Reusable snack bags have been one of my most popular products since starting my business 2+ years ago. Lately, there has been renewed discussion in the media and blogosphere about plastic, specifically BPA. I wanted to take the opportunity to be completely transparent in my business operations and describe in detail what materials I use to make my snack bags. I feel that I have been as upfront as possible in my Etsy listings and my verbal descriptions at markets and fairs, but I want to make sure there is no confusion about my products whatsoever.
My snack bags have always been intended as a replacement for the millions of disposable plastic baggies that are thrown out after a single use. My bags are not plastic-free.
The exterior fabric is most often cotton, though some prints are a cotton/polyester blend (polyester is derived from plastic). The zipper is made of nylon "tape" & teeth--also basically, plastic. Even the grosgrain ribbon for the zipper pull is polyester, therefore plastic.
I line my bags with two different materials: ripstop nylon or PUL. Both of these materials are ultimately, plastic. Nylon is derived from plastic. PUL stands for polyurethane-laminated fabric. My bags owe their machine wash-ability and water-repelling properties to the nylon and PUL.
Both fabrics are BPA and phthalate free, plus they contain no vinyl. BUT, they are still, ultimately, a form of plastic. I want there to be no confusion about that. I'll say it again: my snack bags are not plastic-free.
They are, in my (and many customers') opinion, a great alternative to disposable plastic.
I use them.
My husband uses them.
My children use them.
We use them daily. And I am perfectly comfortable with our food in these bags day after day. We are reducing the amount of trash piling up in landfills by more than I can even measure. I've seen the statistic that an average school child uses 500+ snack baggies in his/her school lunch every school year. That's a lot of plastic to throw away! As a solution to that plastic problem, I fully stand behind my snack bags 100% as a great alternative for storing your food.
Because I care deeply about the plastic issue in our world, I am currently working on new additions to my snack bag line of products. I'm going to start playing with beeswax as a water-repellent coating for fabric that is completely plastic free. I am working on an organic cotton-lined bag whose only plastic will be at the zipper. These bags will have their own drawbacks like not being able to machine wash the beeswax, and very poor moisture retention for an all-cotton bag, but I would like to offer options for multiple perspectives on the plastic-free spectrum. Look for them in time for back-to-school late this summer.
I hope this clears up any confusion there may have been about my products. I see many suppliers selling "food-safe snack bags" but they never list what fabrics/coatings/materials they use. Simply saying "proprietary" is a red flag to me. You won't ever see that from Dancing Threads RI.
So much of corporate America lacks integrity--hiding chemicals you don't expect in bread labeled "healthy" is utterly ridiculous. I, however, intend to make products dripping with integrity! To me, transparency is so very important. You, my valued customers, can then make your own decisions about whether or not to buy my products. If you ever have any questions about anything I make, I will gladly answer them at email@example.com!!
As co-owner of Stitchery in Portsmouth, RI, I teach sewing classes to children and adults. Welcome to my blog Dancing Threads RI.