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You do grocery shopping once or twice a week.
Think of all the plastic bags you use during these trips. They’re not in line with a zero waste lifestyle.
Reusable grocery bags, on the other hand, can help you minimize waste in your home and prevent plastic from polluting the environment.
Why should you use reusable grocery bags?
They’re cheaper because they last for much longer than plastic bags, they’re durable, and they can help you stop using plastic bags that end up in the bin sooner rather than later, from there making their way into landfills and waterways.
There are many different types of grocery bags out there from which to choose but to make the most of their durability and cost-effectiveness, you need to choose the best reusable grocery bags: how to shop with zero waste becomes so much more successful when you do this.
Where to buy reusable grocery shopping bags? Amazon’s a great place, so here’s a rundown of the best reusable grocery bags on Amazon.
Our Reviews Of The Best Reusable Grocery Bags
#1 Reusable Grocery Shopping Box Bags by Creative Green Life
These grocery shopping bags are strong and stand firm when you pack and unpack them, preventing your grocery shopping from spilling out or getting damaged.
The bags’ dimensions are 11.5 (width) X 12.8 (height), and they can fit into shopping carts or your car’s boot with ease.
Unlike other grocery shopping bags that experience wear and tear or only make it possible for you to use them during light shopping trips, these bags can hold more than 30 pounds of weight! In addition, you get three in a pack.
The bags have been made with heavy-weight cloth handles that are reinforced with metal rivets to prevent breakage.
They’re completely covered in cloth that’s easy to clean, and beneath that fabric the bags contain press-board, which is what keeps them strong and maintains their shape.
The cloth grocery bags have a grey and white chevron pattern that makes them stylish to carry around.
When you no longer want to use the bags for grocery shopping, they can become pretty storage bags in the home.
If the outer fabric tears, it can cost money to fix it.
With the price tag of $24,99 on Amazon, these work out to costing you $8,33 per bag, which isn’t expensive at all.
If you think of how many plastic bags you buy on a weekly basis and then never use again, this Creative Green Life set is well worth it because the bags will last you a long time.
#2 Reusable Reinforced Handle Grocery Tote Bag by Simply Green Solutions
This pack of 10 colorful bags is immediately eye-catching, but don’t underestimate these bags simply because at first glance they look really flimsy.
Made with a base stiffener insert and including handles that are sewn along their walls, these tote bags are perfect for filling up with groceries.
They’re 13 inches in length and 15 inches in height, which gives you a lot of room for packing items at the store. You’re likely to carry over 40 pounds in this bag without a problem.
They’re also practical for your lifestyle, as they’re machine-washable, so you don’t have to worry about them picking up stains.
A nice bonus about these bags is that they’re great for your green lifestyle goals because they’re made from recycled polypropylene, thus being much better for the environment than if you buy new plastic bags.
Polypropylene is a polymer used in the manufacturing of different products but it doesn’t get recycled enough, which causes it to end up in landfills where it takes up to 30 years to decompose.
So, using recycled polypropylene, such as in the form of these bags, is healthier for the environment.
Thanks to their large size, it’s tempting to want to overfill these bags, but that can take its toll, such as by damaging their handles.
At just $20,00 for 10 bags of various colors, this set of heavy duty reusable grocery bags by Simply Green Solutions is a bargain.
#3 Reusable Grocery Bags By TEOYALL
This six-pack of best reusable produce bags is made of 100 percent polyester, which is light to carry, waterproof, and durable.
These bags are machine-washable, which makes cleaning them as easy as popping them into your weekly load.
You can carry up to 44 pounds of weight with these bags, thanks to their 19.6 inch by 16.9 inch specs.
What sets these bags apart from other reusable shopping bags is that they’re foldable and can fit into your pocket, making them easy to carry around whenever you need them.
It also makes them easy to remember when heading to the store!
Each bag contains a small built-in pouch for any extra items you need to pack away.
It also comes with a slightly widened handle to make carrying heavy loads more comfortable.
The bags come in a variety of colors and patterns, but this style might not appeal to everyone’s personal tastes.
In addition, the bags don’t have enough support to prevent your groceries from moving around, such as when you’re driving them home.
For the price of $14,99, they’re not a bad deal, but you can find bags that have greater strength and durability.
#4 Insulated Grocery Tote Bag by Atbay
This two-pack of navy-blue grocery bags looks smart and stylish, but the bags are much more than being visually appealing.
They are made from non-woven insulated material and their handles have been sewn around the bag, making them stronger for heavy shopping loads when compared to plastic bags.
