Questions we recommend businesses ask suppliers when choosing an alternative to single-use plastic shopping bags.
How are the bags produced?
- What resources are required for their production?
Where are the bags produced?
- Are they produced in New Zealand?
Reducing the distance the bag travels from manufacture to the customer can reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- If they are imported, how far have they travelled?
- Who makes the bags and are they ethically made?
What are the bags made from?
- Is it just one material or a blend of materials?
Bags made from a blend of materials or with components made of different materials can be harder to process at the end of their functional life. They may need more resources to produce.
- Are the inks or dyes used (if any) environmentally friendly?
Look for sustainable inks or dyes that are not petroleum-based.
- If made from paper is the paper bleached or un-bleached?
Unbleached paper does not require as many chemicals as bleached paper. It is also more suitable for composting or recycling.
Can the bag be reused multiple times?
- How many times can the bag be reused?
- Has the manufacturer tested its durability?
- Can the bags be recycled in New Zealand?
- Where can they be recycled?
- If they can’t be recycled, what should my customer do with bags when no longer suitable for reuse?
Does the bag include recycled content?
- If so, how much and where from?
- What is the micron level of the bag — is it 70 microns or above?
- Can the supplier provide evidence to confirm the micron level of the bag(s)?
- What is the weight and volume of the bag?
- How much weight can the bag safely carry?
- What is the size of the bag?
Is the bag leak proof?
- Does it contain leaks and spills?