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Polypropylene vs. Cotton: Which Shopping Bags Should You Provide?

Shoppers and shops are giving up on single-use plastic bags, but there needs to be something to fill the gap. That role has largely been filled by polypropylene bags and cotton bags, but which one is right for your business?

There’s no clear-cut right answer, but you can choose the best option for your business by reading through the strengths of each material.

Why Choose Polypropylene Shopping Bags?

Polypropylene bags are more commonly referred to as ‘Bags for Life’. Even though they are made using artificial materials, polypropylene bags are still eco-friendly, and they come with several advantages over cotton bags.

Firstly, they generally last a little longer since they don’t rip as easily. Cotton bags can last a long time, but they can’t be used quite as frequently. Polypropylene bags can also be wiped clean very easily, which is why you should use them for holding meat or when you need to keep whatever is inside dry.

Beyond their durability and water-resistance, polypropylene bags tend to be valued for branding since colours don’t fade over time. They also tend to be more cost-effective than cotton bags, and their ability to hold their shape is frequently seen as a bonus.

Why Choose Cotton Shopping Bags?

Cotton shopping bags aren’t used as frequently as polypropylene bags, but they still enjoy a few advantages. Perhaps most importantly, cotton breathes while polypropylene doesn’t. This is great if you want to store clothes for laundry or to take to the gym. The fabric is also a lot softer, even after repeat washes, so cotton often feels a little more luxurious.

Speaking of washing, it’s easy when you have a cotton bag. Unlike polypropylene bags, they can be stained and aren’t water resistant, but you can throw one in the washing machine to have it looking good as new.

Finally, cotton is a natural product. Yes, polypropylene is also eco-friendly, but people sometimes still prefer something that feels more natural and authentic.

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