Plastic bags are everywhere. They’re convenient. The problem is that they’re also hugely wasteful and are a common form of litter on land and in the ocean and other bodies of water. Thank goodness for the alternatives to plastic bags out there. Here are a few:
1. Cheap Bags Sold By the Store
The cheap reusable bags, often only a dollar or so, sold by many stores, are a common alternative to disposable plastic bags. These aren’t great quality usually, but they do the job for a time. The designs may promote the store you bought them at, or they can be more fun. However, they may not last all that well, and there have been problems with lead in some of them.
2. Cloth Bags
Cloth bags are much better, in my opinion. You can make them yourself if you can sew, but they’re pretty affordable if you’d rather buy premade bags. Depending on the type of cloth, they can be very sturdy and machine washable – important if you’re at all concerned about the germs that can build up over time. You’re likely to use these bags for groceries, after all. You can get bags made of cotton, hemp and jute.
3. Knit Bags
If you want something a little lighter, a knit bag can be good. Small ones can be good for produce, rather than using the plastic bags the store keeps on rolls, and bigger ones can be used to carry your groceries or other purchases in general.
4. Synthetic Material Bags
Synthetic materials can be used to make some very nice reusable bags. They can be sturdy yet fit into a very small space when not in use.
The problem can be how they’re made. Assuming you’re going to use these for a long time, even if they’re from petroleum based materials, synthetic material bags can be better than disposable plastic bags. If you’ll use a bag more often because you can fold it into your purse rather than have to leave it in your trunk because it doesn’t fold small, get the one that folds small.
Where Do You Buy Reusable Bags?
It’s not at all difficult to buy reusable shopping bags. If you just want the cheap ones, your grocery store and other stores in your area probably carry them. If you want something better, you may need to look a little harder. Here are some places to try.
IKEA (huge bags!)
Amazon.com (carries many brands)
You may find reusable shopping bags other places too – just keep your eyes open, especially if you don’t have enough for your needs yet. No need to overbuy when you’re trying to be good to the environment.