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With an increasing movement away from plastic bag use, many retailers and advertisers are looking for creative alternatives to the typical personalized plastic bags. Bags, whether paper or plastic, are still the most convenient means of providing shoppers and customers with a way to carry purchases home, and many consumers are still demanding this service from retailers.
Some retailers have made the move to imprinted paper shopping bags, which are sometimes viewed as more environmentally-friendly. But they have some disadvantages, especially when it comes to transporting heavier items. They also tend to get re-used less frequently than plastic shopping bags, and so may not actually be preserving the environment as much as consumers like to believe. Sometimes customers simply prefer plastic over paper shopping bags. To be accommodating to customers yet friendly to the planet, some retailers and advertisers have turned to biodegradable plastic bags.
What is Biodegradable Plastic?
Typical plastic bags can take as many as one thousand years to fully break down. In the meantime, they occupy precious landfill space and emit harmful gasses in the process. Biodegradable plastics have been engineered to meet the ongoing demand for plastic bags, containers and other products while causing considerably less damage to the environment and freeing up landfill space.
Biodegradable plastics, or "bioplastics," are made from renewable raw materials, not petroleum-based materials. Most of today's bioplastics, including biodegradable plastic shopping bags, are cornstarch-based. Corn starch breaks down easily and isn't harmful to plants, animals or insects. In fact, they can (and should) be composted. In order to meet international standards, biodegradable plastic bags must be able to compost within 12 weeks and break down completely within six months. This type of bag can still be re-used, but its life will be limited. However, unlike regular bags, they will be gone without a trace after six months and even sooner if they're composted.
Using Biodegradable Personalized Plastic Bags for Your Business or Event
Simply using these bags shows that you are concerned about the environment and willing to do your part to preserve it. Advertising that your bags are biodegradable will certainly score you some points with your customers and audience.
When you choose to use them, it's important that you educate your customers about them. Make sure everyone who shops in your store or receives one of your bags is aware that they are biodegradable. Encourage your customers to re-use them a few times, and then when they start to break down (this may start to happen after three or four uses or a few weeks) to compost them instead of throwing them into their regular garbage. You still get all of the benefits of advertising on personalized plastic bags and your customers are still able to carry their purchases home in a sturdy, reliable bag.
ArtPromos.com carries several styles of biodegradable plastic shopping bags. They are available in a variety of sizes, colors and imprint options. You don't have to make any sacrifices by choosing biodegradable over traditional plastic bags, and you can feel good about making the planet a little bit greener.342 AAA