Apple even patents its carrier bags

What you need to know

  • Apple applied for a patent to cover its paper carrier bags.
  • Apple applies for hundreds of patents each and every year.
  • If you planned on copying Apple's carrier bag, think again.

Apple is known for patenting any and every idea one of its engineers has with most of them never turning into viable, shipping products or features. But The Washington Post notes that Apple has gone a step further than even we expected – it's patented a carrier bag.

This isn't just any carrier bag, though. This is Apple's special paper bag that has handles like shoelaces. Except they're not. They're paper.

Let's start with those handles. Apple says that they're made from paper fibers that are knitted together in such a way that they have the feel of shoelaces. That also means that they are soft and droopy, just like the aforementioned shoe fixtures. But wait, there's more.

Apple's bleached sulfate paper – used to make the main part of the bag – is made from 60% recycled material. Competitors, Apple says, can only manage 50% and even then they don't have the same "sophisticated fit and finish" as Apple's.

The company also took steps to make sure that its recycled paper doesn't tear. That's a problem with bags made from recycled material, but Apple added countermeasures like a collar around the opening of its bags that adds extra reinforcements.

At this point we're wondering how we've managed to write 300 words about a carrier bag, but if you'd like to read a ton more the full patent is available online. Grab yourself a coffee and settle in. It's a real page turner.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.