That's My Bag, Baby
Chris Flynn, national sales manager for TARGETLINE, Owosso, Mich., explained further the importance of understanding GSM when working with reusable bags. "Many different levels of material are available," he said. "70-80 GSM polypropylene is great for trade shows or giveaways, [while] 100+ GSM polypropylene is great for shopping or heavier-duty projects."
The Biodegradable: "Oxo-biodegradable bags look and feel like regular plastic, and are just as durable," said Chad Majewski, vice president of sales for Amsterdam, New York-based Noteworthy. He explained that because oxo-biodegradable plastic contains an additive that allows it to break down on a molecular level when exposed to the heat or UV light, it degrades much faster than standard plastic. "Plastic incorporating cornstarch-based additives cannot be recycled and may contaminate the recycling process," Majewski added. "Oxo-biodegradable plastic can be recycled along with regular plastic, and does not emit methane [upon breaking down]."
While both totes and biodegradable plastic bags fill the critical "carry-your-stuff-while-saving-the-environment" niche, each has its own strengths and applications.
The Tote: "The benefit to utilizing a reusable tote bag in any promotion is the long-term usefulness of the item coupled with the advertising opportunity," noted Flynn. "Most totes feature a rather large imprint area that can accommodate multiple logos."
Majewski cited the general strength and durability of totes as their primary advantages, but also mentioned their propensity for customization. "They can come in all sorts of material and color combinations, as well as imprinting methods," he said.
The Biodegradable: While totes generally feature a sturdy construction, they can cost more as a result, explained Majewski. "People want to be 'green' but they don't want to pay for it," he said. "Oxo-biodegradable bags allow distributors to offer a green product at no additional charge."
He also noted that full-color, high-definition images can be digitally printed on the bags. "This allows end-buyers to be much more creative with their artwork, making the first impression a memorable one," he stated.