item bags are hydrophilic, meaning that they are attracted to water. this means that they are soluble in water, which is the perfect way to dispose of them. but it also means that they are very sensitive to moisture and humidity during storage and use. they are not suitable for protecting items from moisture or humidity. they are designed to protect items from dirt, dust, scratches and light damage inside temperature controlled environments with a constant relative humidity of less than 50%.
yes. in boiling water they will dissolve in a matter of seconds. in colder temperatures they will dissolve much more slowly or not at all. dishwasher/laundry tablet coatings made from polyvinyl alcohol have been disposed of in wastewater for many years and there is significant scientific literature discussing the biodegradation of dissolved polyvinyl alcohol in wastewater. never dispose of item bags in natural water sources like oceans, rivers or lakes because they may pose a suffocation/entanglement risk to aquatic life before they break down.
no. the resulting mixture contains mineralised biomass and non-toxic ink (the ink is soluble in alcohol, not water), not microplastics. when item bags are placed into boiling water, the carbon in the item bags breaks down via a process of oxidation to form smaller oxidised polymer chains. the resulting material is called “mineralised biomass.” these smaller chains are expected to break down further in the wastewater stream to form carbon dioxide and water.
the generally accepted definition of microplastics are plastic particles <5mm in diameter. item bags incorrectly disposed of may initially break down into small particles before they biodegrade. however, due to the hydrophilic nature of the material, these small particles will not absorb or accumulate toxins like traditional hydrophobic microplastics and will eventually biodegrade rather than persist in the environment. the material used to manufacture item bags has no ecotoxicological effect in the marine environment (ASTM D6691).
the material used to manufacture the item bag 2.0 is inherently biodegradable and our inks are non-toxic. biodegradation has been observed by several different genera of bacteria, yeast and mould occurring in activated sludge, compost, facultative ponds, landfills, anaerobic digesters and septic systems and in natural soil and aquatic environments. as the item bag 2.0 is a new product, testing is ongoing.
we don’t recommend home composting item bags. testing for anaerobic digestion is ongoing. we recommend that you dispose of item bags in boiling water rather than in compost.
item bags are able to be identified by infrared sorting equipment at recycling facilities and separated from other plastics allowing them to be recycled and avoiding cross contamination of recycling streams. they can also be separated by a hot washing process which would dissolve them but leave non-water soluble traditional plastics behind. however this technology is not commonly available because the volume of water soluble bags on the market is not currently high enough to make recycling them commercially viable. we recommend that you dispose of item bags in boiling water rather than recycling them.
no, item bags do not have a self-seal adhesive strip. they can be left unsealed or sealed with a sticker or label. the flap folds to the back of the bag. permanent adhesives will leave residue on the bag if peeled off, so these are good for making permanent seals. for temporary seals, please use a non-permanent adhesive. we recommend testing sealing solutions before purchasing as labels come with a wide variety of adhesives.
because the item bag 2.0 is a new product, we are still in the process of testing to determine the maximum shelf life and lifespan in normal use. at the moment we estimate that the shelf life of item bags in optimal storage conditions is approximately 1 year. we don’t recommend using the item bag 2.0 as a long term storage solution.
item bags are hydrophilic in nature and are consequently sensitive to moisture and humidity. they are not suitable for protecting items from moisture or humidity. they are designed to protect items from dust, scratches and light exposure inside temperature and humidity-controlled environments.
item bags should feel similar to normal plastic. if an item bag feels oily or slimy, this means that the level of moisture/humidity in the air is too high and, due to the hydrophilic nature of the material, water is now adhering to the surface of the bag, making it feel oily/slimy. please move the bag to a less damp/humid environment and let it dry out. if the duration of exposure is short, the bag should return to its normal texture.
the MOQ is 1 carton. the small size comes in cartons of 1500 units (6 packs of 250 bags each) and the large size comes in cartons of 1000 units (4 packs of 250 bags each). each carton is moisture sealed to ensure maximum shelf life. because item bags are sensitive to moisture, we can’t sell part cartons or repackage item bags for sale in smaller quantities.