Questions to ask your bag supplier

This page has 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?
Reviewed:
12/04/19