It is so amazing to see the advocacy for banning single-use plastic bags coming into execution. This includes plastic bags, coffee cups, water bottles, and straws. Even supermarket giants Woolworths and Coles in Australia now reward those shoppers who bring their own shopping bags.
The use of reusable bags is now common in our society. They come in tons of choices that fit our individual needs. Here’s how to choose the best one for you:
Choose bags that are made of natural, sustainable fibres.
Natural fibres are good for both humans and the environment. They are biodegradable, carbon neutral, and can be used without damaging Mother Nature. Organic natural fibres are even better because they don’t contain chemicals that can cause allergic reactions and overall be damaging to our health. Cotton, for example, is a fabulous choice for your reusable bags. Cotton bagsare durable and can be easily washed in the washing machine which a lot of the plastic based ones cant Watch this quick video for other types of natural fibres that are good materials for reusable bags: https://vimeo.com/277220259.
Consider your budget.
It’s important to think about your budget before you start looking at bags. Like all other products, you get what you pay for. Reusable grocery bags come in different prices depending on the quality of the materials being used. Nonwoven polypropylene bags primarily have a cheaper price tag compared to nylon and laminated bags. Those bags made from organic cotton, recycled cotton, hemp, and jute obviously have a more expensive price but generally speaking may last longer. Fancy handles and lots of details also impact the pricing of these bags. Generally, a more expensive bag is going to have a better quality. For a list of high-quality bags with prices that you can afford, visit here.
Think about the sizes, handles, and other features.
Some reusable bags are small, some are large. Some of them can be folded, some can be zipped. Others have a bottom gusset, some are just flat. Handle length, gusset size, and fold up bags are just some of the important considerations in choosing your shopping companion. Do you like holding bags on your shoulder? Then choose those with 20” or more in handle length (shorter if you prefer hand-carry). If your bag is meant for groceries, then pick those with a generous gusset. When buying a produce bag you need to decide if a drawstring or zip is essential to you. Fold-up bags are super handy and small enough to be stored in a pocket, purse, or backpack. They’ve even perfect for unexpected trips to the store!
How many bags do you need?
If you go shopping weekly, it is advisable to have at least 2-3 bags. Taking other members of your family with you during shopping means you also have to allocate a few bags for each of them. Using this guide would mean that a family with four members needs to take 8-12 bags per trip to the shop. It is also a good idea to bring a few extras in your car or office in case of unexpected shopping or grocery trips!
We have a very long way to go having a plastic-free environment. However, small steps contribute to big changes. Using these reusable shopping bags is just one of the many options we as consumers can make to help reduce our reliance on single-use plastic bags and to show that we care for nature.
Check out our own reusable bags here