You can carry about 44 pounds in one shopping bag. These bags also have a stiffener insert made of polypropylene that can be removed if you want to fold them away when in storage.
With a width of 14.9 inches and a height of 9.8 inches, this best insulated shopping bag by Atbay provides you with enough space for your shopping needs.
And, if you want to close up your bag you can, thanks to zips that offer greater security and privacy.
The bags contain an exterior pocket that can be used to store away your phone or keys.
One of the best features of these reusable grocery bags is that they have an interior insulated material that maintains the temperature of your food, and you can even throw in some ice packs if you want to further maintain the cool temperature of your frozen goods, which means this bag doubles up as a cooler bag.
These bags can’t be put in the washing machine if they get dirty. You have to wipe them down with soapy water and then hang them on the washing line.
At the price of $15,99 these might be expensive for some, especially because you only get two bags in a pack. But this bag is the best insulated grocery bag.
#5 Reusable Grocery Tote Bags by Anleo
These black, stylish bags are made from PPNW fabric, which is polypropylene non-woven polypropylene material.
This fabric is synthetic and mimics the texture as well as strength of woven material.
Anleo bags are durable while being lightweight, and they have double-stitched seams which further boost their durability so you won’t have to buy grocery bags for a long time.
The bags have reinforced handles and a removable plastic insert at the bottom to help you carry heavier loads with greater ease.
This makes them versatile for more than just shopping trips to the local store. The bags have a height of 14 inches and a width of 10 inches.
While they’re best not put into the washing machine due to how this can damage their inner lining, these bags can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth or sponge due to their fabric.
The dark fabric also prevents them from looking dirty, which is a plus.
Anleo bags come with a hook so that you can fold them up and hang them in your kitchen or pantry.
They also have a zip so you can close them if you wish.
If you’re looking for a reusable grocery shopping bag that keeps your groceries upright, the Anleo bag might not be perfect for you as it doesn’t always stay upright when placed in a shopping cart or boot.
Each pack of Anleo tote bags contains six bags, so at the price of $20,99 they’re definitely worth it.
You’ll likely only need one bag per shopping trip, as each Anleo bag can carry weight of more than 44 pounds.
Why Are Reusable Grocery Bags Better Than Plastic Ones?
There’s been much debate about reusable grocery bags when compared to plastic carrier bags.
Are they really better?
There are many benefits to choosing reusable grocery bags over plastic ones – here’s why.
|Plastic Bags||Reusable Grocery Bags|
|They can be recycled, but they require a different recycling collection system.||Some reusable grocery bags are sustainable because they’ve been made from recycled material. This ensures less waste.|
|Even though single-use plastic bags have a small carbon footprint, as Stanford magazine reports, the most important thing to consider with grocery bags is how they’re used and then disposed of. When it comes to plastic, people buy many of them – 100 billion bags are bought yearly – and they end up thrown away, which pollutes landfills and waterways.||When they’re made from materials such as polypropylene, these bags only need to be reused 11 times to negate their climate-warming potential when compared to single-use plastic bags, as The Environment Agency reports. In addition, you don’t have to buy many of them. If they can hold large amounts of weight, you need fewer reusable bags.|
|Plastic bags can’t be reused many times because they break easily. When thrown away, they’re a danger to wildlife and the ocean’s animals. They kill 100,000 animals every year, according to Waste Management. Small plastic gets eaten by animals who mistake it for food, causing harm and even death.||These bags can be used many times over, making them much more sustainable and preventing them from entering the environment.|
What Are The Dangers Of Plastic Bags?
In the above table, we’ve touched on the alarming statistic of how plastic bags that get thrown away get into the oceans where they kill 100,000 animals every year.
But plastic bags have many other dangers. Here are some of the worst ones:
- Plastic bags are not biodegradable. This means that they take hundreds, if not thousands, of years to disintegrate. During this time, they are a danger to wildlife and can pose dangers to humans, too. When they are broken down into microplastics, these minute pieces can find their way into the digestive systems of animals who eat them and eventually find their way into our food.
- Plastic bags are contributing to the plastic debris crisis in the North Pacific Ocean. This garbage patch is almost twice the size of Hawaii and 80 percent of it originates from land, as Eco Watch
- Plastic bags use up the world’s resources. It takes approximately 100 million barrels of oil to make the world’s required amount of plastic bags every year, as reported by The Telegraph. Now, if you consider that the average person throws away 10 plastic bags every week, which is 520 bags in a year, this is the fuel equivalent of driving 60 miles, as 1 Bag At A Time It’s clearly a waste of resources to use oil for the production of plastic bags.
