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FAQ

If you have a question about Envirosax that is not answered here, please feel free to contact us and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.

Envirosax in use

How big, how small, how heavy, and how strong is an Envirosax?

How should I wash my Envirosax?

How do I fold up an Envirosax?

How do I know my reusable bag is a genuine Envirosax?

Why doesn't an Envirosax have a gusset (square bottom)?

Is an Envirosax safe to carry unwrapped food in?

Behind the bags

What certification and testing has been done on Envirosax?

Why are Envirosax made from polyester?

Are Envirosax products lead-free and compliant with the CPSIA?

Where does Envirosax stand on recycling?

Is the Envirosax printing process eco-friendly?

Why are Envirosax made in China?

Envirosax and Recycled Polyester

Why is SCS certification so important?

Envirosax Aqua Reusable Water Bottles

What is an Envirosax water bottle made from, and is it safe for carrying liquids for human consumption?

There have been a lot of articles in the media recently with concerns over BPA leaching out of plastic drinking bottles and food containers. Are Envirosax reusable bottles BPA safe?

Have the bottles and the paint on the bottles been tested for heavy metals?

Can I store hot liquids in an Envirosax Aqua bottle?

Can I put my Envirosax Aqua in the freezer?

Are Envirosax Aqua bottles easy to handle and will they fit into a standard car cup-holder?

How can I clean my Envirosax Aqua?

What will happen if I drop my Envirosax Aqua on the ground?

Why has Envirosax started to manufacture reusable bottles?

How big, how small, how heavy, and how strong is an Envirosax Aqua?

Why have you used Stainless Steel and not Aluminium for your water bottle?

Is Envirosax Aqua safe for children?

How easy or hard is it to recycle stainless steel?

Will my water taste "funny" in stainless steel?

 

How big, how small, how heavy, and how strong is an Envirosax?

An Envirosax Graphic Series bag is 19.7" by 16.5", and folds up to the size of a piece of sushi, 4" by 1.5" diameter. It weighs in at just 1.4oz. An Envirosax can quite comfortably hold two plastic grocery bags of shopping, and has been tested to hold at least 44lbs.

Please be careful when lifting heavy bags and be aware of your limitations. Lifting weights heavier than you can comfortably handle can lead to serious injury.

The specifications for the bags in the other series vary slightly from the information given here, and are given at the top of each products page.

How should I wash my Envirosax?

As with most things, the more care you take washing your bags, the longer they will last. Envirosax recommends a 20 degree hand wash, and a line dry. The washing instructions are printed on each bag.

We do not recommend that you machine wash your Envirosax as not only does machine washing increase your ecological footprint, but will also eventually break down the PVA coating that gives the Envirosax its waterproofness. Machine washing will also place additional stress on the bag's stitching and shorten its lifespan, which goes against the fundamental philosophy of Envirosax which is to promote re-use.

How do I fold up an Envirosax?

The best way to fold an Envirosax is as follows:

  1. Fold the bag in half sideways.
  2. Fold the handles down over the body of the bag.
  3. Fold the bag into thirds, over the top of the handles.
  4. Roll the bag towards the snaps like a sleeping bag.
  5. Snap it together, et voila!

You can also download the folding instructions that are included with each bag as a PDF.

How Do I Know My Bag Is A Genuine Envirosax?

Today, there are more reusable bags on the market than ever. To make sure you are buying an original Envirosax, look for the Envirosax logo on the bag or swing tag.

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Buying an original Envirosax gives you the strongest, most fashionable, and most compact reusable bag available, as well as the confidence that you are supporting a company whose green philosophy and philanthropy has paved the way since 2004.

Why doesn't an Envirosax have a gusset (square bottom)?

A bag made from nylon or polyester will not stand up on its own. A nylon or polyester bag packed correctly full of groceries propped up against another bag, will stand up on its own, with or without a gusset. A rigid polypropylene bag will stand up on its own but cannot be rolled into a small package like an Envirosax and stored in a pocket or glove box of a car, and as such you will find people everywhere who own lots of them but keep forgetting to take them to the store with them. A reusable bag is only having a positive impact on the environment if you are actually reusing it.

If an Envirosax is packed correctly with square and rectangular items at the bottom of the bag, and irregular shaped items at the top, the bag will have no problem staying upright in the boot of the car or on your doorstep.

Comparisons between Envirosax and other reusable bags often note that the compact designs means that they are easier to keep in your purse and thus are more likely to be reused, which is the whole point:

A few people have wondered how these compare to Envirosax so I'll give my best comparison. The Envirosax are slightly lighter weight and fold up smaller, and as such I'm more likely to keep them in my purse.

