Die Zeit

Below is a machine translation (courtesy of Google) of an interview with Robert Elsaesser of bagmaker ELAG. The original appeared in the Travel section of Die Zeit (an upmarket German Sunday newspaper) issue 21, in 2001. Google translates "Elsaesser" as "Native of Alsace".

Click here for the original article in German.

Click here for the original article on the Die Zeit website.


Is ' me badly

You are waterproof, stable, to use well lockably and for much. We talk about spitting bags


the time: Mr. Elsaesser, Sie make your money with the nausea of suffering flight passengers. Is your job title: Kotztueten manufacturer?

Robert Native of Alsace: No, no. The spitting bags are only a small segment of our company. We are packing manufacturers for food, chemistry, pharmacy, Kosmetik. In different Dichtigkeiten: waterproof, vacuum-tightly, pasteurization-steadily et cetera.

Time: Spitting bags must be vomit steady.

Native of Alsace: That counts too waterproof. They must be stably, surely and well lockably. Our slogan was for a long time: "we keep close."

Time: As they are called now correct-prove: Kotztuete or spitting bag? Sometimes Draufgeschrieben is "for the air-sickness". Swiss says Chotzbuetel, the Austrian Speisackerl, the prullenzakje dutchman, on English gives it disposal bag or waste bag...

Native of Alsace: "Kotzbeutel" looks written dreadfully. If one it lovely expresses - already better. We call the special paper, which is coated with polyethylene, highly officially Kotzbeutelpapier. Completely friendly expressed.

Time: How do many sell you in the year?

Native of Alsace: Approximately 70 million, unit price six to ten Pfennig.

Time: So many are probably hardly used?

Native of Alsace: Surely not. That lies in the parts per thousand range. But one wants to use it also for other things. Recently an airline, the largest of the world to us, said, they must have bags, which bear cooking water. I said, no problem, but for what? They heat on board the baby bottles in the bags. Once an airline wanted to know urgently whether our bags are also food genuine. Naturally, we said, why? With those ice in spitting bags was kept and handed to the guests from the bag to the aperitif. A passenger lodged a complaint frightened.

Time: That is also misuse.

Native of Alsace: But completely okay. It shows only the many ranges of application. Most passengers use it as waste bags. There are airlines, which deliver their Duty free articles in such bags. With some German charter fliers they are simultaneous a Retour bag for films. That is a superbusiness for all involved ones: The photo company has very good return flow, the airlines has the bags more favorably, and, well for us, they need always new.

Time: Were they first at the market?

Native of Alsace: In this form already. Our first customer was Olympic Airways, more than 20 years ago. Then we succeeded in specifying the whole world on a format and a quality. Today we have a market share of over 30 per cent and to supply over 100 airlines. It is interesting that societies of same size have very different need. There are countries, about Saudi Arabia, where the people carry simply everything forward from the airplane; British Airways or United have a high need because of their size; therefore are also our largest customers.

Time: Fits how much purely into the bag?

Native of Alsace: I that never measured or tested. 1.5 litres would have already place, believe I. The format is always alike: 125 millimeters broadly, 80 deeply, 237 highly.

Time: Those are... 2.37 litres gross. Is the catch technology meanwhile perfected? For a long time with cords one worked, and there were misleading instructions for tying together, Zusammenknoten. Which did not go out in the case of the cases always well.

Native of Alsace: Thus, our papierbeutel has a tie-clip. That holds. That is the simplest kind, and with the block soil the bags do not fall down. Our newer are sealed above with a perforation line to open.

Time: But I want still fummeln, if it completely suddenly overcomes me?

Native of Alsace: It is completely easy. The reason are the Kaugummi Esser. Unerzogene humans stick the chewing rubber under the seat. The well educated takes the spitting bag. It opens the bag a little, lets the chewing rubber fall, closes again and puts the bag back. Then the rubber wedges the bag too, and it will not notice to anybody that something is in the bag. And one does not believe, how much chewing rubber gives chewing humans it in the world. There an airline asked us: Let you which break in.

Time: Kotztueten are obviously an area with constantly new technological challenges.

Native of Alsace: It is like that. A mass product, technically on low standard. But with many small finesses.

Time: Is there a special spitting bag designer with the Elag?

Native of Alsace: Naturally we have a Design department and also inquiries. But in former times was the frequent case. Nowadays the airlines have completely precise Corporate Identitys. They sketch rather even: Writing, color, text, opening. Some want to see again even their material sample in the cab on the bag. Beside all the technical one an ideal bag must have also a particularly beautiful print, a responding organization.

Time: What is your dearest bag?

Native of Alsace: In former times of Balair: red, blue and silver strips, very elegantly. A really beautiful bag today is of Uzbekistan the Airways. Those sketched the Usbeken themselves. Very successfully.

Time: Do you collect personally? In the Basler newspaper was located over the spitting bag ensemble in your conference room: "... they stand completely above next to each other on the shelf. Like cups of a great cone crew... "

Native of Alsace: In our Showroom our products stand and in a shelf stop those,: Kotztueten. There are however some collecting tanks, which announce themselves each year to us. And there we are also very generous. One from Holland has 4000 different.

Time: The existence of the bags is announced not very offensive in the airplanes. Otherwise the bags would be more well-known, it were more geklaut, and you would have more conversion.

Native of Alsace: Now well, actually I can also only recommend a carrying forward. The bags are unbelievably pleasant in the car.

Time: Did you already have to use one?

Native of Alsace: I? No, not for this purpose. But I already saw different. And for me meant: Beautifully that there are us.