TPU Lining ~ Why use plastic??
Why are the Bulk Food Bags lined?
In the design process of My Last Bag's Bulk Food bag we have taken lining the bag into careful consideration and have chosen to line the Bulk Food bags for the following reasons;
- My Last Bag strives to create practical products that are easy to use, and help Reduce Waste
- Our goal is to make Zero Waste accessible to everyone including people with limited time, therefore
- The bags need to be easy to clean - thanks to the lining you just turn them inside out and wipe clean with a wet cloth
- No need to wash after every use saving on water and power consumption
- We take pride in the fact that our lining has been independently tested and is CERTIFIED Foodsafe, BPA, Phthalate and Heavy metal Free
- As a Bulk Food Bag it needs to hold flours and nut meals, unlined cloth is not ideal for this
- Without the liner Nuts would leak oils into the fabric
- When using My Last Bag heaps of paper and plastic bags will be saved from ending up in landfill or recycling
- Half the plastic in the world today is single use plastic - Ideally we would Reduce - Reuse - Recycle
- Recycling should be the last option with Reusing the more important one - in our opinion it is less about the material used and more about the volume of single use
We have estimated that if the average bulk food shopping family uses 4 paper bags per week, using our Bulk Food Bags could save 208 paper bags per year per family simply by purchasing 4 of our bags which are built to last for years.
We have looked at other options for the lining and have found;
- PLA (plant based) lining only has a shelf life of 6 months and would therefor not be suitable for our product
- Unfortunately recycled laminates are not readily available yet
At the end of it's life-cycle however our Bulk Food Bags can be disposed of as follows; If you cut the bag you can peel the lining off the Hemp fabric. The hemp fabric can be cut into pieces and composted and the TPU lining can be recycled with other soft plastics which can be brought to the Coles or Woolworths soft plastic recycling bins.
Plastic became famous as it's a product that is strong and durable, therefor in my opinion should be used in that manner ~ for products that should last. If we can eliminate single use plastics we can half our plastic use worldwide.
What is TPU?
Our Reusable Bulk Food Bags are lined with a 0.02mm TPU lining. TPU stands for Thermoplastic Polyurethane and is non toxic. We are one of the few companies that can prove our lining is BPA free and safe due to our extensive & independent testing.
TPU is widely used in the medical industry. It is also the same material that many popular Eco brands have used to line their lunchbox carriers or Reusable Sandwich bags.
PUL is used for the inside lining of reusable nappies; PUL and TPU are virtually the same material, only TPU is heat bonded to the fabric instead of chemical bonded which makes TPU more Eco Friendly than PUL.
TPU is BPA, Phathalate, PVC free and Lead Free. In addition to this it is also Food safe by both European and Australian standards.
We have not taken any of this for granted as mentioned above, and have had our TPU laminate independently tested by Intertek. Feel free to contact us and we will be happy to send you a copy of the report if required.
Please also note that the lining is more of a coating than a lining and super thin (0.02mm) ~ It is for instance much thinner than the plastic used to package pre-packaged muesli or other grains.
Why not just use paper bags?
Paper bags are NOT a sustainable solution!
Taking into consideration that
- it takes almost 4 times as much energy to manufacture a paper bag as a plastic bag
- the manufacturing of paper bags requires 20 times as much water as a plastic bag
- paper bags require more energy to be recycled versus plastic bags
- paper bags are heavier than plastic bags ~ therefor creating additional waste, waste management and recycling costs
- paper bags that do end up in landfill take up 7 times more space than plastic bags
- it takes 7 trucks to transport 2 million paper bags versus 1 truck to transport 2 million plastic bags
- and lets not forget the trees...
We strongly feel that using our Bulk Food bags lined with a 0.02mm TPU lining is by far a much better option when it comes to sustainability.
I am by no means advocating the use of plastic bags! However, I do wish to shed light on the fact that single use paper bags traditionally used in Bulk Food Shopping are NOT and environmentally friendly or sustainable option and that this has been my inspiration for developing My Last Bag's Bulk Food bags.