Is an Envirosax safe to carry unwrapped food in?

Yes, Envirosax reusable bags are totally safe to carry food. Before using a reusable bag to carry your shopping, you should ensure that it has been tested to show that it is safe to do so.

Envirosax bags have undergone food migration tests by The Australian Government National Measurement Institute. The samples from the bags were extracted in accordance with AS2070 - 1999 "Plastics materials for food contact use". The sample was tested for overall migration by the article Contact method to determine the quantity of organic substances that may migrate from the material into foodstuffs.

The results from the tests indicated that the material from the bags complied with AS2070 - 1999. The samples were also tested for trace elements and heavy metals. The samples reported complied with AS2070 - 1999 and AP89 (1) for the elements reported.

The organic series were tested for trace metal elements and heavy metals, the bags contained not more than the maximum acceptable concentration of leachable elements specified in Table 1. of AS/NZS ISO 8124.3:2003, when tested according to the methodology described in the AS/NZS ISO 8124.3:2003.

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What certification and testing has been done on Envirosax?

To see the complete lists of tests and certificates that Envirosax have passed, please download this PDF which provides all the details. The tests themselves and their individual meanings are referenced in specific FAQs below. We provide these test reports in the interests of transparency and to promote consumer awareness of the products (and their manufacturing processes) that are being produced in this fledgling market.

Why are Envirosax made from polyester? I thought Envirosax was trying to reduce plastic bag usage.

It's true, Envirosax are made from polyester which is a plastic. The fundamental problem with conventional plastic bags is not that they are made from plastic, it's that they are not designed to be re-used. We have outlined some of the most serious problems associated with disposable bags on our Plastic Bag Facts page.

The philosophy of Envirosax is to provide a fashionable and practical product that is designed to last, and despite some drawbacks, polyester is the best material to suit this purpose:

  1. It is extremely lightweight and allows the bag to be rolled up into a very compact package, which encourages people to carry them with them and increases re-use.
  2. It can be printed by sublimation, which means the print will never fade and the bag will look good for its whole lifetime.
  3. It is highly durable, which means each Envirosax will last for years.
  4. It is relatively inexpensive, which means Envirosax are affordable for anyone, which will help spread the message of re-use to people of all incomes.

After much discussion over the ethics of using plastic, we decided the most important thing was to make a reusable bag that everyone would want to use. We also understand the need to produce a bag made from natural fibres and produce bamboo, hemp and linen bags in the Organic Series.

The materials used in the Organic Series bags have been certified by the Australian Wool Testing Authority to be 100% pure.

In defending reusable plastic bags made from plastics, green groups such as Planet Ark state that any move from single-use plastic bags is a good thing. Planet Ark's Doug McLean says the green bags "serve as a first step in changing the way we use bags and why we use bags". They are "not perfect, but they are an initial break in the link of people taking 7 billion throwaway bags. There is an emphasis on behaviour change". One of the biggest behaviour changes will be teaching people to reuse the bags rather than discard them when they wear out.

Ian Kiernan, chairman of the Clean Up Australia campaign, last year defended green bags in a letter to the Sydney Morning Herald. "Each green bag will last an average household about two years, or 104 shops, after which they can be recycled through Coles and Bi-Lo supermarkets," he said. "Every green bag equals 1.2 single-use plastic bags. That's an estimated 8.3 plastic bags saved every week, or 431 a year."

An Envirosax is superior in strength and design to your average polypropylene green bag. Envirosax are "a move in the right direction", and are targeted at people who would normally not use an eco-friendly bag. We are making the whole concept of reusable bags (previously dull, boring and ugly) something which is trendy and fashionable, and thus spread the message of re-use to as many people as we can.

Are Envirosax products lead-free and compliant with the CPSIA?

YES. The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) is recently-introduced US legislation that establishes maximum safe levels of lead content in various consumer products, and establishes a certification process to ensure those products are safe for use by children.

All Envirosax products have been tested by approved CPSA labs and found to be in compliance with all applicable safety guidelines. If you would like further information about the specifics of our certification, please write through to info@envirosax.com and we'll be happy to provide it.

Where does Envirosax stand on recycling?

All waste fabric from Envirosax warehouses is sent to a recycling depot, where it is shredded and used for stuffing and filler in mattresses, car seats, lounge suites and chairs. This dry recycling programme does not use or release any hazardous chemicals into the environment.

If you would like to recycle your old bags in this manner, please send them to us and we will give you $1 off your next pouch. Alternatively source out recycling depots for polyester in your area, as this will save on transportation and further reduce your ecological footprint.

