Re: The problem
Most "small" users of products such as paper bags obtain them from one of several very large suppliers of such goods. This includes some pretty large companies in their own right who use third party sourcing for such items.
For example, Uline is a major North American supplier, with warehouses and distribution across the continent.
Their catalog on paper bags alone runs several pages, with a substantial portion of those pages being the matrix of sizes and quantities that a particular type of bag is available in.
I'd like to see Apple attempt to sue Uline for a patent infringement on a paper bag.
I'm looking at one of their catalogs right now that has a 95% post-consumer content bag that looks remarkably like the one Apple is claiming a patent on. The only difference is that the Uline specification has a twisted paper handle. The listing directly above this one is for a bag with a reinforced top, chipboard bottom and soft cotton rope [which would be woven] handle.
Unless Apple has come up with a ~process~ for making recycled fibers [post-consumer] stronger there is no substance to their claim. Even if they do have a new process it needs to be patented on its own and not as part of a claim for what is essentially a ~design~ for an already widely used class of products.
Note: The problem with all recycled fibers is that they are shorter than the virgin material, making them incapable of handling the same stresses and loading as the the original fibre.