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Paper diaper bags add zip

During the past winter, private-label diaper and sanitary protection product manufacturer Arquest became the first to use a new type of tear strip for paper diaper bags.

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Wal-Mart is presently the largest company to use the paper bag/tear strip for its own brand of diapers. Cranbury, NJ-based Arquest has used paper bags with a tear strip in the past, but this tear strip opens in a straight line. International Paper's Kraft Packaging Div. (Memphis, TN) provides the bag complete with the easy-open herringbone-patterned tear strip. The consumer pulls the strip from the top of the pack, down the front face panel, then underneath to the bottom seal area. Once the strip is removed, the pack makes it "easy for consumers to extract diapers," says Tim O'Connor, Arquest's director of marketing. "The straight tear results in a bag that maintains integrity after it's opened. Diapers don't tumble out." Retailers also benefit, he says, "because they find it easier to merchandise paper bags than plastic. They're easier to stack on shelves because they have squarer corners, and once they're stacked, they're less likely to slip than plastic." For Arquest, the cost of paper is about the same as for plastic, he adds. Wal-Mart's two-ply bags include an inner layer of bleached kraft material with an outer layer of clay-coated paper, printed flexographically in six colors. Basis weight is 90#/3ꯠ sq'. Arquest began using paper diaper bags in '94 in reply to consumers who perceived paper as a more environmentally friendly alternative to plastic. "Parents were also concerned about safety issues with plastic," says O'Connor. "We don't have to print any warnings about suffocation on the paper bags." And while many retail customers request plastic diaper bags, O'Connor estimates that "a majority of our customers now use paper."

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