Bag FAQ’s

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    Where can I buy bags?

    You can buy bags from our webstore by clicking on the green 'Shop' button at the top of the page.

    We also sell bags nation wide, check the inside tag for our name and logo.

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    How Many Bags Do I Need?

    Each of our standard shopping bags holds the equivalent load of 3-4 plastic bags or 2 paper bags. Just 4 or 5 of our bags will hold the contents of a completely filled grocery cart. I recommend a pack of 10 bags for all your needs. If you are like me, you will quickly begin to find all kinds of other uses for these bags! You’ll want to have a few extras. testasdasfsdfsdfsdf

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    Where can I recycle my bags and bottom stiffeners once they cannot be used anymore?

    You can recycle any of our non-woven polypropylene bags (Standard Shopping bags, Laminated, Wine, Insulated, Small, including bottom stiffeners) anywhere they accept plastic #5. Please check with your local recycling company to see if they take plastic #5. If they do not, you can always mail old bags to us and we will be happy to recycle the bags for you!

    The tyvek bags are recyclable with plastic #2, just like a water bottle, and should be accepted with mixed plastics.

    If you are unsure which bag you have, just check the bottom of the bag, they plastic number will be printed in the recycling triangle.

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    How much are custom bags?

    Custom bag pricing will vary depending on the quantity and what you want to print. Please fill out our Request for information form for a quote. The minimum order for custom printing is 150 bags.
    or emailing

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    How Do I Care For My bag?

    Our PP bags are machine washable, cold water. Line dry. Washing is not necessary often. We recommend that you maintain your bag with each use by shaking it out and wiping down the bottom stiffener with spray or mild soap. Please spot clean jute bags with a damp cloth..

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    What are plastic bags made of?

    All plastics-including plastic bags-are made from gas and petroleum by-products.
    The two most common types of plastic bags are HDPE (High Density Poly Ethylene) and LDPE (Low Density Poly Ethylene). The first, HDPE, are the kind typically found at grocery stores. The second, LDPE, are the thicker bags found in boutiques and up-scale stores.
    Both are manufactured from ethylene, a by-product of gas and oil refining. These fuels are heated to produce polymers, the long strings of molecules that form the basis for plastics. Ethylene is a non-renewable resource which emits greenhouse gases during its manufacturing processes.
    LDPE bags are less likely to end up as litter because they are denser (and thus less likely to blow away inadvertently). They are also less likely to become litter because most end up at home, as opposed to HDPE bags which are used in a wide variety of places where there may or may not be proper disposal facilities.
    HDPE recycling programs exist but are limited.

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    Do your bags contain lead?

    Recent testing by the county of Los Angeles shows that the lead level in bags from 1 Bag at a Time, Inc are far below the safety standard for reusable bags, general consumer products, and even children’s toys.

    Current safety levels allow 100 ppm (parts per million) of lead in consumer products. Recent tests show 1 Bag at a Time bags to have less than 5 ppm lead content.

    Not all bags made in China are the same. 1 Bag at a Time Inc. is dedicated to sourcing a product that is safe for people and the planet. We control our supply chain from fabric to finish to ensure that our products meet every safety standard. Our manufacturers are monitored carefully and tested frequently using US testing companies and compliance specialists. Our care in choosing our factories and maintaining social and safety standards throughout our supply chain is key to our success in a consistently quality product.

    We have exceeded safety standard testing done independently by the County of Los Angeles, Ralphs, Old Navy, Kashi, and many other companies. When stores want a high quality product, they turn to us, because we are bag specialists and we work hard to provide the best bag possible in every way.

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    Why don't paper bags biodegrade in landfills?

    Modern landfills lack the oxygen and other conditions that would allow paper bags and other natural materials to biodegrade.
    Paper and other materials need oxygen to biodegrade. Sunlight and water also help speed up the break down of materials into organic particles again.
    Landfills pile waste upon waste, blocking air, light, and water. Trash becomes compacted by its own weight until it is a solid mass. The only liquid is not water but a toxic seep, contaminated by the inks on plastic bags as well as by other toxins.
    The truth is: nothing really biodegrades in a modern landfill.
    To biodegrade, materials have to be properly composted with a careful mixture of air, light, and water.

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    How Many Bags Are Being Used?

    No one really knows. Estimates for annual US usage range from 14 billion bags annually to over 300 billion bags. World wide estimates range in the trillions per year.

    • A study at UC Berkeley estimated 14 billion plastic bags per year.
    • The Wall Street Journal put the number at 100 billion a year in the US alone.
    • The EPA has estimated that if you count all bags, sacks, and wraps, the number may be as high as 380 billion.
    • Some world wide estimates place the number of plastic bags used annually at a trillion bags a year-that's about a million per minute!
    • But others say that 3-4 trillion plastic bags are produced each year.

    Why is it so hard to estimate the number of plastic bags used? Perhaps it is because no one wants you to know, and also perhaps because we ourselves don't want to think about it. Manufacturers don't want to be associated with the problems these bags cause. Stores and even consumers are embarrassed about their own bag usage. Yet, stores and consumers continue to use them daily.
    But now, there is an attractive and affordable alternative. Stores and consumers around the world have rejected the plastic bag, and now in the US, the movement toward reusable bags is growing daily.