Is the Envirosax printing process eco-friendly?

The inks and dyes used in the printing of the polyester graphic series bags are eco-friendly and no carcinogenic amides are used. The printing process of sublimation ensures that the bags will not fade when washed.

The ink used for the sublimation process is recycled where possible. The steam (water vapour) used in the process is also recycled. The backing paper used in the sublimation printing process is recycled and made into cardboard boxes for the transportation of the bags. These boxes are further recycled for sending the bags out to customers and retailers.

All the organic series range are printed with vegetable based inks and packaged in a recycled box, printed with soy inks using waterless printing techniques. All Envirosax office materials are printed on recycled paper using soy inks using a waterless printing technique.

Why are Envirosax made in China?

Envirosax bags are made by our manufacturer in China due to cost. The quality and service we get from China is excellent. Fair trade and fair wages is an issue in 3rd world countries, but our manufacturer has met all fair trade guidelines.

Envirosax recently carried out an audit using Intertek Testing Services Ltd, based in California, USA. The Envirosax manufacturing facility in China passed the Facility Code of Conduct Compliance Audit.

An Intertek auditor assessed and verified the facility’s operations against the client’s Code of Conduct and the local legislations on a sampling basis in two days. 25 records from May 2010 (current month), 15 records from April 2010 (random month) were reviewed in this audit. 25 workers were interviewed, including 2 males and 23 females.

Many eco-friendly bag companies say that they practise fair trade, but when you research the products they sell, you will find that the products are made by other companies. The companies on the internet are only on-selling. When you further research the original companies you find that there is no mention of the environment, sustainability or anything green related. It is difficult for a company to say with any real confidence that they are practising fair trade with fair wages when they are receiving the information third hand.

At Envirosax we deal directly with our manufacturer, there are no middle men. Fair trade as such does not exist in China, only the Labour Laws of China. In the factory where Envirosax are manufactured there is NO child labour. Most of the workers are women between the ages of 22 and 45.

We have an Australian staff member on-site as our full-time production manager in China. His role is not only to provide quality assurance and manufacturing guidance, but also to ensure that the workplace health & safety in the factory are up to standard and fully compliant with legal requirements.

Our factory manager obeys the Labour Laws of China and pays fair wages and maintains safe clean working conditions. Our manufacturer also produces for the German and UK markets and has to follow all their strict guidelines concerning fair wages, clean safe working conditions, and use of toxic chemicals.

Why is SCS certification so important?

Any company can claim they are making products from recycled polyester or recycled bottles – how would you know it was actually true? Would you take their word for it or do you ask for certification?

During our research we encountered many companies in China issuing fake recycled content certificates. When the products were tested, their claims were revealed to be fraudulent. It is easy to put some numbers on a piece of paper and claim that recycled content is legitimately being used. Actually doing it is much harder (and more expensive).

To the best of our current knowledge, SCS is the only company in the world able to accurately test for recycled content in a material. This is why Envirosax has utilized their services and invested in the costly testing to bring you the truth. Find out more at: http://www.scscertified.com

What is an Envirosax water bottle made from, and is it safe for carrying liquids for human consumption?

An Envirosax Aqua is made from #304 food grade stainless steel and has been migration tested for PFOA, BPA and BPB. An Envirosax Aqua is totally safe to drink from. Plastic drinking bottles made from certain types of plastic may contain PFOA, BPA and BPB, which can leach into your water and potentially may cause health issues.

There have been a lot of articles in the media recently with concerns over BPA leaching out of plastic drinking bottles and food containers. Are Envirosax reusable bottles BPA safe?

The Envirosax Aqua bottles and lids have been tested at four separate independent laboratories, and in all cases have been shown to be BPA-safe for carrying drinks.

Envirosax reusable bottles have undergone tests at Applied Technical Services Inc in the USA. The ATS laboratory is currently accredited by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The bottle lids and plastic washers have been tested for BPA according to ASTM 0765-6.

The bottles and lids have been tested at Alliance Technologies, LLC. for BPA and Phthalates.The bottle was filled with water and heated in a temperature regulated oven at 90ºC for 3 days to accelerate the leaching process prior to analysis by GCMS.

The plastic lids have also been tested at the SGS-CSTC Chemical Laboratory Shanghai China with reference to:

  1. German Food, Articles of Daily Use and Feed Code September 1, 2005 (LFGB), Section 30 and 31
  2. European Commission Directive 2007/19/EC (2002/72/EC amendment)
  3. BfR recommendation for material – Specific Migration Bisphenol-A – sample preparation with reference to BS EN 13130-1:2004 with selection of simulants and condition

The tests were followed by analysis using High Performance Liquid Chromatography/Mass Spectrometer (HPLC/MS).

