ECOgrade FAQs

Technical Questions
 
1
What's the difference between degradable, photo-degradable, biodegradable, recycled, recyclable, re-usable bags?
a.
Degradable is the most general term. This indicates the ability to be broken down by either biological or chemical means.
b.
Bio-degradable/Compostable: Bio-degradable or compostable products are capable of being broken down by the action of living things (typically microorganisms) under very specific temperature and other conditions. They are typically manufactured from corn-based materials, like Polylactic acid (PLA). Bio-degradable bags must be kept dry, isolated from organic matter, and stored under controlled environmental conditions to ensure that they do not begin to decompose prior to use. Due to their organic components, they generate substantial amounts of carbon dioxide as they decompose, equivalent to 90+% of their carbon content. Due to their organic component, they cannot be recycled with plastic bags without compromising the recycled compound.
c.
Photo-degradable: Photo-degradable products are broken down through a chemical reaction from exposure to sunlight. There is no biological interaction. This process is the most carbon-neutral degradation process.
GXT Green ECOgrade bags photodegrade within 240 days to a non-toxic residue which can then biodegrade, compared to regular plastic bags, which take up to 400 years to degrade. ECOgrade bags can be recycled with plastic bags as they do not compromise the recycle stream.
d.
Recycled: Recycled bags and products are manufactured from previously used plastics or other materials. While the reuse is an important way to preserve resources, there is a tremendous amount of energy and carbon released in the process of cleaning, breaking down, and remanufacturing the materials.
e.
Recyclable: Recyclable bags are bags that can be remanufactured and turned into other products. Currently, less than 5% of recyclable bags are remanufactured. The recycling process is very energy intensive.
f.
Re-usable: Re-usable products, especially bags, can be re-used multiple times. Re-usable bags require people to remember to carry them to the store, and create sanitary issues from reuse. Reusable bags can be manufactured from many materials, from plastic to cotton, to non-woven materials, or even ECOgrade materials. Other than ECOgrade reusable bags, since these bags tend to be bulkier than typical shopping bags, they require extra energy and carbon to manufacture, and they do not decompose easily when disposed. Studies show that in reality, most reusable bags are used less than five times and require over 200 times of usage to be less injurious to the environment than plastic bags.
2
Can ECOgrade be recycled?
a.
ECOgrade bags can be recycled during their useful life. Unlike other products, ECOgrade contains no heavy metal salts or fatty acids which can cause problems when recycled.
3
Should consumers put them into recycling, or throw them in the trash?
a.
Studies by the EPA have shown that less than 5% of plastic bags are recycled. Since ECOgrade bags use less energy to manufacture, there is an environmental benefit from a reduced carbon footprint even if consumers do not change their current behavior.
b.
GXT Green encourages our products to be reused whenever possible. However, if thrown in the trash, they can be safely incinerated into a non-toxic ash that may be used as a soil conditioner, depending on your local town practices.
4
What if they degrade in my store or store room or at the cash register?
a.
They will not break down in the store, unless stored in open sunlight for several months prior to use.
b.
The average turnover at the front register is less than 48 hours and most store windows are treated to reduce UV rays.
5
How much do they hold?
a.
 ECOgrade bags can be manufactured at a variety of strengths and sizes to meet your needs.
6
Do they melt when holding cooked products? Do they get brittle when cold?
a.
ECOgrade bags are designed to perform at least as well as standard plastic bags.
b.
The ECOgrade bags are not brittle at all.
7
Do cities that have banned plastic bags allow ECOgrade?
a.
ECOgrade bags are permitted in many cities that have banned plastic bags.
b.
Since they are made of material based on mineral complex polymer and technology, they should be exempt from bans that do not allow plastic T-sacks. However, every legislative wording is different and must be considered in the context of the local ordinance.
c.
ECOgrade solves the issues that most cities have cited as to why they are banning plastic bags:
  • Plastic litter lasts forever in the environment: ECOgrade bags degrade in 240 days as certified based on ASTM test protocol.
  • Dangerous to fish: If ECOgrade bags are littered in the water, they will still be exposed to sunlight and will therefore degrade.
