Plastic carrier bags are typically petroleum-based, take a long time to decompose and are often imported from distant countries. They're also tricky to carry when cycling. The new PaperJohn tackles all of these issues. It's a backpack made of biodegradable, 100 percent recycled paper.

The PaperJohn is intended for impromptu trips to the supermarket, for when you've forgotten to bring a bag or simply for people who don't have a bag suitable for carrying groceries when on a bike. Judging by the photos, it looks easier to ride with than something like the Bag Buddy and more versatile than the Packtasche.

By providing a means of carrying shopping safely when cycling, it is hoped that the PaperJohn will encourage more people to leave the car at home and cycle to the shops instead. It also has what Ogata, the company behind the PaperJohn, says is a higher than normal paper density of 120 g/sq m to make it sturdier for carrying heavy groceries.

The bag itself is a standard 320 x 170 x 450 mm (12.6 x 6.7 x 17.7 in) block-bottomed paper bag with shoulder straps added. At 140 cm (55 in) long, Ogata says the straps can be worn comfortably by people of most shapes and sizes. In addition, it says branding could be easily printed onto the bag.

A crowdfunding campaign for the PaperJohn will begin in August.

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