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    What kind of bag is best for the environment?

    In order to know what is best for the environment, we need to consider the impact of a bag's whole life cycle, from birth (manufacture) through life (usage) to death (disposal). The best bag for the environment is the one that has the lowest environmental impact over its full life cycle, and the most widespread appeal so that large numbers of people will use them and amplify the benefits. Year after year, consumer after consumer, the bag that combines the lowest impact with the highest usability is the non-woven polypropylene bag, or PP bag. Every government study from Ireland, to Australia, to the Los Angeles County Public Works has cited the PP bag to be the best choice for consumers. That is why we sell so many PP bags. Birth: Low emissions and energy usage during manufacture Life: Reusable and durable to reduce impact over a long and useful life Death: Recyclable when it is worn out Consumer benefits: attractive, affordable, clean, and easy to use. See our bag comparison chart to evaluate different kinds of bags on the usage of material and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as longevity. 1 Bag at a Time is dedicated to bringing only the most attractive reusable bags to the American marketplace at the most affordable price possible.

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    Who else is taking action against disposable bags?

    All over Europe, Australia, South Africa, Asia, and around the world, citizens, retailers, and governments are joining the movement for reusable bags. Now, American cities and states are taking on plastic bags, as well.

    For an up-to-date list of current legislation, the Division of Waste Management in Florida offers a listing of international and US motions to curb the use of plastic bags. To check their listing, go to

    Be sure to see our blogs for current news about legislation in the US and world wide regarding bags.

    Washington DC became the first US city adopt a fee for disposable bags. The fee is $0.05 per bag, and the funds will be used to clean up the near-by Anacostia River.

    Ireland took the lead in 2002 by declaring that "the day of the plastic bag is over." The government instituted a levy of €0.15 per bag (roughly equivalent to $0.20 per bag) resulting in a 90% reduction of plastic bags in one year.
    Australia initiated a voluntary program, urging retailers to carry reusable bags and exhorting citizens to buy them. In the first four years of this campaign, from 2002-2006, Australia reduced bag use by 45%, without a single tax penny collected.

    South Africa, Rwanda, and other Asian and Indian nations have banned some types of plastic bags. In some places, discarded bags by roadsides were so ubiquitous that they were mockingly referred to as "the national flower" or "the national flag."

    Hong Kong had one of the highest rates of bag use in the world: a whopping 4 bags a day per person! But recently, government and retailers joined forces to institute a "No Plastic Bag, Please" campaign, and bag use has dropped dramatically.

    New York, Seattle, California, and many other states and cities have also considered a tax on plastic bags to recoup the costs of disposal.

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    Where Are Your Bags Made?

    Our bags are made in China. We practice fair trade.
    We monitor our factory closely for human rights and labor rights. Our factory monitoring is done by the non-profit organization Verite, whose work in this field is award winning and recognized world wide. You can find out more about Verite at
    We do not believe in solving one problem only to contribute to another problem elsewhere. We believe that we have global problems and that we must find global solutions. By engaging with other countries responsibly to ensure fairness, we can use globalization as a force for good.
    We promote sharing responsibility for people and the environment along the supply chain. From the factory, to the supplier, to the store, and ultimately to the consumer, each level must contribute a little and demand responsibility from the next level in the chain. The result is a truly sustainable economic model. We do our part. By asking where our bags are made and purchasing our bags, you are doing your part. Thanks!
    For more information, see our corporate responsibility page.

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    Are Biodegradable or Compostable Plastics Better than PP?

    Biodegradable or Compostable plastic is great if you actually biodegrade them. The problem is, most people don't. Even if you have a composter at home, you won't be able to compost most of these plastics as they usually require commercial composting to break down. I've tried them in my composter and a year later, found the same "compostable plastic" fork still intact a year later.

    These plastics are just as dangerous in our environment and most of them will not break down for years in a marine environment, during which time they are deadly to fish. Furthermore, most of these plastics leave a toxic residue when they do break down.

    The best use of plastics is to buy durable items and reuse them for years without creating waste until the very end of the product's useful life.

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    Why Is Jute So Good for the Environment?

    Ten Facts About Jute 1. Jute is a natural fiber extracted from tropical plants related to hemp. 2. Jute absorbs more CO2 than trees, so it is a natural defense against global warming. 3. One acre of Jute can absorb 6 tons of CO2 and releases 4.5 tons of oxygen in one growing season. 4. It’s highly efficient and renewable, ready for harvest in just 4-6 months. 5. It is non-toxic and has been used to package grains, coffee, and other foods for thousands of years. 6. It naturally improves soil when used in crop rotation. 7. Less fertilizer, herbicides, and pesticides are needed for jute than cotton. 8. It has been used since ancient times for rope, twine, burlap, rugs, and textiles. 9. It’s called the golden fiber. Its naturally attractive color does not need dyes. 10. It’s 100% biodegradable. Just dig a hole and plant it in your garden and it will return to the earth.

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