued to the inside of the bag. The flat handle design offers a clean and sleek appearance, making it suitable for various retail applications.
Cord Handle BagThese bags utilize cord handles made from materials such as cotton, polyester, or nylon. Cord handles provide durability and a comfortable grip, making them ideal for carrying heavier items.
Twill Handle BagThese bags feature handles made from twill fabric, which is known for its strength and resistance to wear and tear. Twill handles add a touch of elegance and sophistication to the bag, making them perfect for upscale retail stores.

Double Layer Paper Bag

Double layer paper bags, or two-ply paper bags, are made by sticking two layers of kraft paper together. This creates a bag that’s stronger and lasts longer, providing extra toughness for packaging various items. You’ll find these kraft paper bags being used in all sorts of industries, like food and drinks, online shopping, and industrial packaging. (Learn: Kraft Paper Packaging 101: Everything You Need to Know) The two layers make the bag extra strong and less likely to rip, which is perfect for packing heavy or delicate things like books, electronics, or glassware. The double-layer design also helps protect against changes in temperature, keeping the stuff inside fresh and in good condition. This is especially handy for packaging food that can go bad if it gets too hot or cold, like chilled or frozen products.

Expand Your Paper Bag Range with KETE’s Machinery Solutions

Whether you’re a seasoned paper bag manufacturer looking to upgrade your production capabilities, or a new entrant seeking to capitalize on the growing demand for sustainable packaging solutions, KETE is here to help. As a leading manufacturer of packaging machines, we offer a wide range of paper bag machines and printing techniques to suit your specific needs and requirements.

So why wait? Contact KETE today to learn more about our paper bag machines and solutions, and start broadening your paper bag range to meet the diverse needs of customers and increase customer stickiness and loyalty.


In conclusion, the world of paper bags is vast and diverse, with a wide range of types, styles, and applications to suit every need and preference. From simple flat bags to more complex designs with handles, windows, and special features, paper bags offer a versatile and sustainable packaging solution for businesses and consumers alike.

As we’ve seen, each type of paper bag has its own unique characteristics and benefits, catering to specific industries, products, and customer requirements. Whether you’re packaging food items, retail merchandise, or e-commerce shipments, there’s a paper bag solution that can meet your needs and exceed your expectations.

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