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Resistant, practical and indispensable: learn about the history of the plastic bag

23/01/2023

Plastic bags are used in every part of the world. Produced on a large scale, they are light, resistant, low-cost, and have become indispensable for several consumption and transportation purposes.

How did bags originate and become part of our daily life?

In the 1950s, retail was driven by sales transported in paper bags. Having this in mind, in 1959, Swedish engineer Sten Gustaf Thulin, unhappy with the deforestation necessary to the production of paper bags, created a more conventional, durable, and reusable model: the plastic bag. This model became known as the “t-shirt”, which was quickly patented and expanded in production.

The role of Valgroup was fundamental in Brazil to curb the high and growing deforestation of native vegetation, especially in the area corresponding to the Atlantic Forest. The company was a pioneer in launching the plastic bag solution in 1976, in Lorena (SP).

By the end of the 1980’s, most supermarkets had already replaced paper bags by conventional plastic bags and their numerous benefits, such as the ability to carry more than 1000 times their own weight and to be about 8 times heavier than conventional plastic bags.

In addition to curbing deforestation, in the retail food business it has become evident that plastic bags have solved many problems for the market, reducing the cost per unit of transport packaging, and with this, a period of dizzying growth, democratizing the access to food for Brazilian consumers.

Thulin’s projection was also a success in the “reusable” feature in the country. According to a Datafolha survey, in the last decade, 93% of the users of plastic bags usually dispose of the product for recycling or reuse, especially for garbage disposal.

The production of this solution also makes the entire retail chain viable from raw material industrialization, logistics, disposal, and purchase of the products sold because they need to be transported in a contamination-free and economically viable manner from the supermarkets to the consumer’s home.

What about you? Do you remember your life without the presence of the plastic bags?

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