Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Product Review, reusable bags

-- Product Review -- 

Back on March 31st, Douglas Lober of decided to send a selection of bags our way for review, which we received around mid-April. The company focuses on bags made from 100% recycled materials and offer a good selection of interesting high-quality bags that can be custom printed to represent your event or business. With 4-5 trillion bags being consumed annually on this planet, and more than 1 hundred thousand marine animals, and one million feathered and land based wildlife perishing each year due exposure to plastic bags - options like these are essential in helping the world become sustainable.

Douglas sent us two samples of his latest products is called a Rip Stop Polyester Shopping Bag that comes in both “tee-shirt” and “wave” handle styles, and two Reusable Wine Totes in 4 (green) and 6 (black) bottle sizes.

The day we received the four bags happened to be a shopping day, so while at the grocery till I asked the server what she thought of them. She thought the polyester bags had wonderful capacity and were easier to fill then some bags she’s dealt with. I was wondering what the little drawstring side pocket might be and between the 3 of us we realized that it was used to stuff the bag into so that it became a little package. What a wonderful idea that is – the bag in this form can easily be carried with a person in a purse, panniers (bicycle saddle bags), or backpack, etc. and they’ll never be caught without a bag on them. The only negative point was that “wave” handles, while sturdy, have a tendency to cut into the hands when the bag is filled with heavy items… I definitely prefer the “tee-shirt” handles. One of the benefits of the nylon bags is that they will not attract pet hair, where as a lot of our other cloth and recycled plastic fabric bags do.

The same day we headed over to the liquor store and purchased a couple of bottles of locally produced BC wines, using the green 4pouch wine bag. While there I took a sneak peak at some of the reusable bags available in the store and saw that only one of those had pouches, which were shorter and less sturdy than the ones in ours. I loved the effect of the thick, taller pouches in our bag, keeping the bottles upright but also preventing any clinking of the glass from bottom to top. The green 4-pouch bag was able to carry 1.5 L size bottles, while the 6-pouch back is more suitable for 750 ml bottles. These would also be handy for regular grocery trips involving bottled items like jars of salsa, jam, sauce, cooking wine, oil, etc. I appreciate the thick and sturdy loop handles – which aide in carrying the heavy weight of bottled liquids, and do not cut into the hands. Both the 4 and 6 pouch bags were unfortunately made in China, but are constructed of durable nonwoven polypropylene and can be washed repeatedly in cold water and hung to dry, or dry on the lowest or air settings. (Similar laundering methods for the nylon bags.)

It takes about 12 million barrels of oil to produce the number of bags consumed in the US alone. Just in the city of New York (US) one less plastic bag per person would reduce waste by 5 million pounds and the city would save $250,000 in disposal costs. Any company, sole proprietor, entrepreneur, artist or author could help to make the world a better place by advertising via having their image, logo and website printed on these bags – rather then other less earth friendly methods of getting attention. Individuals too can easily have a huge impact on the health of the planet simply by choosing to take reusable and washable bags on their shopping excursions. In fact simply by switch to reusable bags, over one person’s lifetime they could reduce the consumption of over 22,000 plastic bags. I have reusable bags that are 10 years old and are still in good shape despite going through many wash cycles and heavy use over the years.

We have a section in the Trash Talk book series on this topic that you might want to check out for more information on how this simple step has an impact, and how plastic shopping bags are affecting the environment. Additionally, you might want to visit the resources listed below:

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!


  1. Hello! I simply wish to give you a big thumbs up for the
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    1. Thank you - I do appreciate that! Yup - I take reviewing products very seriously and put a lot more back-story research in my articles than a lot of reviewers do. Our readers really do care about how the product is made, how people/animals/environment is treated or impacted by it, how it is shipped and what the company's policies are re: social responsibility, community involvement, charity support, causes they get behind, etc. It is not just about getting the best quality for our dollar anymore - conscious consumers look a bit deeper than that. Thankfully ! :)


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