World Expo 2020 Dubai chooses Natural Bag carrier bags from PaperWise

Within the main theme: “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”, sustainability was one of the three sub-themes during the World Expo in Dubai, UAE. This international exhibition involving 192 countries welcomed 24 million visitors between 1 October 2021 and 31 March 2022. Two years prior to World Expo 2020, the tender for sustainable carrier bags was opened. Globally, manufacturers and suppliers of carrier bags were allowed to offer their most sustainable carrier bag. The official retail carrier bag for World Expo 2020 in Dubai was awarded to Natural Bag with their carrier bags made of PaperWise paper. How the tender went and why the organization chose PaperWise? Read more about it…


Natural Bag specialises in tree free paper bags from PaperWise and has been working for two years on the tender for sustainable paper bags for the World Expo 2020 in Dubai. After publishing this tender, they didn’t hesitate for a moment and immediately applied with their series: “Tree Free Natural Bags”, made of PaperWise paper from agricultural waste. The World Expo 2020 had a strong focus on the tender criteria of sustainability and innovation. It had to be an iconic carrier bag that underlines the organization’s sustainability ambitions and mission. The PaperWise paper used for these bags is made of 100% agricultural waste, stems and leaves left over after harvesting. So no trees have been cut down for these bags. But there’s more…


Connecting people to create a better future together – that was the central theme of this World Expo. Suppliers had to contribute with their products to the sub-themes of sustainability, mobility and the creation of opportunities. Inspire people to take action and show that together we are responsible for a future-proof and inclusive society. “No matter how small the effort, as long as it is done together, it will have a positive ripple effect on communities and the environment,” the organisation said (source). Products and services were especially valued if they contributed to inspiring technological progress and utilised natural resources. The organisation was looking for examples of best practices. Products and services that maximised sustainability awareness and visitor experience.


Where sustainable ambitions reinforce each other, beautiful collaborations emerge, is the conclusion that can be drawn afterwards. Natural Bag has a clear vision: carrier bags should be made of renewable raw materials, be certified for composting and be recyclable. Future-proof carrier bags designed for the circular economy. The PaperWise paper of which the World Expo 2020 Dubai bags are made, fits therefore perfectly within the sustainable assortment of Natural Bag. PaperWise paper is made of agricultural waste in developing countries. These are plant residues left over after the harvest and generate extra income for farmers. The processing of these residues, also called secondary raw materials, is done in a production environment focused on zero waste and preservation of ecology. PaperWise is high quality paper, certified for composting, certified for direct food contact and CO2 neutral. The tree-free PaperWise bags from World Expo 2020 Dubai are no ordinary carrier bags, they prove that sustainable transition is possible. Thanks to Natural Bag, World Expo 2020 Dubai was able to fulfil its ambitions to inspire and raise awareness of technological advancements in sustainability, in addition to providing a tangible, valuable reminder to take home…


Natural Bag was awarded the Certificate of Exceptional Delivery – Sustainability after the World Expo 2020 Dubai. According to the organisation, Natural Bag made an exceptional contribution to a successful event with the sustainable carrier bags of PaperWise. Out of approximately 3,300 suppliers from 101 countries, 30 companies were selected to receive this exclusive certificate based on their product and commitment. PaperWise congratulates Natural Bag and is very proud to have achieved this great achievement!


PaperWise paper is unique in terms of sustainability and offers a lot of added value. This added value can be described as follows:

creates extra income for poor farmers by adding value to agricultural waste (prosperity);
puts an end to the unnecessary felling of trees for the paper industry (biodiversity);
is CO2-neutral, efficient in land use and does not compete with food (future-proof);
prevents smog and CO2 emissions by not burning agricultural waste on the field (healthy air);
is recyclable and certified for home and industrial composting (circular economy);
The environmental impact of PaperWise is 47% lower than paper from trees (eco footprint).

Extra income for farmers in developing countries contributes directly to numbers 1 and 2 of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations (SDGs), no poverty and no hunger. It can also contribute to numbers 3 and 4, good health, welfare and education. But it is not about which SDG an organisation, product or service contributes to. The mutual connection, how they fit together and can reinforce each other, is important. The Sustainable Development Goals are PaperWise’s compass.

The choice of the World Expo 2020 in Dubai for sustainable carrier bags from Natural Bag and PaperWise can also be translated into figures. Over a period of 6 months more than a million carrier bags have helped visitors to transport beautiful memories for home. In a pleasant way and where the sustainable message was always clearly communicated. With its choice of Natural Bag PaperWise carrier bags, World Expo 2020 has contributed concretely to sustainability. The organisation has given a second life to a total of 127,500 kg of agricultural waste. This saved 191,250 kg of CO2 because the agricultural waste was not burnt (equivalent to driving a car around the world 4.7 times). The World Expo 2020 in Dubai saved 918 trees that did not need to be cut down. In total, 12.8 hectares of deforestation have been prevented. An area the size of 14 football fields. A sustainable cooperation resulting in a gain for the environment and society.


This created a new issue for the organisation of the World Expo 2020 Dubai. PaperWise paper bags are extremely sustainable, but how do you communicate this to the general public in an instant? PaperWise paper, made from agricultural waste, smells, feels and looks like ‘normal’ paper, but it’s not. And the general public is used to paper carrier bags being made from trees. How do you tell that this is not the case?

The carrier bags fulfil an important role within the marketing and communication concept. Available in multiple colours, different sizes and with texts in English and Arabic. See here the whole range of sustainable carrier bags for the World Expo 2020 in Dubai. Besides the textual message: “This is not a normal paper bag, this paper bag is made of agri fibres” and on the other bags: “Once upon a time I was waste, this bag was made from agricultural fibres”, all bags were also provided with a QR code for extra background information.


And that is also what PaperWise wants to strive for together (with you). To inform and inspire as many people as possible. Making connections. After all, it is only together that we can make a real difference and leave the earth future-proof for future generations. Let’s choose sustainability together. And let’s communicate about it together. By communicating about your sustainable choices, you achieve two things as an organisation. You inform employees, customers, business contacts and the general public. But you can also inspire others to follow in your footsteps and make sustainable choices. PaperWise helps you on your way. With samples, information and communication.


More articles