Innovation That Matters

Cycle-friendly, biodegradable paper backpack for groceries


PaperJohn is a biodegradable backpack made from recycled paper, which encourages cyclists by accommodating their movement.

Register for full access

Our library content is no longer freely available. Please register to gain access to more than 12,000 innovations, updated daily. Our content is global in scope and covers solutions to the world's biggest challenges across 18 sectors.

One million plastic bags are used every minute, contributing massively to pollution through both their production and disposal. Many countries have introduced incentives to encourage the use of reusable bags, but despite their best intentions, the average shopper is prone to forget them at least some of the time. Offering a solution is the PaperJohn, a biodegradable backpack made from 100 percent recycled paper — which can be worn on the back, enabling people to cycle to the store and avoid plastic bags altogether.

From Germany, the PaperJohn — made by Ogata — can carry more groceries than the average paper bag, since it is made with higher density paper. It is 320 x 170 x 450mm, and features shoulder straps. The raw material comes from renewable wood, avoiding precious resources such as oil or food, and Ogata plan to manufacture the product in one of Germany’s neighboring countries, to reduce the carbon footprint associated with transportation. The bag can even be branded with logos or advertisements at very low costs.


Stores will be hopefully able to offer this eco-friendly alternative soon: a crowdfunding campaign is set to launch next month. How else could customers be encouraged to make their shopping trips more environmentally friendly?



Download PDF

Springwise Services:
Our expertise in spotting the latest innovations is the best resource to empower your team’s future planning.

Find out More