Friday, December 22, 2017

Farewell 2017

2017 was an amazing year.

A number of initiatives really started to gain momentum.

We got behind the Boomerang Bag concept and have really seen it fly (, we make regular donations to our local sewing group.

We've seen a number of our customers grow and develop their brands and bring reusable bags in to their product mix with great success.

The guys in the UK have uncovered a very niche market with Divot Repair Bags... what will they think of next?

We've also tried to educate a bit more.  Not in the realm of why reusable bags are worthwhile, but around some of the lesser known elements of reusability.

Biodegradable vs. Photodegradable
Green Washing
Understanding Terminology

Lastly, I think it's our customer focus that makes us stand out.

This will continue.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Cotton Prices

Our post from March 2011 (Cotton Price Talk) saw the absolute peak of the Cotton Price for the last 45 years as shown in this chart.

The price has normalised (quite quickly) since then because of the simple commercial laws of supply and demand.

My hunch is that with the proliferation of Plastic Bag Bans around the world the price of Cotton will continue to rise and we may see pricing like $1.50 in 2-4 years, maybe sooner.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Cost or Investment

There is a lot of consciousness around the issue of plastic bags and their environmental impact.

Despite that, the move towards reusable bags is largely led by individuals in their own quest to do small things in their daily life that make a difference. The next step is for businesses to raise this awareness even further with their packaging options.

Many retailers and other businesses ask Bag People what to offer their customers as a plastic bag alternative.

Given the range of bag styles and range of price, there is always something that will meet our customers' needs. One of the obvious "barriers" is the reusable bags cost more than plastic bags.

Part of the process for our customers in choosing a bag, is working out how the bags will be offered. They often ask :
* "Should we sell them for a profit or at least cover costs?"
* "Can we offer them free as an incentive to purchase up to a certain amount in store?"
* "Should we just give them away? The cost of this will surely be outweighed by the marketing opportunity when our customers carry our bag about."

The answer is any or all of the above. We have seen all of these options work well for our customers. Yes, eco-friendly bags are more expensive than single-use plastic bags, however, the opportunity to engage with customers at a new level is truly exciting.

Ask Bag People for more details.

Monday, November 20, 2017

What about GREEN?

Following on from our last post, have you been thinking about it?

Check out Wikipedia ( on the subject.

They basically say that Greenwashing is a deceptive marketing activity used to promote the perception that a product or service aims to be environmentally friendly.

They also make the observation that greenwashing can be spotted by making the comparison on spending.  Whereby more money is spent on advertising being "green" than is actually spent on environmentally sound practices.

Many suppliers of reusable bags will make all kinds of references to all the certifications and standards.

Your challenge is to test them.  Ask the question.

Their ACTUAL certification credentials are a matter of public record.  Ask the question.

They should be produced within minutes of making a request.  Ask the question.

If someone is making a statement or promise of something.  You owe it to yourself to ASK THE QUESTION.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Look Behind the Terminology

In every day life there are terms and phrases being used which label something we won't like with far more palatable language.

Temporary wages refund surplus adjustment  =  Tax Increase
Reversed Child Care Fee Reduction Plan  =  Child Care Fee Increase

Then there's simple ones like Light (Lite) and Green.

What is Light (Lite)?  Ask around and you might be surprised to know in some cases it refers to the colour of the product or even the actual weight.

The connotation is that (when food related) it refers to the dietary composition of the product.

In a recent personal study (meaning I did it myself) when comparing 2 brands of cheese from the same producer.  One was shown without any reference to diet or nutrition and the other was shown as Lite.

When looking at the nutritional values of each, the RDI and percentages were identical.


The product without any references was 500g.

The LITE product was 475g.

What do you think of when you see something promoted as being "Green"?

Think - Ask - Act.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Future is Jute

Jute Bags are fast becoming the path forward in our reusable future.

Although they are bigger and heavier than most of the alternatives.  The small amount of additional fuel for transportation is quickly offset by the vast number of benefits offered in other areas.

Jute is a 100% natural fibre and there's no need for any additional man-made ingredients.

Jute is grown using similar methods to that of organic farming where crops are rotated seasonally and there are no herbicides or pesticides used.

Jute has no need for genetic modification.  It's a very hardy plant that grows to harvestable maturity in 4-6 months.

