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Reusable Produce Bags | Find the Best Produce Bag to Eliminate Plastic!

Reusable Produce Bags

Now is definitely the time to consider reusable produce bags for your grocery shopping.

Plastic bags and single-use utensils and cups are in the top 5 of the main contributors to pollution in the ocean.

These plastics don’t just disappear when they are thrown away in the trash.

If they are not incinerated, these bags will remain in the ecosystem for up to 500+ years.

Because plastic takes so long to decompose, the amount in landfills continues to grow daily.

This means an overwhelming amount is also ending up in the ocean every year, where the current takes the plastics to one of the five offshore plastic accumulation zones in the world’s oceans.

Most of the bags responsible for pollution are found in grocery stores.

Both the regular plastic bags and the rolls of plastic produce bags.

Countless of these are used every single day for an average of about 15 minutes.

They are difficult to recycle, very difficult to reuse because they’re so thin, and a huge contributor to pollution.

We have a post on this topic exclusively.

I highly recommend checking it out by clicking here for some great tips on reducing them!

In this post today, we’re going to discuss some great reusable produce bags so you no longer need to reach for that big plastic roll in the store!

For more information on alternatives to the regular plastic bags used at checkout, click here to read our article on canvas shopping bags!

If you look around online, particularly on Amazon, you’ll see all sorts of plastic-free produce bags in a variety of styles and materials.

Most frequently the materials used are cotton or polyester mesh material.

Let’s dive in:

Cotton Mesh Produce Bags

Cotton mesh produce bags are a very popular choice for reusable produce bags.

Many people looking to get away from plastic find comfort in knowing their bags are made from natural organic cotton material, like these shown in the image above.

Plenty of other reusable bags are made of synthetic materials which, although not plastic, can still take hundreds of years to biodegrade.

These bags are fully biodegradable so we know that in the case of being thrown away, they will not reside in the ecosystem for years on end and instead can be recycled!

The mesh is also highly breathable.

This is great if you have young children at home because it helps prevent any accidents involving plastic bags and suffocation.

The breathable design also prevents your produce from sweating inside the bag, making it a sticky mess at times.

Most of these bags will have a drawstring type closure mechanism.

This saves time from wrestling to tie those plastic produce bags.

What I really love in this featured set of cotton mesh produce bags is the superior attention to detail on being plastic-free.

The drawstring clip is actually stainless steel instead of plastic!

The tare weights of the bags (weight of the empty bag that is deducted from the weight of goods inside) are conveniently written on the tags of the bag.

This makes checkout a very simple process, as opposed to needing to weigh/ mark these yourself.

If you get this wrong, you’ll end up over-paying on the produce you buy.

These tags make sure you have the accurate tare weights to give the cashier every time!

Pros & Cons – Cotton Mesh Produce Bags

Pros

  •  Strong, double-stitched natural cotton
  •  Washable and reusable
  •  Recyclable and biodegradable
  •  Tare weights printed on tags
  •  Breathable
  •  Mostly see-through (helps to identify contents)
  •  Set includes 3 sizes – Small, Medium and Large

Cons

  •  Can shrink in the dryer (similar to cotton clothing)
  •  Mesh is tightly woven and sometimes the cashier has trouble viewing contents inside
 
All in all, these really are great reusable produce bags due to their attention to detail and quality materials.
 

Reusable Mesh Produce Bags (Polyester)

Another highly popular choice in reusable mesh produce bags besides cotton, are these polyester mesh bags!

Unlike the previously discussed cotton produce bags, these are not recyclable and can take a substantial amount of time to decay.

However, the strength and sheer durability of the tightly woven polyester fibers make these bags much more likely to stand the test of time and less likely to rip and be thrown out.

Very much like the cotton bags, these are also highly breathable.

This means you’ll be worry-free around the kids and you’ll avoid a sticky mess of condensation inside the bags once you return home.

Once your bags get dirty, you can freely throw these right in the washer with your clothes!

A huge benefit of the polyester over cotton is that this won’t shrink like the cotton will.

Because the polyester is much stronger, the fibers woven to create these bags are a lot thinner than cotton.

This means that the polyester produce bags are more see-through than the previous tightly-woven cotton bags.

That also makes these amazing for other use besides grocery shopping!

For one, they’re perfect for traveling and holding small items like makeup, medications, or children’s toys.

Being highly see-through will allow you to identify what’s inside without the need to open the bag!

Lastly, our featured polyester bags also come with tare weights conveniently written right on the tags!

Again, this makes for a very smooth checkout process.

Let’s evaluate with another Pros and Cons list below:

Pros & Cons: Polyester Mesh Produce Bags

Pros

  •  Highly durable mesh polyester
  •  Very see-through (easily identify what’s inside)
  •  Tare weights printed on tags
  •  Breathable
  •  Washable and reusable
  •  Won’t shrink like cotton
  •  Set includes 3 sizes – Small, Medium and Large
 

Cons

  • Not recyclable
  • Synthetic material
 
So in the end, we can see that these polyester bags are an extremely versatile option when looking for reusable produce bags. They are very durable, conveniently designed, and serve many different purposes!
 

Net Produce Bags

The last reusable bag we’ll discuss here in this post is this beautiful net produce bag!

These bags are quite different than the previous two mainly because of the large handles.

These handles make this bag much more versatile in that, they can be used for all groceries and not just produce.

As a matter of fact, these net shopping bags are frequently used for retail shopping and even as a gym or beach bag.

