Plastic bags are lightweight, durable, can hold a lot of items. It’s a useful container for anything we need to contain, since plastic is easy to bring and is water-proof. But this convenience comes with a price as plastic pollution is hurting our Mother Earth.
Plastic bags contain a lot of harmful chemicals that pollute the environment, especially our oceans. This causes death to thousands of species of ocean wildlife and many other animal species. Plastic is also linked to obesity, infertility and hormone problems, due to the harmful chemicals it contain. Choosing eco-friendly alternatives to plastic might be more expensive upfront, but this can help you avoid damaging the environment and getting in contact with chemicals that may be messing with your hormones.
Now that the dangers of plastic to the environment and health is well-known, a lot of alternatives to plastic bag has been surfacing in the market. Here are some of them:
Where to Buy
1. Paper bags
Paper bags are widely popular. Most shopping boutiques offer paper bags as packaging for the items you bought, and it’s best for you to reuse them. Paper bags are 100% biodegradable, reusable and recyclable. Depending on the thickness, paper bags can usually withstand weight and pressure as well as plastic bags. However, it’s not advisable to put in wet goods or items in here, like fresh poultry from the supermarket freezer or cold sodas. It is available in different colors, but the most widely use is the brown paper bag.
If you want to stock up paper bags for your shopping trips, get Duro Paper Retail Shopping Bags. It’s one of the best from Amazon, and it’s made from durable brown kraft paper and twisted rope handles. This pack comes in 50 pieces of 13x7x17 inch paper bags.
2. Reusable tote bag
Most grocery stores sell reusable shopping bags that are made from thick, durable plastic like polypropylene. Most reusable tote bags come with reinforced handles and stiffened base to make it strong enough to handle heavy loads. Reusable tote bags are not usually recyclable, so it’s best to continue reusing them until it breaks to maximize its eco-friendly benefits.
Get your own tote bag – without any store/brand-specific logo or print – so you can bring them in any grocery store with confidence. Simply Green Solutions’ Reusable Grocery Tote Bag is a must-have for grocery shopping. This comes in a pack of 10 tote bags in different colors, and all are blank and ready for designing on your own. Each bag comes with a removable bottom base stiffener insert for added strength when carrying heavier items, and its handles are durably sewn along the entire outer walls of the bag.
3. Folding reusable bag
For anyone who doesn’t always plan their grocery shopping trips, a folding reusable bag is a must-have. These bags are usually made from lightweight polyester or nylon material, and can be folded up to a size small enough to fit in a jeans pocket. You may also carry it with you anywhere, like inside your office handbag, so you can be sure to have a handy container in case you thought of dropping by the store to go get some grabs. Folding reusable bags look presentable when in its folded form, so it won’t look tacky inside your bag.
BeeGreen Reusable Grocery Bags Foldable into Attached Pouch is a pretty reusable bag integrated in its own square pouch. This set of 5 bags come in different colors, and is made of sturdy, rip-resistant polyester cloth. It’s easy to bring anywhere – simply insert it in your bag, pocket or car.
4. Mesh bag
When shopping for fresh produce, forgo the plastic bags and use a mesh bag instead. Fresh produce can moisten inside plastic, so it’s best to use mesh bags where your fruits, veggies and crop goods can breathe.
Shop in style, whether at the groceries or the farmer’s market with JM-capricorns Cotton Mesh String Bag. It’s a pack of 4 cotton mesh bags in chic, classy colors. It’s very lightweight and can be easily packed, plus it’s made of 10% cotton that is washable.
5. Cotton canvas bag
Canvas shopping bags made of durable cotton comes in a variety of sizes, shapes and styles. These bags are lightweight yet sturdy enough to handle even the heaviest of grocery items. It’s cost-effective and reusable for countless times, since these are washable and made durable to endure wear and tear. Some canvas bags are so stylish that it can be used more for more than just shopping. You can also use it as a beach tote, book bag or casual everyday purse.
Support US-made goods while being eco-friendly by buying Earthwise Cotton Canvas Grocery Bag. It’s made of durable cotton canvas that is made to last, with thick, cotton web handles are durable enough. This bag measures 22×15” and can hold a lot of groceries at once. It’s plain and simple, making it perfect for decorating or screen printing.
6. Jute bag
Jute bags are made of natural renewable jute plants, resulting into a finished product that is biodegradable and compostable. Jute is strong and can last long, and it’s also inexpensive and highly eco-friendly.
Get a set of 6 burlap jute bags with TBF Natural Burlap Reusable Jute Bags. Each bag is made of 100% burlap fabric with inner vinyl lining. Its handles are soft and easy on the hands with full gusset.
Woven baskets may look rustic and old-fashioned, but it’s the reason why they are still available. It’s eco-friendly, durable and reusable. With woven baskets, you can easily achieve a vintage village chic look while shopping in the local farmer’s market.
Take a basket like Per Newly Hand-Woven Tote Bag to the market and start a trend. This beautifully hand-woven basket is made with rattan grass, and is lightweight and durable. Besides shopping, the vintage look it gives makes it perfect also for use as a beach tote and as a rustic travel purse for exploring beautiful natural areas.
8. Cardboard boxes
Cardboard boxes are not glamorous, but it’s the easiest resort when shopping for a bunch of heavy items (like a dozens of canned goods) or when you’re simply shopping in bulk. Every grocery store has them, and all you need is to ask if your store offers it for free. If it does, ask the bagger to put your purchased items in them to carry your groceries. Most grocery chains have them readily available at checkout. You can also save your delivery boxes at home and take them with your car on your way to the groceries, if your local store doesn’t give it for free. Cardboard boxes are made of paper, so they’re recyclable, and you can reuse them until you wear it out.