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Can Burlap Replace Plastic?


Can Burlap Replace Plastic?Plastic is everywhere. It’s in our straws and bottles, food containers, and bags. It is a part of our everyday lives and in most of the products we touch. And yet, we all know that it’s not good for the environment or for ourselves. 

Why Plastic Is Bad

When plastic goes to the landfill, it starts the very slow process of breaking down. While materials like paper decompose in two to six weeks, it takes 1,000 years for plastic. During all of that time, the plastic is taking up space on the earth. Worse yet, as it decays, plastic releases toxic pollutants into the soil. 

Unfortunately, filling up landfills and destroying the soil is the least of two evils when it comes to this pollutant. Plastic frequently ends up clogging city drains, or being carried out to sea. Plastic never fully biodegrades in the water. The plastic in the oceans wraps around small fish, and is eaten by larger ones, choking and killing them. While the debris never fully breaks down, it does still release toxins and pollute the water. 

Many people argue that because we use so much plastic it is an inevitable part of our lives, but it is unhealthy for the planet and that means it is ruining our lives. There are better solutions out there.

Efforts Being Made to Reduce the Use of Plastic

There have been some successful efforts to reduce our use of plastic. Some countries have gone so far as to ban plastic. Other places have levied taxes against it. Many large department chain stores decided to charge for plastic bags at the checkout line. This has convinced many people to bring their own bags from home. 

These efforts are effective steps away the everyday use of plastic in our lives, but still, it’s not enough. 

Can Burlap Replace Plastic?

There are many eco-friendly alternatives to plastic.  Many people like to suggest paper. While cutting down trees is never a great plan, paper is easily recycled and can be used for many purposes. It is a great material. 

Another alternative is burlap. This fabric has gotten a bad reputation in the past as being unstylish, but burlap is used for so much more than potato sacks. With a little bit of creativity, burlap can be made into an effective, stylish, and eco-friendly material. It is a biodegradable, sturdy, fiber that is grown in many countries. Because it is so sturdy it can be reused many times. It isn’t as cheap as plastic, but it is still very inexpensive. 

Not only is it a durable and biodegradable material, burlap absorbs carbon dioxide, even more than a tree does. The benefits to the environment make this a very helpful alternative to plastic. 

So what can burlap be used for? Well, the first and easiest items to replace in your home are your bags. Burlap bags come in a variety of colors and designs. It is easy to find hand painted burlap bags that are both beautiful and more durable than other bags you might find, and a hand painted option will be one of a kind. 

If you take a thoughtful look around your home, you will find many more plastic items you can easily use burlap for instead. Floor mats and dining table mats are excellent burlap items. You can also find totes, decorations, folders, pencil bags, and even light fixtures made from burlap. 

Burlap isn’t going to completely solve the plastic problem, but no one thing will. It will take a lot of small steps from a lot of people to fix this issue. Every step that every person takes gets the earth as a whole one step closer to a better future. Be a part of the change toward a plastic-free future and replace plastic items with burlap ones at every opportunity.


We have a wide variety of treated and untreated burlap. Contact NYP Corp for all your bulk burlap needs.