No matter what type of reusable bag you have stashed in the pantry or in the trunk of your car, it is better than contributing to landfills with plastic bags. But do your bags meet your needs? It can be difficult to sort through all the options out there to find the perfect bag that can support the weight of heavy grocery items, won’t break your budget and reflects your views on the environment.
Even high-end designers such as Anya Hindmarch, Marc Jacob and, yes, Hermes, have jumped on the reusable bag trend. Although these designer bags sell for $60 to $960 (Hermes silk collapsible bag), a high price doesn’t guarantee eco-friendliness. Anya Hindmarch’s “I’m Not A Plastic Bag” is non-organic cotton and produced in China with cheap labor, according to the Evening Standard.
If your budget doesn’t include nearly $1,000 for a reusable bag, you can buy inexpensive ones at most grocery stores. Whole Foods Market recently came out with the Every Bag Counts bag, which comes in two sizes, costs less than a dollar and is made from 80 percent post-consumer waste.
Cutting out shopping bags is excellent, but what about those clear produce bags? In early January, former Natural Home editorial intern Olivia Blanco Mullins wrote a blog about buying bulk items and storing them with your own jars. This is a great option and provides easy storage. If you’re not into carrying glass or plastic jars, CredoBags offer fabric mesh bags made in Montreal.
More about reusable bags
• Feeling creative? Make your own reusable shopping bag out of household materials.
• Not all reusable bags are made the same. Find out what type is best for you.
• Shopping in China? You'll need a reusable bag now that China has outlawed plastic bags. Read more about the nation's bag ban.