Dear Retailers: A guide for when the Bag Ban hits
July the 1st 2019 (yes, only weeks away!) will mark the official ban of all plastic bags in New Zealand.
The bag ban will include any single use plastic bag such as the traditional supermarket bag or any bag that is under 70 microns in thickness (including bags that contain bio-based plastics). The ban will also cover “degradable” and “biodegradable” plastic bags as, although they break down, they are somewhat contentious and often still used in a single-use capacity.
While we’re celebrating this environmentally friendly milestone, understandably many consumers are now asking, “what do I use to carry my goods home in now?” and some retailers are scratching their heads in response.
Put simply, thin (under 70 micron), single-use plastic is out. And reusable tote bags (or plant-based compostable bags and recycled plastic bags over 70 micron) are in!
In the ‘absolutely no plastic’ camp, we have some excellent, convenient options for retailers. We have a huge selection of customisable jute bags, cotton bags, canvas bags, and even the economical non-woven bags.
A popular alternative to traditional plastic retail bags are the Ecopack Compostable Retail Bags, which contain natural GMO-free corn starch and completely break down in a composting environment leaving behind just carbon dioxide and water! Ecopack compostable retail bags perform just like your old regular plastic bags; they're light and strong and ideal for carrying goods or groceries - but they're less intensive to create and won’t harm the environment when they’re discarded responsibly.
Traditional plastic bags can take hundreds of years to break down whereas their compostable counterparts have the ability to break down in only 90-180 days in a compost environment. They will take longer to disintegrate in a regular landfill but will still break down unlike traditional plastics. Of course, in this day and age people need options, so Ecobags have a huge range of paper bags in grocery and boutique styles too.
Our paper bags are sourced from sustainable forestry operations, have the ability to be recycled and break down easily. A popular, versatile, and long-lasting option, are eco-totes commonly purchased in canvas or jute. These are ideal for companies that need to incorporate branding into their packaging, plus, they’re the perfect size for everything!
And don't forget that there are also Recyclable Plastic Bags that are specifically designed to be used multiple times. If they’re over 70 microns, they meet our new government legislation. Recycled plastic definitely has an upside - it's affordable, energy efficient (reduces the amount of pertroleum required), and able to be recycled over again.
So, retailers - we urge you to keep calm and advise your customers to carry on carrying their goods out of store in a bag, but from July 1st, it’s up to you to make the best choice of which bag that might be. For the full retail bag range, check HERE