The whole Jute plant is used.  The inner section is used to create the Jute fibres for making products like bags, twine/rope, paper, shoes, carpet backing.  Then the outer section and leaves are used as firewood.

Harvest is between July and October with the primary growing region in the Bengal area (India and Bangladesh).  There are other regions producing Jute - such as China and Brazil.

Jute is the smart choice for a range of reasons.

Contact Bag People for information on our exceptional Jute

Monday, September 11, 2017

QLD Bag Ban Plans

More and more regions of Australia are banning plastic bags.

On 1 July, 2018 the QLD single use plastic bag ban will take effect.

Planning starts now in QLD.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Keep Your Brand Subtle

When you're using reusable bags as a marketing or promotional tools be sure of 3 things.

1)  keep your branding subtle and discrete.  Make sure the user will want to pick up your bag and reuse it rather than someone else's.

2)  be realistic about the costs.  When testing-the-water and ordering lower quantities the prices are usually higher.

3)  get the bag to meet your brand.  When choosing the bags make sure you keep your own brand presence in mind.  If you've got a luxury brand, make sure your bags are at the luxury end... and vice-versa.

There's a lot of things to consider and it's a balancing act with price, quality and quantity.

Bag People can help.  We've been in the bag business for a long time and I'd say we've already helped someone else who was in the same situation you are now.

Contact Us for details.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Proposed WA Bag Ban

With plenty of movement amongst legislators around the world, Australian policy makers are beginning to join the trend.

Canberra (ACT) has been running a number of regional trials of different nature to see which bag-banning strategy will work best.

Western Australia has also established a number of regional trials to determine which method of reducing single use bags will have the best effect.

WA plans to launch a state-wide ban in 1st July, 2018.

No doubt other states and territories will follow.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Cleaning Your Bags

Hygiene is sometimes raised as an issue against reusable bags.

Yes - true and correct.

But, what do you do with your clothes that are dirty.

You'll wash them of course.

Same with reusable bags.  Simple check the care instructions from the suppliers and you're good to go.

Clean, simple and ready for more usage.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Is the cheapest price always the best value?

In the bag business the cheapest price usually wins the order, this is unfortunate because it leads to the wrong products being supplied and worse still, very poor quality products that do not last as long as they should.

Here's the formula for deciding what's important to you when choosing your bag supplier.

You fill in the blanks with. Good. Cheap. Quick.

I want bags that are _______ and _______, but not _______.

There will be 3 outcomes :
:: Good and Quick, but not Cheap.
:: Cheap and Good, but not Quick.
:: Quick and Cheap, but not Good.

At Bag People, we've found that customer never ask product products that are "not good", but we're always asked for cheap.

We can do cheap products, but we need a bit of time for delivery (usually about 8-10 weeks).

Other than than, we can fill all of your needs.

Quality is one of our Cornerstones and as such we won't sell you short. Don't damage your brand with bags of inferior quality.

Ask yourself "what is the cost?

Contact Us to find out more.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Buy Direct and Save

OK - we all want to save money, do a good job and receive quality products.

Great service on top of this would be a massive bonus.

Our Direct Model does everything for you.

It comes down to Chinese Whispers (or Telephone, if you're in America).

Getting accurate information in a timely manner.

Our Direct Model does that for you too.

You need to use Bag People for your next bag order.

Email us now :

Thursday, May 11, 2017

On Time and In Full

We do just about anything to meet the delivery deadlines for our customers.

I've heard stories from other suppliers that they've stayed up all night repacking bags, driven to the ends of the earth to deliver, re-shuffled their own priorities to go out to make a delivery.

Yes - we'll do that too; but it is very rarely needed.

It's our partnerships, processes and systems that help us deliver on time and in full.

Considering we've been making bags since 1992, we're doing something right.

We've got a supplier network that is honed.  Each partner is an expert in their area and pull it all together for you.

Our manufacturing partners are superb, shipping and freight contractors, warehouse staff and delivery drivers are all part of the machine.

Delivery on time and in full.

Our aim is 100%.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Cotton Pricing Update

Not too long ago (March, 2011) Cotton Pricing went crazy and - at that time - was showing no signs of cooling off.

But, as we can see with hindsight it was a classic supply and demand bubble at the time.  Poor returns for producers meant lower production and as such pushed prices up.

Cotton prices have normalised to a sustainable level for consumers and have stayed there for some time.

