Quality of Jute Bags, Cotton Bags, and Polypropylene Bags

Published On July 5, 2009

Concerns have been raised recently about the quality of commonly available reusable bags, especially non woven polypropylene green bags.

While some suppliers use recycled polypropylene of variable quality for their non woven bags, at Albury Enviro Bags we use quality new material unless a client specifically requests recycled material. We have found that almost without exception clients prefer new material. Though some may suggest this is counterproductive from an environmental point of view this may not be necessarily so as bags produced from new material may considerably outlast those produced from recycled material.

Though suppliers may save a few cents by using recycled material when the shipping costs and durability of the bag are considered it is very doubtful whether the end consumer experiences any savings at all. Poor quality bags produced from recycled material may even cost the consumer more in the long run though the producer benefits from increased turnover and reduced costs.

Since the quality of reusable bags is fundamental to their durability and environmental usefulness no discussion about quality would be complete without a consideration of natural fibre bags such as cotton bags and jute bags.

Since natural fibre bags have been claimed to have a life of 12 years or 3 or 4 times longer than non woven bags it is clear that the environmental advantages of such bags are considerable. Indeed, elsewhere in this blog I refer to one report of cotton bags lasting an amazing 28 years! As I point out in that article, this would translate into absolutely astronomical environmental benefits on a global scale.

At Albury Enviro Bags we stand behind the quality of our products 100%. Our non woven bags are made from quality new fabric unless the client requests otherwise. Our standard choice for our jute bags is quality 14×15 weave natural jute. In fact, we have done our own tests to determine the load carrying capacity of our shopping bags. Our heavy duty non woven shopping bag, our 10oz cotton canvas bag, and our jute shopping bag, have all successfully carried an amazing 30kg! Even our standard non woven bag with handles stitched at the top only successfully carried more than 25kg and our SSB007 small tote bag carried 15kg! To obtain these figures the bags must of course be properly loaded so that no sharp objects may tear the bags.

While these figures may be a guide to the maximum load carrying capacity of the bags they do not of course indicate the type of load the bags should be subjected to for everyday use.

It should also be noted that non woven bags, especially the thinner fabrics, may be quite easily torn if a deliberate attempt is made or if a sufficient force is concentrated on a very small are of fabric. This is the nature of the tensile strength of the fabric. I am sure most would have experienced this type of phenomena with commonly used cellophane packaging. Such wrapping appears frustratingly strong until you actually manage to start a tear!

Notwithstanding this, quality reusable bags, whether made from polypropylene, jute, or cotton, are all capable of a long and useful life if used and cared for properly. If misused or abused any bag can be destroyed very quickly.

This is up to the user.