Collective Purchases of Bags

Prices for bags keep going up. What isn’t? Here’s one more possibility for readers who can’t find affordable or recycled bags in their area. Paula, one of our readers, sent us word of what they’re doing to cut costs in Brazil. “People are getting together to buy a big quantity of rolls for hyperadobe and it’s going to cost around US$550 for a roll with 1000 meters. Cheaper if they can get more people interested.”

Owen’s back of the envelope estimate: 1,000 m. = 3,280 feet. Typical bags are 30” long, so that’s roughly 1,300 bags after deducting 12 bags to make seams, which means single bag cost is around 42 cents. Hmm, that’s still pretty high in my opinion. But the basic idea is still a good one and should lead to the lowest prices in your area. [Note: mesh material is most often used in tubes to make hyperadobe. I’m making the conversion to bags just to see how it compares to bag prices.]

Use our search engine to locate lots more info on hyperadobe. It’s the hot new building system from Brazil. Lately we’ve covered hyperadobe and Eternally Solar’s earthbag building system extensively because they’re so promising.

5 thoughts on “Collective Purchases of Bags”

  1. We have shopped around for tubes and sandbags extensively. Contacted over 30 manufacturers and distributors. Upon completion of this exhausting experience we have decided to proceed with sandbags option at the cost of less than 20 cents a bag. It sure did beat the tube cost… End of the summer (upon completion of interiors and the site work) we will share all the information in Owen’s blog and Mother Earth.

    It’s quite a challenge to obtain such materials unless containers worth of material is purchased directly from China.

    It’s pathetic that good ol’ America doesn’t even produce hemp bags anymore…

    • Thanks for the update and I look forward to seeing the article. We’re working on a list of preferred suppliers (best price/best products) to help people locate bags and tubes.

  2. Hyperadobe tube is going to cost significantly less in the US and Canada than in Brazil. Place your order now for the first shipment of standard wall size coming in to Bag Supplies Canada during August.
    I used their sample raschel tubing to build a length of wall on my shed yesterday. I’d been using some solid poly tube and bags, and I also used some of Master Net’s finer wattle tubing and double up some very lightweight vexar mesh from Ace Bag and Burlap.

    I found that I needed to keep whacking on the soil in the solid poly weave bag to make a thick enough course. The Master Net wattle was a little coarse- let a lot of soil through. And it was stiff enough that it tended to make lumps if the soil wasn’t redistributed by hand.

    But the raschel mesh from Bag Supplies Canada was a pleasure to work with. Strong enough, kept the soil in, but bunched effortlessly onto the chute. And the soil seemed to distribute itself well without bunching or lumping. I really like this raschel!

    I did find that the doubled vexar mesh was less prone to tear than when used singly. (this was just the same weight as vegetable bags, and very inexpensive.) I only used it to create short segments. It might be prone to tearing if you need to pick up and adjust the location of long tubes much. But I was able to handle the shorter sections quite well. If I have a chance to try a longer section doubled up I’ll let you know…

    • These are the sort of detailed reports we need more of. Soon we’ll have an extensive body of shared knowledge that’s freely available to all over the Internet. Then people can confidently choose the right product at the best price.

  3. Cal-earth recently asked about links to places where to get bags and I suggested alibaba.

    Alibaba is a online marketplace where vendors/factories can get in touch with the customer. Everything can be bought in bulk and sometimes piece by piece.

    Need a toilet? Over 20 000 vendors.–130108.html

    Or bags? Just adjust the search word to your liking.–130108.html

    Then its time to get an account (free, vendors pay I think) and send requests to vendors and start bargaining about the price.


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