  • Environmental groups have acknowledged that since ECOgrade is not plastic, they do not leave behind “microplastics” that are injurious to fish and other wild life.
8
What happens to them in a landfill?
a.
If ECOgrade bags have been exposed to the sun for some extended period prior to being buried, the degradation process will have begun and therefore will take less space in the landfill than paper or plastic bags.
b.
If ECOgrade bags are placed in a landfill prior to exposure to sunlight, the process of photodegradation will be retarded. However, because they are made from natural materials they will break down faster than plastic.
c.
ECOgrade bags have been tested to ensure that they do not release any heavy metals or toxins upon disposal as per EPA regulation standards. Ordinary plastic and paper bags, including newspapers, are preserved (“mummified”) for hundreds of years if buried, and may release heavy metals.
9
Why are they a better solution?
a.
The ECOgrade bags are better every step of the way, from cradle to grave.
b.
Since they are made from low carbon ingredients and require less energy to manufacture ECOgrade bags release 34% less Greenhouse gases to manufacture than plastic bags, and use four times less energy than paper bags
c.
ECOgrade bags photodegrade in 240 days as certified by the ASTM test. Plastic takes hundreds of years.
d.
Unlike ECOgrade, biodegradable/compostable bags require specific heat and conditions to degrade If incinerated, ECOgrade bags release fewer greenhouse gasses than plastic bags, leaving a non-toxic ash, suitable as a soil conditioner.
e.
Heavy metal residues in the ash have been tested to be significantly below EPA limits.
10
Doesn't burning (incineration) pollute?
a.
Incineration has come a long way in the past few years, and in many cases, is extremely environmentally friendly, as compared to throwing trash in landfills which pollutes the earth/water. In the case of ECOgrade bags, incineration is a great method of disposal, as they release less greenhouse gases and the ash maybe safely used as a soil additive
11
Wouldn't compostable bags be better for the environment and more economical to use?
a.
Compostable bags produce a large amount of greenhouse gasses when decomposing
b.
Additionally, unlike ECOgrade bags, compostable bags:
  • Cannot withstand any moisture
  • They tend to tear easily
  • They are more expensive
  • They have a somewhat limited shelf-life
  • They require certain specific environmental conditions to decompose
  • As with paper bags, studies have stated that non-starch based compostable bags may have a larger carbon footprint than plastic or ECOgrade bags.
12
Do ECOgrade bags pollute when they degrade?
a.
No. When ECOgrade bag materials degrade, the end-product is mineral residue which is non toxic and is a soil sweetener.
b.
If the bags are incinerated, the ash actually has been used as a soil conditioner.
13
What are the key ingredients? Is ECOgrade patent protected?
a.
The ECOgrade formulation protected by GXT Green owned patents as well as trade secrets.
b.
The ingredients that make up ECOgrade bags are substances which occur in nature, such as minerals.
14
Exactly how much less energy is used to manufacture ECOgrade than plastic or paper, and why?
a.
Our low carbon raw material and manufacturing process produces 34% less greenhouse gasses in pre-production than plastic resin used in plastic bags, and four times less than paper bags.
15
Won’t they fall apart when consumers take them home?
a.
ECOgrade bags have been tested in actual use conditions and in commercial laboratories that tests consumer bags by standard retail tests such as jog tests.
b.
ECOgrade bags performance was superior to comparable plastic bags in such applications.
16
What if they get wet in my warehouse?
a
Not a problem. Unlike paper or compostable bags, our bags are not affected by moisture.
b
Moisture will not compromise them in any way. Simply dry them off and they are ready to use!
17
Have they been tested? Can I see proof of the testing?
a.
Yes, and yes!
b.
Our bags have been tested by independent labs for a variety of parameters
c.
Tests including ASTM D5272 (standard test for photodegradation) ASTM 5208 (accelerated test for photodegradation) have been carried out by independent 3rd party labs which are internationally recognized.
d.
These results are reported and available for viewing on our website.
18
What if they don’t degrade?
a.
