This time of year, I always check in with the gift shop at St. Petersburg's Museum of Fine Arts. Any time I buy something there, the purchase gets packaged in handsome paper bags like the ones above.
I mentioned to the manager that these are so attractive that I save them as alternative giftwrap for small presents.
And she said that in that case, they're recycled at least twice. And then she explained that the paper from which these bags are made comes from the fabric industry. They're the sheets of paper that are put either atop or under fabric as it's printed, to catch excess ink.
These decorative paper bags are made from what is essentially blotting paper — isn't that cool!