The Westbury-based Paper Bag Company has gained Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification, pledging its commitment and responsibility to the environment and to stand against reckless deforestation.

The certificate is only awarded to companies which rigorously adhere and uphold the standards set out by the FSC put in place to protect forests.

As a certificate holder the company has to check its suppliers are also held accountable within the scheme with the end goal to ensure minimal environmental impact by maintaining and restoring the ecosystem.

One of the world’s most urgent issues is the relentless levelling of forest land on an industrial scale. The forests are said to be ‘the lungs of the world’ and are being destroyed around the globe at a phenomenal rate.

Deforestation is a major contributor to global warming and enhances the greenhouse effect. It also decimates biodiversity – it’s estimated that 137 species of plant, animal and insect are being lost every single day due to deforestation.

“The certificate reassures buyers that the wood sourced for our products has not been illegally harvested and is from a responsibly managed area. We are delighted to qualify for the certificate and we are happy to be audited every year to make sure we continue to comply with the policies of the FSC,” said director Jon Marling.

The Paper Bag Company had a major fire in one of its storage units in Northacre Industrial Estate in December last year, but has recovered and is considering expansion into larger business premises.

“We have striven and worked very hard to make sure we are always looking at the best ways to do things and being accredited by the FSC is the latest aspect of this push,” said Mr Marling.

“We have some very well-known brands on our books such as the National Trust, Wagamama, The Guardian and the British Museum and we are rightly proud of our product ranges.”

The proposed 5p levy on single use plastic bags, which are hard to recycle or degrade, will do nothing to hinder the progress of the Paper Bag Company’s march into the next phase of business development.

“We make bags out of paper but also other innovative and biodegradable materials like bamboo,” Mr Marling said.

“Bamboo is a great example of a material that demonstrates our ethos – it removes C02 from the atmosphere, is grown without pesticides and it is a very sustainable material.”

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