External laboratories have been employed to substantiate our product specifications and we have not seen any reports contrary to these specification either in real use or from follow up lab evaluations.
19
I’ve been told that “potato plastic” is bio-degradable. Isn’t that better?
a.
“Potato plastic” is bio-degradable, but only if it is composted under very specific conditions (such as the presence of microbes and/or specific temperatures and oxygen)
b.
ECOgrade bags are photo-degradable to address the litter problem. They do not require any special conditions (except to be exposed to UV rays from sunlight).
c.
There are no microorganisms or special temperature requirements for ECOgrade as is necessary for the bio-degradable bags.
d.
After ECOgrade bags photodegrade, the resulting organic residue may act as a food source for bacteria and fungi, resulting in biodegradation at the end of life.
Commercial Questions
1
How long does it take to get a shipment?
a.
Most orders can be manufactured, shipped, and delivered to a designated U.S. port in six to eight weeks from time of order acceptance.
b.
This time line could vary based on the size, customization and forecast/schedule of an order.
2
Are there capacity issues providing bags to me?
a.
Although the pipeline is robust and demand is strong, we are delivering on schedule.
b.
However, we encourage you to forecast your orders to ensure availability.
3
What is GXT Green’s capacity to support the demand?
a.
We currently have sufficient plants capable of manufacturing the ECOgrade reactive agent.
b.
The beauty of our process is that ECOgrade bags can be manufactured in most bag manufacturing facilities, simply by replacing the plastic resin with ECOgrade reactive agent. Since our manufacturing process requires no special retooling, there are no constraints on bag manufacturing.
c.
ECOgrade bags are currently being used commercially in throughout the world.
4
Where are bags currently being made?
a.
ECOgrade bags are being manufactured in our partner’s plants strategically located in close proximity to ports of entry and/or customer destinations.
b.
The manufacturing process allows almost any plastic bag extruder to integrate our raw materials into their process anywhere in the world.
5
Where are raw materials from?
a.
The raw material sourcing is proprietary. However, all these raw ingredients are available worldwide and are not restricted materials.
6
My current bag supplier knows my process and has a contract. Can they distribute ECOgrade bags to us?
a.
Absolutely! Almost any plastic bag manufacturer can integrate our raw materials into their process anywhere in the world without retooling their facilities.
b.
We can work with your supplier to streamline integration into your distribution process.
7
Can I inspect my bags before accepting shipment?
a.
We have internal and external quality control labs which will inspect and certify all ECOgrade bags per customer specification before shipping.
b.
We will work with you to accommodate your own inspection if desired.
8
How much do ECOgrade bags cost (vs. paper, bio-degradable or plastic bags)?
a.
ECOgrade bags are priced less than Paper or Bio-degradable bags
b.
ECOgrade are competitively priced vs. plastic bags.
9
Are there price breaks at large quantity? What are they?
a.
Large quantity discounts are available
b.
We encourage you to discuss this with your sales representative.
10
What is minimum quantity I can order?
a.
There is a 200,000 bag minimum order size.
b.
However, our international and U.S. partners may have other limits and restrictions
11
How much does printing cost?
a.
One color printing, as well as tinting if desired, is included in the price
b.
Additional 4 or 16 color printing can be quoted. Depending on quantity, this will generally add a fraction of a penny per bag to the cost.
12
What colors can I get?
a.
The ECOgrade bags can be tinted any color
b.
In addition, we can do custom 1, 4, or 16 color printing on the bags.
13
Does the printing look as good as on plastic bags?
a.
Yes. In fact, we believe it looks better.
b.
We have chosen to use water-based pigments for our printing.
14
Will you buy back my current bag inventory?
a.
We are not able to buy back your inventory, as each order is a custom order.
b.
However, we can introduce you to bag distributors who may be willing to work with you to buy back your current inventory.
Sales, Marketing and Competition Questions
1
Who else is selling ECOgrade bags?
a.
Nobody else can manufacture or sell ECOgrade bags. The formulation for ECOgrade material is patented.
b.
GXT Green is constantly developing distribution partners throughout the world.
2
Who else is using ECOgrade bags in their stores?
a.
