Coral Springs, Florida (PressExposure) June 25, 2009 -- Eco bags have made a major impact the past few years. Retailers are using them not only to help the environment, but also as an effective marketing piece. On the other side there are one-time use disposable bags, which have a different story. Disposable plastic bags are falling by the wayside (and not biodegrading) as retailersâat the urging of interest groups, consumers, and governmentsâare making the shift to reusable bags. Both eco bags and disposable bags are used for the same end, effectively carrying purchases from a retailer; however their lifecycles tell two very different stories. Here we will examine the journey of both disposable and reusable bags from creation to design.
First, what materials go into these products? Production processes differ from manufacturer to manufacturer, but the general techniques are all similar. Disposable bags are made from polyethylene terephthalate, abbreviated as PET. This is a polymer resin that is put through a form fill sealing machine, which gives us our bag. Add a bit of color and the process is complete. Seems simple, right? Not at all. Pet is a complicated molecule that photo-degrades rather than biodegrades. This means that while, for example, an apple will decompose and return to its essence in the ground, a plastic bag will never do this. Instead their molecules break into smaller and smaller pieces, but never disappear. These byproducts can do significant damage to water streams, forests, and animals. Not to mention the unsightly landscape many countries have developed due solely to plastic bag waste. After only one use these bags end up in a landfill, on the side of the road, in a stream, hanging from a tree, or wherever else they donât belong.
Reusable bags tell a much happier tale. These can be made from a wide variety of materials, from cotton or hemp to man-made products. rPET, or recycled PET, is emerging as the leader of the new reusable bags. This product is actually made from recycled materials such as soda bottles. In production rPET has a 90% lower carbon footprint than nylon and even beats out organic cotton by 50%. So not only are we making a more ecologically sound product, manufacturers are actually reusing what would otherwise be landfill-clogging waste. After the bag is complete since the material is more durable, much more flexibility can go into the design process.
These bags come with an endless supply of fit and finish, from over-the-shoulder messenger bags to wine totes or reusable grocery bags. Further, the more durable materials (should last up to two years of regular use) allow for more and deeper colors to be used. For a look at the wide variety of reusable bag options, take a look at http://www.factorydirectpromos.com for examples. After creation these bags are long lasting, stylish, and recyclable. Further, using a high-quality, low-cost supplier means buyers get more value for their dollar. A landfill clogger has now turned into a marketing message as customers proudly use them for years to come.
All in all, the shift to reusable bags is important, apparent, and happening now. One can only hope that consumers will keep up the pressure on retailers to make the switch. Together we can make a difference, and switching to reusable bags is one of the fun, simple, easy ways we can do this.