At present, there's nothing in the immediate future that will impact pricing.

However, the longer term story is quite different and pressures will come from a number of areas :

  • changing attitudes by consumers towards single use plastic bags
  • reductions on arable land
  • competition from other crops
  • specific climate events
  • overall climate change (sea levels, drought/flood)
I'd say that cotton pricing will be about $145.00 by June 2019.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Swing to Higher Quality

Since introduction in November 2016, our Heavy Weight Canvas Bags have been our best sellers.

It is absolute proof that cost is becoming a smaller influence on the buying decisions of consumers.

Savvy consumers know that a cheap bag is a very short term proposition, whereas a product with better construction and design will serve them for longer.

Spending more actually saves you money... especially when quality is sacrificed to meet a price point.

Next time you're considering buying something (not just reusable bags) ask what the overall cost might be; compared to the price.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Oberon Boomerang Bags

Oberon in regional NSW has recently launched the Boomerang Bag concept.

Boomerang Bags are available free-of-charge to anyone needing a bag.

The first community store to stock the bags is Foodworks.

Oberon Rotary member Brenda Lyon said "through Boomerangs we can work towards shifting society's throw-away mentality to a more sustainable revolution of reuse - one community, needle and thread at a time!"

Great concept.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Canberra leads Australia in Reuse Stakes

Banning bags in Australia capital has had a profound impact on the sheer weight of landfill being generated.

A very interesting number is reported as a 36% reduction in the tonnage of bags buried in landfill - from 266 to 177 tons within 2 years.

Don't know about you, but that's a big number for any community.

Click to read more from the ABC's website.

Go Canberra!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Reusable Rebates

Across the globe, governments and businesses are realising that the tide is changing on the supply of Single Use Bags (both Paper and Plastic).

To this end, some business are becoming acutely aware of the social impact and have begun offering a discount to those customers bringing reusable bags.

When Chicago introduced a Bag Tax on 1st February where customers pay 7 cents on each paper and plastic bag some business chose to offer a reusable bag rebate to assist the transition.

Mariano’s lead the way by giving a 5 cent rebates to customers for each reusable bag they brought to use.

How's that for hitting you in the hip-pocket.

Friday, March 24, 2017


An excerpt from Wikipedia

Photo-degradation is the alteration of materials by light.

Typically, the term refers to the combined action of sunlight and air.

Photo-degradation is usually oxidation and hydrolysis but does not apply to how materials may be aged or degraded via Infrared light or heat.

This basically says that light will break down the material into smaller and smaller pieces, in some cases the pieces are not visible with the naked eye.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017


An excerpt from Wikipedia

Biodegradation is the disintegration of materials by bacteria, fungi, or other biological means.

The term biodegradable is often used in relation to ecology, waste management, biomedicine, and the natural environment (bioremediation) and is now commonly associated with environmentally friendly products that are capable of decomposing back into natural elements.

Biodegradable matter is generally organic material that serves as a nutrient for microorganisms.

Put simply, the material in question is digested by another organism.

Friday, March 3, 2017

A month of Chicago’s Bag Tax

On the 1st February Chicago introduced a tax of 7 cents per bag for Single Use Bags - both Paper and Plastic.

To create community awareness of the tax Chicago’s Mayor distributed 25,000 ChiBags via major retailers Jewel-Osco, Mariano’s, Target and Whole Foods.

Across the country various communities are ding their bit :
  • Cities/Counties with Plastic Bag Fees :
    • Boulder, Colo.
    • Brownsville, Texas
    • Montgomery County, Md.
    • New York, N.Y.
    • Portland, Maine
    • Washington D.C.
  • Cities with Plastic Bag Bans
    • Austin
    • Cambridge, Mass.
    • Chicago
    • Los Angeles
    • San Francisco
    • Seattle
It might not seem to much, but every little bit helps.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

What is Right vs What is Popular

Here's a classic story of bureaucracy and populism getting in the way of what is right.

It also touches on the topic of photo-degrading, where a light source will break down the item into ever decreasing smaller sizes eventually becoming invisible to the naked eye.

Friday, February 10, 2017

What? Divot Repair by Bag People

Bag People have a great offer to keep your playing surface and players happy on the course.

95p per bag for Divot Repair Bags.



