Success! Well, on the road to, at least. We still find that lots of customers, suppliers, people in general are confused about the definition of “green.” I, myself, battled with this concept of fuzzy shades of green this past summer. Coming to our rescue, is the non-profit organization, Green Seal, that attempts to certify the environmental and social responsibility of organizations and products.

They’ve recently decided to address the market of reusable bags and we want to say THANK YOU to them for providing clarity and standards in our marketplace! You can view their proposed standard, the background document, and additional information on this project at the project website.

I also encourage you to register for an account with them and discuss the standards in their public forum. They will be accepting comments until December 8, 2008. I’m posting a portion of the email sent by Green Seal which encouraged public commentary because it’s just…good stuff.

Single-use plastic bags have become a concern due to impact they have on ocean wildlife, visible litter, the clogging of waterways, spreading of disease and landfill space demand. Some 80-100 billion single-use plastic bags are estimated to be consumed annually in the U.S., with 500 billion to 1 trillion bags used worldwide per year. In many cities this concern has translated to the enactment of legislation to prohibit the use of single-use plastic bags and life cycle studies have shown reusable bags are the preferable option. With the growing consumer and retailer interest as well as a rapid growth in the availability and distribution of many types of reusable bags, an environmental standard and certification program that revises the existing life-cycle criteria to recognize leadership in this product type is needed.

As a result, Green Seal is releasing the Proposed Revised Environmental Standard for Reusable Bags, GS-16. The intent of this standard will be to reduce, to the extent technically and economically feasible, the environmental and health impacts associated with reusable bags that are be feasible alternatives to any type (paper or plastic) single-use bags.”

Please share your thoughts and comments on the proposed standard with us. We want to know how you think!