FAQs About Fruity Sacks
1. In what way are Fruity Sacks eco friendly?
Fruity Sacks are all about reuse reuse reuse and it is this that makes them sustainable. Each Fruity Sacks bag has the potential to save thousands of plastic bags that would otherwise end up in landfill.
2. In what way are Fruity Sacks eco Friendly? Eco friendly products are products that are not harmful to the environment.
It would be great if Fruity Sacks were made from natural fibres but natural fibres tend to attract moisture and so create a lovely environment for mould to grow which is not great for our food. Good old polyester repels moisture-this not only helps make them food safe but means they dry quickly when you wash them.
3. Have you considered using bags made from recycled materials?
Yes we have and that would be great. It is possible to get materials made from recycled PET bottles but there is too much literature out there that suggests there are a number of issues associated with the recycling of PET including that the recycling process which is usually done at a high heat, causes antimony, a carcinogen. This industrial pollutant puts the health of workers in the recycling plant as well as others at risk. Ethically I can't bring myself to follow this path unless we feel confident that there is nothing in the claims particularly given these industries tend to be in third world countries. Want to read more? https://oecotextiles.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/issues-with-using-recycled-polyester/
4. Why not make your bags out of organic cotton?
Organic cotton seems like a great solution - no nasty chemicals or pesticides and it is natural - but when we did our research we found that to grow just one kilo of cotton, 10 000 litres of water is required. What seemed like a sustainable solution turned out not to be one...and then there was the issue that cotton attracts moisture and bacteria and mould.
5. Ok then, why not make your bags out of silk?
Silk is beautiful, luxurious and lightweight....but creating silk involves boiling silkworms. Again, this is an ethical problem for us and we cannot justify heading down this path.
6. What's wrong with paper?
We love paper but it is not a sustainable solution. Paper is a not a sustainable solution to carrying fruit and vegetables. If we look at the life cycle of paper, it starts with clearing land and forests and making them bare. Paper bags are not very strong and so we need a lot of paper to carry fruit and vegetables. We are not able to reuse paper very often and before long most of it ends up in landfill where it has difficulty breaking down due to the lack of oxygen.
7. Well what is the solution? Surely not polyester?
We have worked hard to find the best solution to finding an alternative to plastic bags for fruit and vegetable shopping and we believe our polyester mesh bags are the best. They are not perfect but they best solution for the simple reason that we can reuse them countless times and it is this functional quality that makes them sustainable. Not all plastic is bad-it is what we do with it that determines whether it is good or bad.
8.Your bags are made of polyester which is ultimately going to end up in landfill and so is that really very different from using a plastic bag?
Each Fruity Sack can be used 1000s of times and thereby save 1000s of plastic bags. Yes – they are made of polyester but it is a fine mesh netting polyester. The bags composition is more small holes than it is fabric so when Fruity Sacks do eventually wear out they will not take up as much landfill as a dense polyester material and nowhere near as much landfill as the plastic bags they replaced. For reasons outlined above, we have not manufactured the bags using recycled or recyclable materials.
9. Fruity Sacks are made in China. How can you call yourself an Australian business?
The concept and design of Fruity Sacks is Australian, the financial investment spent in creating the bags is Australian and the business is owned, managed and based in Australia.
We would love to have been able to get the bags made in Australia but the cost of doing so would take the price well out of the range we understand most households can tolerate. We want to appeal to the mass market to achieve a significant difference to the environment so we can’t overlook price. I know for my own family, sometimes due to finances, we are not able to do the most environmentally friendly thing because it is just too expensive.
In addition to this, for the business to be viable price is important. If our price is not competitive, other businesses will run with the idea, get similar bags made in China, undercut our price and we will be out of business.
10. Why get the bags made in China which doesn’t have a great reputation for the way workers are treated?
We are comfortable providing work for people in China which supports them to support themselves and their families. In relation to working conditions, the workers in the factories making Fruity Sacks get holidays (the factory close for 4 weeks every year around Chinese New Year). Our inquires have found that workers have the choice to work overtime and often do choose to when it is available as they are paid for the overtime they work. In China we are able to get the bags made to a very high standard of quality at a viable price.
10. Is your packaging made from recycled material?
Yes our packaging is made from recycled paper.
Facts About Plastic Bags
Plastic bags are everywhere, and while they are convenient, they cause significant environmental damage all over the world. Every year Australians consume more than 4 billion supermarket plastic bags. Of these, just 3 per cent are recycled and the rest end up in our environment or in landfill.
- Only 3% of recyclable bags are actually recycled
- - So called ‘biodegradable’ bags actually cause greater widespread pollution than regular plastic bags.
- Australians currently use 4 billion plastic bags annually, which means over 10 million new bags are used every day, or that we each use 200 each year.
- The energy consumed in the life cycle of one plastic bag is estimated to be equivalent to 13.8 millilitres of crude oil, or about a teaspoonful.
- Australians throw away about 7,150 recyclable plastic bags a minute, with 429,000 recyclable plastic supermarket bags dumped into landfill every hour.
- Plastic bags can become serial killers. Once a bag is ingested, the animal dies and decomposes, releasing the bag back into the environment to kill again1.