30% Recycled Content In FIBC Bulk Bags: A Complete Guide

FIBC bulk bags are excellent industrial packaging materials with load bearing ability, flexibility, and durability, making them a preferred choice for packaging, storing, and shipping dry-bulk flowable materials like grains, beans, fertilizers, sand, etc and many more..

These bags have a longer lifespan than traditional packaging containers. And owing to the nature of their make, they’re reusable, repairable, and recyclable.

With plastic taxes in effect to reduce the economic impact of plastic waste, FIBC manufacturers in India are gradually shifting towards 30% RPP (recycled polypropylene) FIBC bags. 

Here’s a comprehensive guide to 30% recycled content in FIBC bulk bags and how it benefits the global FIBC industry.

What Are FIBC Bulk Bags?

Flexible intermediate bulk containers or FIBC bags are industrial packaging materials that can accommodate and safely transport around 500 – 2,000 kgs of product in them. The bags are made from woven tapes of virgin polypropylene, which gives them durability, flexibility, and high tensile strength.

Polypropylene is a soft thermoplastic material that’s lightweight, easily available, economical, reusable, and recyclable.

As FIBC bags are extensively used in food, agriculture, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries, they must be manufactured in a clean room facility under stringent quality control and testing measures. These cleanroom bags provide maximum protection to the goods from all kinds of contamination.

Why Recycle FIBC Bulk Bags?

Recycling FIBC bulk bags is one of the best ways to reduce a company’s environmental carbon footprint while delivering safe and reliable storage solutions for business.

The following are just a few of the many reasons why recycling FIBCs is more important than ever before.

  • Polypropylene is known to be eco-friendly among the existing plaster polymers, yet only very less quantum of the manufactured FIBC bags end up being recycled and reprocessed.
  • With the rise in global plastic pollution and ground contamination, it stands crucial to use, store, and discard FIBC bulk bags responsibly to keep them from piling up in landfills and contributing to the climate crisis.
  • Recycling bulk bags can reduce the energy and resources consumed in making products from virgin material.
  • Using recycled PP granules decreases virgin PP’s need, helping to conserve limited raw material efficiently.
  • Recycling saves at least one ton of plastic per 7.4 cubic yards of landfill space.

Towards the end of their lifecycle, FIBC bulk bags can be recycled to create new polypropylene products such as pallets, trays, box totes, bags to discard construction debris and waste, bins, etc.

With global tax reforms on plastic products in place, FIBC manufacturers are slowly moving towards a more sustainable and economical option of bulk bags, such as 30% rPP FIBC bags. Though relatively new, these bags are in high demand due to their profitability.

What Are 30% Recycled FIBCs?

As opposed to the conventional 100% virgin PP bags, 30% rPP bags are made of 30% of recycled polypropylene and 70% virgin polypropylene, making them one of the eco-friendliest options available in the market.

These bags feature the same flexibility, strength and safety as traditional FIBC bags but are limited in their availability.

The 30% rPP can be achieved with both post-industrial recyclate (PIR) and post-consumer recyclate (PCR) materials.

Post Industrial vs Post Consumer rPP

Post Industrial recyclate (PIR-rPP) is a recycled material made from collected PP waste during the manufacturing process of virgin FIBC bags. In FIBC production, it’s referred to as process waste.

This material is generally of better quality and can be carefully sorted to get white colours. Hence bags made from post-industrial recyclate are fairly white.

Post-consumer recyclate (PCR-rPP) is material derived from FIBC bags that have been used, sorted, collected, cleaned and recycled into new rPP granules. Bags made from this material may be white or coloured.

To ensure these bags have the same tensile strength and eliminate the risk of contamination towards the material, the quality of PCR is extremely important. These bags may not be safe for the food and agriculture industries.

Benefits of 30% Recycled FIBC Bag

Depending on your business operations, 30% FIBC bulk bags also offer adequate advantage as virgin FIBC bulk bags.

The following are the most prominent advantages of switching to 30% FIBC bulk bags.


1. Sustainability

The use of recycled content in FIBC bulk bags reduces the amount of waste going to landfills and conserves natural resources. These bags help businesses meet environmental goals, which can unlock further benefits, such as additional funding, consideration for larger tenders, and international certifications.

By using recycled content, the carbon footprint of the bag is also reduced, making them a more sustainable option.


2. Cost Effective

30% recycled content FIBC bulk bags are cost-effective compared to bags made from virgin materials. Manufacturing these bags helps conserve limited raw materials efficiently.

With extended lifespan, the cost of making recycled bags are often lower than virgin polypropylene bags deeming these as cost beneficial for the business.


3. Durability

30% recycled bags are often made with a higher denier (thickness) of fabric, which makes them more durable and able to withstand multiple uses resulting in a positive impact on your bottom line.

The seams of recycled FIBC bags are typically reinforced with additional stitching or webbing to prevent tears or rips. They’re also subject to various testing to ensure they meet industry standards for strength, durability, and safety.


Limitations of 30% Recycled Bags

As the product still needs thorough research and development, the following may be the limitations of 30% recycled rPP FIBC bags.


1. Limited Availability

30% recycled content FIBC bulk bags may not be readily available as most manufacturers are still getting equipped with the new technology. Hence the usage or manufacturing of these bags may be limited.


2. Limited Options

Virgin PP bags are white and can accommodate various customisation. But with recycled PP bags, there may be limited options in terms of customization and design as the bags are coloured.


3. Potential Quality Issues

There is a risk that the recycled materials used in the bags may have been used to carry chemicals or hazardous materials.

Despite stringent quality control measures, there’s hardly any evidence to back up that these bags are 100% safe for the food and agriculture industry.

Tax Benefit of 30% Recycled Bags

To reduce the social and economic costs associated with plastic waste, the state of California, the UK government, and the European Union have implemented a plastic tax on non-recycled plastic packaging waste, which is set to begin in 2023.

The tax will be applied to the production or import of all types of plastic packaging, including FIBC bags, that aren’t made from at least 30% recycled content. 

Plastic taxes can take various forms, such as a tax per unit of plastic produced or a tax based on the weight of plastic used. Plastic packaging that does not contain a minimum of 30% recycled content by weight will be liable for the tax at £200 per tonne.

The revenue generated from the tax may be used to fund recycling programs or other initiatives aimed at reducing plastic waste.

In the UK, one has to provide evidence every quarter that the plastic packaging has 30% recycled content to qualify for a full tax exemption.

The manufacturing process and innovative design features of 30% rPP FIBC bags help in saving valuable tax money and staying compliant with all necessary sustainability laws.

When To Use Recycled FIBC Bulk Bags

Sourcing high-quality recycled bulk bags may be a great solution for smaller businesses that might only need a few bulk bags to store a large quantity of material.

If your business deals with rubble, construction waste, debris, raw materials like sand and gravel, and other items where contamination may not be an issue, then 30% recycled bags are safe to use.

However, only a certified FIBC manufacturer may have the expertise to guide your business and save you valuable time and resources.

With quality bags from a trusted and expert FIBC bag company, such as Big Bags International, you can increase the life of your FIBC bulk bags and leave less carbon footprint on the environment.

Over 1,000 clients worldwide have deemed Big Bags as one of the best FIBC bag manufacturers in India. Learn more about our complete range of FIBC bags, including the various types of jumbo FIBC bags, on our website.