You probably know that plastic bags are pretty terrible for the environment. Not only are they bad news for our marine ecosystems, they are made from petrochemicals and are rarely recycled. Plastic bag bans, like the one recently passed in Hawaii, are a small step towards a bag-less future. But really it’s not up to the governments to make these decisions. Everyday we need to make the right choices, and it can start with something as simple as your produce bags and reusable shopping bags.
We’ve written before giving you some tips for using reusable shopping bags, but let’s recap them here:
Reusable bags are NOT full of germs to contaminate your food. There are NO germy consequences for choosing reusable bags over plastic, unless you are buying germy foods (like bacteria-laden, factory-farmed meats, which are notoriously contaminated). If you do have any meat, dairy, or other potentially germy foods, just toss your bags into the washing machine.
But it’s so hard to remember your bags! The trick is to have them stashed in places where you know you will need a bag: your car, your backpack, your bike basket, your lunchbox. Easy, right? Just don’t forget to put them back after you use them.
Choose bags that are natural and built to last. Jute, cotton, or recycled bags are the way to go. Not only are these made from natural materials (or recycled, like Chico bags), and generally better for the environment, they are washable.
Reusable or reused bulk bags or jars. Use bags and jars that are infinitely reusable. Our trick: every time a bulk bag is finished, we hide it inside the reusable grocery bags so that it cannot be forgotten. Try it to see if it works for you!
Think beyond groceries: Use reusable bags for clothing, books, to-go lunches and more.
We were recently sent some Bag Again reusable produce bags to review, and we think they are super cool. Bag Again is dedicated to finding the end of plastic and paper bags and encouraging consumers to carry sustainable and reusable bags like Bag Again.
These bags are unique in that they are meant to transport AND store your produce– you can even wash your produce right in the bag! The bright green colored bag is made from ‘memory mesh fabric’ which will always return to its original shape. Bag Again bags can be used for dry items like beans, or wet items like leafy greens. If they get messy, just toss it in the washer. This helps retain the shape and ensure your bags stay germ free. The bags are super lightweight, but very sturdy; they are woven tightly enough to hold hundreds of times their weight, but when used as a produce bag, the unique mesh fabric allows ethylene to escape, prolonging the life of your fruits and veggies.
Not only are these bags helpful from preventing future bag use, they are made from plastic water bottles, which means that with each purchase you’ve diverted plastic from the waste stream. Bag Again is made from 99.7% recycled plastic and is responsibly made- from the ink to the packaging. Only the thread used to sew the bags together is not made of recyclable material. The plastic recycling process is pretty cool– it’s called Repreve, and it’s a process that takes one water bottle, breaks it down into smaller parts, and gets woven into the fabric needed to create one bag. The image below shows the process.
Everyday we have the chance to make choices to reduce our waste and build a plastic-free life. Bag Again bags are just one of the ways we can do so easily and affordably.