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Same convenience and quality, better for the environment.
This simple act can help reduce landfill waste, conserve natural resources and so much more!
Educate yourself on the different ways to compost, including aerobic, anaerobic, and vermicomposting.
One way to do this? Avoid single use plastic products. Use eco-friendly, reusable bags from Earthpack!
Earthpack meets the changing needs of an environmentally aware retail community, making it an industry leader in eco-friendly packaging. Furthering these efforts, Earthpack proudly supports and promotes environmental organizations like Surfrider Foundation, SIMA Environmental Fund, Board Retailers Association, Ocean Institute, Alaska Wilderness League, and SurfAid International.
verb Environmental sustainability is the responsibility to conserve natural resources and protect global ecosystems to support health and wellbeing, now and in the future.
Enter Your ZIP code to locate your nearest recycling or household hazardous waste collection center. You’ll be able to access a wide variety of information, including local recycling information, household hazardous waste collections, and environmental events. Information provided by Earth911.com
“Paper or Plastic” the age-old adage is no longer a simple choice. Around the world retailers are changing their bag options due to popular demand and/or legislation. The intent is to significantly reduce the environmental impacts due to single-use plastic and single-use paper carryout bags and promote a shift to the widespread use of reusable bags.
Typically a “Single Use Plastic Shopping Bag” means a bag that is made predominately of plastic derived from petroleum or bio-based sources and not intended for reuse. An example is a grocery store bag. The definition of a “single-use plastic bag” is subject to change from various ordinances. It is important to know what your local ordinance definition is.
Typically a “Recyclable Paper Shopping Bag” must not (1) contain no old-growth fiber, (2) 100% recyclable with a minimum post-consumer recycled content of 40%, (3) capable of composting according to ASTM D6400 specifications, (4) accepted at curbside recycling programs, (5) and has labeled (manufacturer, location of manufacturer, % PCR, and displays “recyclable”). Please visit your city or county website for more information.
Depending on the ordinance, retailers of many different types may be subject to implementing a fee per shopping bag. It is typically a 10¢ charge on recyclable paper shopping bags but differs from city to city. Please visit your city or county website for more information.
Need help defining and understanding industry terms? We’ve got you covered. Check Our Glossary Here.
This is a percentage of material used in the manufacturing of the paper bag that has been recycled and reused and a material that would otherwise be destined or solid waste disposal, having completed its intended end use and product life cycle. Typically, ordinances call for a minimum PCR of 40%, although it is subject to change depending on the ordinance. Please visit your city or county website for more information.
A “Reusable bag” has handles and is specifically designed and manufactured for multiple reuse and meets criteria required by an ordinance. Typically it is designed for a lifetime capable of carrying a minimum of 22 pounds, 125 times over a distance of at least 175 feet and has a volume of 15 liters. It also must be machine washable or is made from a material that can be cleaned or disinfected. If made of plastic, it typically must be a minimum of 2.25 mil thick. Please visit your city or county website for more information.
-In 2009 the number of single use HDPE plastic retail bags used annually in the USA was 102 billion. 1
-Plastic bags make up 0.3% of the California waste stream and paper bags compose 0.4%. 2
-Plastic bags may remain in the landfills for over 1000 years, while paper decomposes more quickly, but produces methane, which has 23 times the global warming potential as carbon dioxide. 3
-Manufacturing paper bags requires trees. Plastic, on the other hand, is based on petroleum products, a nonrenewable resource.
-Americans discarded more than 3.3 million tons of low- and high-density polyethylene bags, sacks, and wraps in 2000. Of those 3.3 million tons, only 5.4% were recovered through recycling. 4
-In 1999, the U.S. alone used 10 billion paper grocery bags 5
-Littering is another major environmental problem associated with plastic bags. When released in the natural environment, the bags blow into tree branches, waterways, and the ocean. In addition to being an unsightly source of pollution, the bags choke and entangle marine life and terrestrial species.
It is no easy task to determine which bag alternative is most sustainable. How does one judge the impact from so many different perspectives? There are many factors that can make one option better, but from another perspective it may not be the case. Nevertheless, it is widespread thought among environmental scientists that the best alternative is neither paper nor plastic, but reusable bags. The environmental benefits of reusable bags are sensitive to the number of times they are reused as to maximize its lifetime. The goal of this is to use reusable bags as many times as possible. This will decrease materials used in the long run and minimize the impact on the environment.
Only specific municipalities have enacted bag bans. Check with your city’s website for more info if there is a ban. You can also contact our team and we’ll do the research for you!
The ordinances are different for each city and many municipalities have not enacted a bag ban. Grocery stores, convenience stores, minimarts, liquor store, drug stores and pharmacies are the main retailers where a bag ban is enforced. Non-food retailers such as shopping retailers are also sometimes implicated. Please visit your city or county website for more information.
Some municipalities allow a public health and safety exemption for restaurants and other food providers allowing them to provide single-use plastic bags for the transportation of prepared take-out foods and liquids. The ordinances require different compliances depending on the municipality. Please visit your city or county website for more information.
Some ordinances call for specific labeling requirements on bags. The state of California passed Truthful Environmental Advertising for Plastics bill, CA AB 1972. It regulates environmental claims made on plastics unless verified to meet specific standards.
In order for a plastic bag to be considered “Reusable” by certain ordinances, it must meet certain specifications. One of these is bag measurement and typically calls for a minimum of 2.25 millimeters thick. Please visit your city or county website for more information.
Typically for the first offense, the penalty is a verbal or written warning. For a violation afterwards, the business may be fined. Repeat violators can be forwarded to the City’s Attorney’s Office for criminal prosecution.