Have the bottles and the paint on the bottles been tested for heavy metals?

The bottles, the lids, the plastic washer and the paint have been tested for heavy metals at Applied Technical Services Inc in the USA, and were found to be compliant with federal regulations. The ATS laboratory is currently accredited by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The tests were carried out according to ASTM E1479-99(2005).

Can I store hot liquids in an Envirosax Aqua bottle?

The Envirosax Aqua has been designed to be a tough reusable drinking bottle, but it is not insulated and therefore will not keep liquids warm. If hot liquids are put into an Aqua water bottle, the outside of the bottle will quickly become very hot and you could burn your hands or any part of your body that comes into contact with the bottle. Being steel, an Aqua Bottle is also not microwave safe. Therefore, you should only store cold liquids in an Envirosax Aqua. 

Can I put my Envirosax Aqua in the freezer?

An Envirosax Aqua cannot under any circumstances be placed in a freezer. Most liquids contain water as the main solvent and water expands as it reaches freezing point. Putting an Envirosax Aqua into a freezer will cause the contents to expand, which will probably damage the bottle and could even become dangerous if the bottle breaks.

Are Envirosax Aqua bottles easy to handle and will they fit into a standard car cup-holder?

Envirosax Aqua has been designed with two different circumferences, which should suit people of all ages. Both circumferences will fit neatly into most standard car and exercise machine cup and bottle holders. The measurements of each bottle are given on the product pages, so please check before purchasing if you have any doubts. 

How can I clean my Envirosax Aqua?

  1. We recommend rinsing with hot water 2-3 times and storing with the lid off. This is important to prevent the formation of mould or other deposits forming on the bottle.
  2. Avoid placing your Envirosax Aqua in the dishwater. Not only are dishwaters heavy on energy usage, but also the washing action of the detergent will damage the paint on the outside and result in scratches and chipping. Looking good is an important part of the longevity of a reusable product, so to keep your bottle looking its best for the longest possible time, keep it out of the dishwasher.
  3. Bleach (or any chloride containing detergent) or ammonia should not be used on stainless steel.
  4. To remove calcium/mineral deposits or lime scale, fill the bottle with distilled white vinegar and soak for 24 hours. Rinse out with warm water and a tablespoon of bicarb soda, then dry as normal.
  5. A firm bottle cleaning brush may be used to clean the inside of stainless steel bottles as the surface will not be damaged. 

What will happen if I drop my Envirosax Aqua on the ground?

An Envirosax Aqua is made from extremely strong #304 stainless steel. If the bottle is dropped on the ground then this may cause the paint to chip but the bottle will not crack or shatter.

Why has Envirosax started to manufacture reusable bottles? 

Envirosax has built a reputation for replacing one-use items with high quality, good value reusable alternatives, which are both fashionable and easy to use. Due to high demand from our customers to have our bag designs on a drinking bottle, Envirosax Aqua seemed like the a natural progression after the highly successful designer reusable bags.

How big, how small, how heavy, and how strong is an Envirosax Aqua?

The key information about each bottle is given on the product page for that bottle. Please visit our online store and click through to the bottle you're interested in for the specific information.

Why have you used Stainless Steel and not Aluminium for your water bottle?

Aluminium is a heavy metal, which may cause health issues if accumulated in the body. Aluminium water bottles need to be lined with a plastic coating, which may itself come with health repercussions if that lining is not BPA-safe.

Stainless steel is impervious to water (doesn’t leach), highly corrosion resistant, easy to clean and keep hygienic, doesn’t absorb odours or flavours, is light yet strong, has a long life and is 100% recyclable.

Is Envirosax Aqua safe for children?

The safety and benefits of the stainless steel Aqua bottle for adults also apply to children.

How easy or hard is it to recycle stainless steel?

Stainless steel is one of the most environmentally friendly metals. It is 100% recyclable in fact over 50% of new stainless steel comes from old re-melted stainless steel scrap.

Will my water taste ‘funny’ in stainless steel?

It is best to use filtered water in your bottle if possible; this is because in different parts of the world they have hard water, soft water, different chemicals and minerals in the water etc. And all of this may have a different effect on the taste of your water and your bottle.

Stainless steel however doesn’t absorb flavours or odours, therefore if you carry orange juice in your bottle one day, it won’t affect the taste of your water the next day.

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