Thursday, February 2, 2017

Wine Shop Success - excellent ROI

Here's a story from 2010.

Each year we apply this method to a number of retailers and each one makes a great RIO (return on investment), plus getting better customer loyalty.


:: Scenario ::
The local wine shop had been in the same location for 35 years and had been run by the same family for 30 years.

They had been part of the community since buying the business and had always supported the local school, charities and junior sporting events.

Customers would come in for the great advice and friendly service.

However, as time
 and progress moved forward, business began to dwindle, a big factor was the massive chain store supermarket that opened in the next suburb.

The new store has a discount liquor chain attached to it
 and has heaps of exposure to passing customers as well as catching all the people visiting the supermarket.

The sheer volume of the chain means they can offer great pricing on most of their stock, but the selection is a bit limited 
and the staff are nowhere near as knowledgeable as at the wine shop.

:: We need a Plan ::
The wine shop owners knew that something needed to be done, so as part of their new marketing push they called a number of marketing and 
promotion companies to find out what was available and how they could get back some of their lost customers.

Together with the marketing company the wine shop owners formulated a multi-staged plan to get customers coming back
 and to keep them coming back.

:: It’s Our Shout ::
After a few weeks of ideas
 and concepts the campaign was called “It’s Our Shout”.

This campaign centred around the wine shop being the experts
 and that although they had all the technical knowledge about what “should” be good customers needed to come and try for themselves simply because every taste is different.

:: The Action ::
The campaign basically centred around tasting before buying
 and had 3 main objectives – getting new customers, keeping existing ones and getting them to come back.

The owners selected 3 main tools to accomplish each objective.
1) invitation to existing (database) customers
 and also advertising in the local newspaper.
2) offering specials and a loyalty program to those customers that bought something
3) giving a Bag People wine bag to each customer with an incentive to reuse it

:: The Result = 12% new customers and repeat customer ::
As soon as the campaign started, customers began to come back to the shop. Most customers were returning, but there was a good slice of new customers also.

The owners were very pleased with the initial result, but the best result from the campaign was totally un-measurable word-of-mouth.

The biggest upside of the whole campaign was the fact that customers were talking about the shop again
 and with that revived exposure, business began to grow.

:: 6 Bottle Wine Bag ::
The owners selected a
6 bottle wine bag as their selected give-away to customer retention.

As the name suggests, this is a Bag People bag made specifically to carry 6 bottles of wine.

This wine bag tied in to the
“Its Our Shout” campaign by custom printing ‘this one’s on the house’ on one of the bottle compartments.

As an added incentive to get people coming back to buy their wine, the shop would offer a free bottle of wine for people who came back with their bag
 and bought 5 full priced bottle – of course their was fine print with this offer “our shout is your choice of any bottle valued up to the retail price of your cheapest bottle you’re buying”.

:: Loyal Customers ::
The wine shop ordered
2,000 x 6 bottle wine bags from Bag People
 and gave them all out in 10 weeks and they’re still coming back.

Contact Bag People for more information.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A word on DuraPaper

DuraPaper is the next generation of Paper Bags.

It's a proper, for-real, no smoke or mirrors, genuine reusable bag that has the beauty and luxury of paper.

DuraPaper Bags are easily branded with your logo (or available unprinted if you wish).

Great products at great prices.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

It's a Matt Moran Christmas

We've just found out that Matt Moran selected DuraPaper as the carry bag for his Christmas Puddings last year.

Still waiting for our delivery....................

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Welcome 2017

More and more customer focus is delivering results for us.  Working with a smaller group of customers and making damn sure they're happy, receive excellent products and brilliant service.

We are expert makers of low-cost reusable bags - that's our business and we're very good at it and have been in business since 1993.

In recent years (with the acceleration of internet trading and reduction of language barriers), we're hearing of more and more customers going factory direct.

Yes - factory direct does have price benefits, but what is the difference between price and cost (we'll post on this in February).

Long-story-short; you pre-pay for your order.  You save a few pennies on the buy price; but your goods are never delivered.  You still need the bags, so you need to "buy" them again... see what I mean with the price and cost difference?

Also there are too many customers wanting to drive straight to the bottom on price, but something must give - see our post from almost 7 years ago AT WHAT COST?.

Yes - we can deliver the fast and cheap option, but it is rarely worthwhile.

This is our year to delivery more customer service than ever.