When using these for grocery/ produce shopping, they provide a great plastic-free option.

Usually, these bags are made from a cotton net, making them washable.

The larger openings in the fish-net design allow you to easily see what’s inside the bag, and also lets these bags stretch so they hold a large number of goods!

It also provides great breath-ability to keep that produce sweat-proof.

With the addition of handles, you can easily carry all of your other groceries!

These net bags are frequently used for the gym because the mesh design provides lots of ventilation,  keeping your clothes fresh and preventing smells.

The great thing too with these larger openings through the bag, is when using these bags for the beach, no sand will stay inside.

Instead, the sand and other small particles will fall right through the mesh!

This bag is very convenient to bring allow with you too because it can be scrunched/ folded up into a very small size, then stuffed right inside your purse.

Many of them can be folded up and put inside one another as well.

Let’s break this reusable shopping bag down with another Pros and Cons list below.

Pros & Cons: Net Produce Bags

Pros

  • Strong, natural cotton material
  • Washable and reusable
  • Recyclable
  • Breathable
  • Highly see-through
  • Handles for easy carry
  • Stretches to hold larger quantities
  • Very compact

Cons

  • Can shrink in the dryer (similar to cotton clothing)
  • No tare weights present on bags
  • Usually comes in one size, however, some sellers will have multiple sizes

We see this trendy option as best for someone who is looking for a reusable produce bag with more versatility to be used for a variety of purposes and in different types of stores.

As we see here, this net produce bag is also amazing for retail shopping, gyms, beaches, farmer’s markets, and so on! This is due to the convenient handles and large loads these carry.

Reusable Produce Bags – Conclusion

When searching for the best reusable produce bags that are free of plastic, we see there are several options which depend on what exactly you’re looking for.

Do you already use some other types of reusable shopping bags and are now just searching specifically for a “plastic produce bag” alternative? 

Then our first two options may be best for you.

If you’re someone looking more for a bag that has those same benefits, but has a wider variety of uses, then the net produce bags are probably best for you!

Either way that you decide to go, you will love how great you feel – knowing that you’re doing something good for our planet!

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Canvas Shopping Bags Review

canvas shopping bag

Around the world, there is an increasing number of cities with recent plastic bag bans and eco-conscious movements taking place. The time has come that you should start considering reusable bags such as canvas shopping bags.

Otherwise, you may find yourself in a pinch in the checkout line one of these days!

Why Reusable Shopping Bags?

Food packaging makes up incredible amounts of waste we generate. About one-third of an average dump is made up of packaging material from our stores.

This includes plastic cups, bottles, coffee cups, bags, and so on.

In fact, the amount of plastic packaging that is thrown away every single year is enough to circle the globe four times over.

50% of all this waste, is single-use plastic.

With most of the waste taken home from grocery stores being plastic bags (checkout bags, produce bags, etc.) it makes sense that these are the first items we should find zero waste alternatives for.

The next logical step is to figure out which reusable shopping bags we want.

We need something that is very durable and able to last for years, can hold a large amount of weight so there are no tears, and something that is washable as its bound to collect some food remnants over time.

Canvas Grocery Bags to the Rescue!

Reusable canvas grocery bags are the perfect companion for a variety of activities.

Grocery shopping, daily errands, day trips, travel and more can all benefit from a very durable and reusable bag.

The long-lasting, heavy-duty construction will allow you to save paper and plastic bags for many years to come.

The most important factor with this bag is making sure all seams and stress points are double stitched for durability.

You don’t want to experience any more ripped bags and groceries going everywhere like plastic bags can cause.

With a quality reusable tote bag, you can enjoy a large multitude of diversified use!

Not only can it be a grocery shopping bag, but also makes a great tote bag for school, the beach, the gym, yoga, etc.

The thing is, if you don’t have your bags with you when you shop, you’ll end up resorting to plastic bags once again.

This is why you MUST make it easy on yourself.

Keep some in your car, purse, and office so you never leave the house without one and are always prepared!

Choosing the Material

Choosing the material is another important factor to keep in mind.

Reusable grocery bags come in many different materials and styles.

When they’re made from cotton, polyester, nylon, oxford cloth, and more, it can be hard to figure out which ones are the best.

Polyester and nylon shopping bags are great because they are very durable and can be wiped clean rather easily, although that can become a hassle after a while.

Canvas and other cotton shopping bags are also very durable, as well as have the ability to be thrown right in your washer with clothes to clean!

The only downside is that they may shrink a little bit afterward.

Not to worry though! Instead of putting them in the dryer you can stretch them back out and reduce wrinkles by pulling on the fabric when the bag is wet, then flat air dry.

Get your Canvas Grocery Shopping Bags

For the above reasons, I believe bags like these cotton canvas shopping bags are the best. They are made from highly durable fabric and can be washed along with your clothing. This makes them the most convenient for you.

And as I mentioned earlier, convenience is the most important thing when making this switch to reusable grocery bags.

Convenience is the main reason we are experiencing this epidemic of plastic pollution in the first place!

Plastic bags are quick and convenient.

So as long as we make our zero waste initiative as painless as possible, we have the greatest chance of sticking to it!

These bags are very simple with very minimal manufacturing involved.

We don’t believe in wasting unnecessary resources like printing which produces additional pollution.

The other reason is that it allows you and your family to create your own paintings and drawings to make your personalized bags!

See, reusing can be fun!!