Article Preview: Grocery Totes
PM: What would be some good ways to ensure a client that a given tote is durable enough to carry heavy loads of groceries through multiple uses? Beyond filling the bag with rocks and saying "look how strong this bag is," are there specific construction details distributors should know to look for/be able to talk about, like the quality of stitching along the handles, bag thickness, strength of the base, etc.?
CD: A) Take a look at the GSM. This measure directly relates to the bag's strength and durability. The higher the GSM, the denser the material per square meter and the greater the carrying capacity.
B) The stitch count per inch on sewing the seams and handles is important. Polypropylene is essentially a larger sheet of plastic so too many stitches can actually be a bad thing. Too many stitches actually put too many needle holes in the material and can actually sheer the material.
PM: Are there any special compliance laws or product safety issues for these types of bags since they're meant to handle food? Are there any laws/product safety issues about tote bags in general that distributors should know?
CD: While not necessarily considered a "children's product" for inclusion in the CPSIA legislation (Bag Makers still tests to these standards, however), these bags are subject to other laws such as California Proposition 65 and TiPPA (Toxics in Packaging Prevention Act). As such, we test for multiple chemicals including lead, chromium, mercury and phthalates. Since the food they carry are generally pre-packaged items with no direct contact to the food, they are not subject to FDA regulations.
Polypropylene, by nature, is essentially lead-free so we don't believe there are any inherent safety issues involved with these bags.
Thanks for reading everyone, and until next week!