- Plastic contains toxins. Coming into contact with plastic is unhealthy for humans. Plastic bags are made from high density polyethylene (HDPE). Although this is considered to be safe, HDPE has been found to release estrogenic chemicals that are especially dangerous to unborn babies and adolescents, as Eco Watch
Are Reusable Grocery Bags Good For The Environment?
You know that reusable grocery bags are more durable and have a longer lifespan than the average plastic bag, but just how green are they?
To answer this question, we need to look at research that was published by The Environmental Agency.
This research found that in order for non-plastic grocery bags to be eco-friendly they need to be used a certain number of times in order to have a minimal impact on global warming.
For example, you need to use reusable shopping bags over 100 times for them to be environmentally friendly.
On the other hand, when it comes to non-woven polypropylene bags, they need to be used at least 50 times to be eco-friendly.
This is because the impact that reusable grocery bags have on the environment is much less when we use the bags regularly.
By using a bag many times over, this decreases its impact.
The thinking behind this type of research is that if you buy a reusable grocery bag and never use it, then it’s almost the same as buying a plastic bag: you’re not doing anything good for the environment because of all the resources that have gone into producing the bag.
In addition, the research states that grocery bags that are meant to last longer than plastic bags often require greater resources in their production and can be said to create more of an environmental impact.
However, it’s important to bear in mind that reusable grocery bags are still better than plastic bags. Here’s why.
- Even if reusable bags don’t get used that often, they’re still less likely to get into the waterways or pollute the planet. The mere fact that you purchase fewer of them than you would purchase plastic bags means that their impact would be much less.
- You can carry much more weight with grocery bags than with plastic bags. The average plastic bag can carry 17 pounds, but this is a lot less than what some heavy duty canvas grocery bags can carry. For example, reusable grocery bags by TEOYALL and Atbay can both carry 44 pounds of weight! This difference in weight between plastic bags and reusable grocery bags means that you’ll need fewer reusable bags than plastic bags, and logically that means that there are fewer that will go to waste.
- When you choose reusable bags that are large in size, you can use them for different tasks and activities, which means that you’re likely to use them for more than just shopping. This increases their lifespan.
Some reusable shopping bags are made from recycled materials, such as propylene. This is a fantastic way to prevent waste and make use of materials that were previously thrown away, thus preventing items from ending up in landfills.
How Can You Save With Reusable Grocery Bags?
When it comes to plastic bags, they do seem like the cheaper option as they cost only a few cents.
But those cents add up, especially if you’re not reusing them.
The average family purchases 60 plastic shopping bags in just four trips to the grocery store, as Conserving Now reports.
By paying a bit more money for quality reusable bags, you can easily save more money. For example, you might pay $20 for a reusable bag but get to use it for many years.
On the other hand, paying a few cents for a plastic bag might seem like the more tempting option, but most plastic bags don’t get used many times.
In fact, a plastic bag’s lifespan is no longer than 12 minutes, as Conserving Now reports. There are some other monetary benefits of choosing reusable bags.
These include how some stores actually offer customers rewards if they use reusable bags, such as by giving them shopping discounts.
In addition to this, reusable bags don’t have a tax that consumers have to pay.
Every year, consumers pay an average of $88 in taxes for the effort it takes for plastic bags to be eliminated from the environment.
The cost of cleaning up plastic bags is 17 cents for every single bag, 1 Bag At A Time reports, which is a lot more than buying that single bag in the first place.
If everyone stopped purchasing plastic bags, there would be no need for them and we could all stop having to pay such taxes, which are really a waste of money that could go to more important things.
Are Paper Grocery Bags Eco-Friendly?
While paper grocery bags might seem like a greener option, the “Report On Plastic Shopping Bags” reveals that to manufacture paper bags, four times more water is used than in the case of producing plastic bags.
Paper also creates three times more greenhouse gases, as All About Bags reports.
How Can You Prevent Reusable Bags From Making A Negative Impact?
When you don’t want to use your reusable bag for groceries anymore, don’t throw it in the bin.
Find creative ways to use it, whether for transporting goods or as storage.
In addition, avoid buying too many reusable bags that you don’t need as this contradicts the principles of zero waste.
One of the best things you can do to reduce your waste and make your life more sustainable is purchase heavy duty reusable grocery bags.
Immediately, you’ll see the benefits.
You’ll stop contributing to the world’s plastic pollution and you’ll also save money by using a bag that has a longer lifespan.
The important thing is to choose high-quality reusable bags, such as those reviewed in this article.
By making better choices when it comes to the items we consume, we can stop producing so much waste that negatively impacts the earth’s resources.
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