Paper Bag Day | July 12
Wed Jul 12th

Paper Bag Day

On Paper Bag Day, we recognize the importance of an invention we take for granted.


Every day, millions of people use paper bags. Paper bags have been around for many years, and they are made from 100% recycled paper. Francis Wolle, an American entrepreneur, received recognition for his invention of the first paper bag machine in 1852. William Goodale, another paper bag entrepreneur, received his patent on July 12th, 1859. He was supposed to cut the paper so that it was foldable. Margaret E. Knight became known as "the mother of the grocery bag" after she invented the square, flat-bottomed bag, and the machine that would fold and paste them in 1870. Other innovators have been recognized and patents for their inventions of devices that extend the paper bag or manufacture.

Not only does one carry our groceries or lunches in a paper bag, but a surprising number of ways this highly useful product comes in handy.

  • Help reduce anxiety when hyperventilating – Cover your nose and throat with the open end of the paper bag and fill the bag with your breath. Breath in and out will continue to be present until breathing becomes normal
  • Serve popcorn – When making a large amount of popcorn for a group, use small size paper bags. Any oil used to season the popcorn will also be absorbed by the paper bags, ensuring the snack will be less messy
  • Paper bags make great puppets, masks, and windsocks, as shown by Arts and Crafts Get decorating with your children and have a blast doing it, too!
  • Gift bags – Recycle and make gift bags. Whether you're giving homebaked goodies or another thoughtful gift, your gift bag will steal the show
  • Ripen fruit – Don't wait for green fruit to ripen. Fold the top and place it in a paper bag. This captures the ethylene gas released by the fruit, which helps it to mature. Want them to ripen even faster? Want them to ripen even faster? Put an apple in there, too

How to celebrate paper bag day is a mystery

Consider the convenience of the paper bag or sack. How many other ways can you use paper bags? How many other ways can you use paper bags? To find out, check out these 7 Common Uses For Paper Bags.

Using #PaperBagDay, share your favorite uses for the paper bag and post on social media using #PaperBagDay.

The history of paper bag day in the United States has a paper bag day

Although we haven't identified the day's inventor, it does honor the fact that one US patent was issued for a paper bag machine; William Goodale's 1859 patent was granted on July 12th.