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Release bags

Not sure if this is the correct place for my comments but it does say above that Support regularly read the entries here so here goes. I've never bought release bags from the store but I've had one or two kindly sent me with wishlist books or other RABCKs. However the one I tried to use today was very difficult to seal-in fact I gave up in the end and used one of my usual shop-bought ones. The ones I use are Ziplock and I find these much better and weatherproof than the ones from the store. I have tried store-bought ones similar to the ones from the b.c store but I find that after being sealed a few times they don't seal properly or won't seal at all thereby exposing the book to the weather. Anyway my point is that maybe the store could start selling Ziplock type bags. The information printed on them is great. I won't waste the bag I have as I plan to cut off the printed bit and stick it onto a ziplockbag with sticky tape. Would be interested to hear your comments. This isn't meant to be a criticism but more a way of protecting the books from getting wet when released outside.

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Not sure if this is the correct place for my comments but it does say above that Support regularly read the entries here so here goes. I've never bought release bags from the store but I've had one or two kindly sent me with wishlist books or other RABCKs. However the one I tried to use today was very difficult to seal-in fact I gave up in the end and used one of my usual shop-bought ones. The ones I use are Ziplock and I find these much better and weatherproof than the ones from the store. I have tried store-bought ones similar to the ones from the b.c store but I find that after being sealed a few times they don't seal properly or won't seal at all thereby exposing the book to the weather. Anyway my point is that maybe the store could start selling Ziplock type bags. The information printed on them is great. I won't waste the bag I have as I plan to cut off the printed bit and stick it onto a ziplockbag with sticky tape. Would be interested to hear your comments. This isn't meant to be a criticism but more a way of protecting the books from getting wet when released outside.
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Are those the type that slide along? I rarely see them for sale here, but perhaps I have not looked hard enough. I buy bags that I run my fingers along to seal, and I have not had a problem yet, or fortunately the few times I have bought the BC bags. I suspect that most people finding a book would throw the bag out and so it would end up with only one time use. I think a greater problem than the seal, is a hole appearing in the bag, and this is the same for all bags, regardless of their seal.
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that they have a hole on top so that you could hang them somewhere. But the plastic is not strong, so when I tried to make a few tree releases, the bags containing heavy-ish books falled down! For very light books it was fine. One large-ish book didn't fit, so the bag couldn't seal properly.

Otherwise, no complaints.
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that they have a hole on top so that you could hang them somewhere. But the plastic is not strong, so when I tried to make a few tree releases, the bags containing heavy-ish books falled down! .....


I use the little ring-binder stickers~~those little thingy you put around the holes so the pages don't tear~~fabric, so also works to strengthen the plastic bag.
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As you say they bags probably get thrown away BUT as it rains a lot here in England I envisage someone undoing the bag to examine/read some of the book, then maybe rejecting it and not refastening it properly, thereby letting in the rain and spoiling the book . Also some re-releasers would probably re-use the bag and maybe not fasten it properly. Ziplock bags are readily available where I live.
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having just watched a programme about the ocean and the problems caused by plastic, I am having misgivings about plastic release bags. Our supermarkets no longer sell plastic bags, apart from biodegradable ones, paper or re-usable muslin bags for fruit and veg sold loose.
Maybe it isn't such a good idea to leave books in plastic bags all over the place.
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... I believe books should be protected when released out in the wild, especially on rainy days or when released in more isolated places where they may not be found for several days... Not sure what the solution could be for this.
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having just watched a programme about the ocean and the problems caused by plastic, I am having misgivings about plastic release bags. Our supermarkets no longer sell plastic bags, apart from biodegradable ones, paper or re-usable muslin bags for fruit and veg sold loose.
Maybe it isn't such a good idea to leave books in plastic bags all over the place.

I know what you mean. I too have mixed feelings about using plastic bags for releasing BC books. But books do need protection if left outside. Biodegradable bags might be the way to go, as they (hopefully) would last long enough to protect the book, but I haven't seen sealable biodegradable bags for sale yet. Buying plastic bags to use for the books is the only thing I buy plastic bags for, but I keep thinking, waste, waste! I don't buy plastic wrap either (reusing bags like cereal bags, putting food in containers with lids, or placing food in a bowl and then putting a plate over the top as a lid long ago eliminated any need for this plastic wrap, and saves money too). I started taking my own reusable (and washable) cloth bags shopping more than thirty years ago, way before it was 'fashionable'. I even take most of the fruit and vegetables home in a reusable cloth bag; even beans. So using plastic bags for the books does worry me. A way around this is only to leave BC books in little libraries and inside places; then plastic bags could be avoided. However I like to leave the books in fun places outside. On a sunny day, with no rain forecast and with lots of people about, maybe a sealable bag could be avoided here too, and some waste plastic wrap used (such as comes with magazines in the post), as the book would likely be picked up quickly, but otherwise if the books are left outside, they need sealable bags. No excuse for this, as it's a choice of mine, rather than a necessity. I like taking pictures of the book in interesting/scenic places, instead of leaving them inside. I could be more environmental here too, by changing where I leave the book.

Your comments and thinking about this as I write has twinged my conscience. There are some places where sealable bags are not needed; only dirt protection. I will attempt from now on to use waste plastic to put the books in when sealable bags are absolutely not needed. But where they are...oh I do feel bad about this.
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I know what you mean. I too have mixed feelings about using plastic bags for releasing BC books. But books do need protection if left outside.

I have exactly these mixed feelings. I would prefer not to sell people plastic bags, but they are a very popular product and BC needs to sell things in order to survive. And they ARE a nice and useful product too. I use them myself... and hope people use them more than once.

I think about these issues a lot as I do my best to plot a course for the Supply Store that makes sense. Much of the packing material that I use for shipping is re-used: any cardboard and packing foam has always been used before.
The envelopes are not, and they're plastic... but we need to make sure our materials reach the other side of the world in good shape and don't go to waste. It's a conundrum. I don't use bubble envelopes because they, too, contain plastic and it's harder to separate and recycle properly. I use envelopes that are very thin and strong: very little material goes into them and I don't ship a bunch of useless weight around the globe. Strong packaging that is plastic-free, lightweight and cheap: I would love it but I haven't found it yet.

On the other hand, I do recycle plastic and paper that's left over after packing. Even the little plastic strips that are removed from the sticky part of the envelope are gathered and recycled. It's something.

And this is exactly why the pens that are now in the Supply Store are not the cheapest ones around, but decent ones that are made from metal, and refillable. Plastic pens would be a lot cheaper, I know. But these are made to last and I don't want to sell cheap rubbish if I can avoid it.

Sorry for writing a novel but it's a topic that I think about a lot!
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Sorry for writing a novel but it's a topic that I think about a lot!


I'm glad that you did. I appreciate the way BookCrossing supplies have less useless packing material than any other item I order online.
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That's good to know, moem - like golden wattle I use bowls with saucers or plates on top for leftovers, or that reusable beeswax cloth.
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I think they are fine. But I really wish they still came in 2 sizes.
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But I really wish they still came in 2 sizes.


Same. :-(

I also wish the text on the bookmarks hadn't been changed. But that's another topic.

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I think they are fine. But I really wish they still came in 2 sizes.

Yes, I miss the large size. I believe it was a cost issue, but they sure were useful.
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I had planned to leave these inside, if I can find a suitable place. Christmas themed books in a Christmas themed place. I can thank over-the-moon for twinging my conscience, especially for books left in places that don't need a sealed bag. I have added stick on release notes instead. Also a book mark made from a last year's Christmas card.
I will still use sealable bags though when the books actually need protection.
I will continue to order other items from BC.

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