ECOgrade bags are currently being offered by several large mass merchants and supermarkets both domestically and in international markets around the world.
b.
ECOgrade bags are also in review with major retailers in Europe, Japan, Mexico and Brazil.
3
How come no-one else is making these?
a.
Although the concept of photodegradable plastic materials is not new, the challenge has been to develop a formula for bags which degrades in a reasonable time period, are durable, has a low carbon footprint, is non-toxic, AND can be produced at a reasonable cost.
b.
ECOgrade has been perfected around these parameters and is patented.
c.
Farmers are using ECOgrade photodegradable covering (“mulch) on their crops to extend the growing season and to save on the cost associated with disposal on plastic alternatives.
4
Can you make other products such as vegetable bags, plastic ware, trash bags, plastic plates, packing material, etc.?
a.
Yes. ECOgrade material can replace all plastic products. Currently our focus is on carry/retail bags, and agricultural mulch, but we will be adding other products over time.
b.
We have developed prototypes of ECOgrade flatware and plates and packing material.
5
Why has it taken GXT Green so long?
a.
Our scientists have been working on this formulation for several years, perfecting the formula.
b.
Our “mulch” has been in use for years, international markets have embraced ECOgrade bags since 2012. The U.S. is not seeing the product, its benefits and demand is building very rapidly.
c.
We believe ECOgrade bags are the best option for consumers and most cost effective solution for retailers available in the market today.
6
What experience do you have in this industry?
a.
Our management team has extensive experience in a variety of areas including manufacturing, finance, and plastic alternatives and bag extrusion.
b.
They have tested ECOgrade bags under many conditions and have proven their viability.
7
Are you doing anything to inform consumers and governments about the ECOgrade bag?
a.
We have an ongoing campaign to educate the public about ECOgrade bags
b.
We are holding discussions at the Federal, State, and Local levels
c.
GXT Green and the ECOgrade bag have been acknowledged as a company and product all over the world.
8
Where/when has GXT Green or the ECOgrade bag been acknowledged for its inventiveness and its contribution to a cleaner environment?
a. 2011
  • Five Local Companies to Watch- The Voice of NE Innovation
  • Discovery.Com - Featured in “How Stuff Works”
  • Consultancy of the Year- Business Green Leaders Award International - London
b. 2012
  • Product of the Year -Winner of MassTLC
c. 2013
  • Innovation of the Year- SBANE
  • Product of the Year- Best in Biz Awards International
  • Most Innovative Product of the Year- Best in Biz Awards International
  • Business of the Year- Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce
  • Product of the Year- Annual Boston Business Journal/Mass High Tech All Star
d. 2014
  • Best Small/Medium Enterprise- Responsible Business Awards - London
  • Sustainability Commercialized- Responsible Business Awards
e. 2015
  • Best Small Business- Technology and Innovation (Zip Recruiter)
f. 2016
  • Edison Award
9
Will you provide POS (point of sale) collateral to tell my customers about your product?
a.
Yes. We have “generic material” available immediately.
b.
We would be pleased to support you with customized consumer POS materials that will educate your consumers about the advantages of ECOgrade bags and the benefits which you are providing to them as a responsible corporate citizen.
10
What else does GXT Green do?
a.
GXT Green is a leader in creating and leveraging strategies, services, and products that help the corporate community meet their economic and social sustainability goals while mitigating their carbon footprint. ECOgrade bags are just one of our many solutions. All of our products meet four key criteria:
  • They are sustainable, cradle to grave. After their use they must leave our environment the same or better than before.
  • They solve a critical problem for the user. We are solving real-world issues with viable solutions.
  • They perform as well or better than the product they replace. No compromise necessary.
  • They cost the same or less than the product they replace.
11
Can I check out the financial stability of your company?
a.
GXT Green. Inc. is a private corporation, spun out of Global Exchange Technologies. Global Exchange Technologies is an international firm which builds and manages exchange platforms for trading equities, commodities and environmental contracts around the world.
b.
We pride ourselves on transparency. All reasonable queries will be accommodated.
For more information, please visit our website: www.gxtgreen.com