All you need to know about Eco-Friendly, Reusable Produce Bags

Five reasons to invest in an eco friendly, reusable produce bag:

1. Reusable bags are more convenient in comparison to single-use plastic bags, since they can be used for other things thanks to the mesh material.

2. Reusable produce bags have great durability, lasting years if not longer. Mesh produce bags can also withstand significantly more weight in comparison to standard plastic bags.

3. Eco friendly produce bags can be washed, cleaned, dried, helping you to carry items in a clean and safe way.

4. Reusable bags also help you to save money that accumulates over a long period of time as a result of plastic bag charges.

5. While plastic bags tend to come in one generic size, most mesh produce bags come in various sizes depending on your shopping preferences.

Five interesting facts about eco friendly produce bags:

1. Reusable bags are generally made using muslin (a cotton fabric of plain weave), mesh or other recycled materials.

2. Eco friendly produce bags help to reduce land and sea pollution, resulting in less environmental degradation.

3. Reusable produce bags are made using biodegradable and natural fibers, and use less water, energy, and oil, helping to reduce air pollution.

4. Plastic bags may suffocate food, and/or seep toxic chemicals, affecting how the food is preserved and tastes.

5. Produce bags help food to breathe due to the natural material properties. This also helps to preserve the food for a longer period of time.

Environmental peace of mind

Plastic bags are one of the top ten most common waste items found in oceans. It is estimated that up to 1 trillion plastic bags are disposed each year, most of which end up in oceans and rivers.

Plastic bags do not biodegrade and use both natural gas and crude oil during the manufacturing process. Single-use plastic bags (high-density polyethylene) are estimated to take up to 100 years before they decompose.

Conventional plastics cannot be composted in the same way that organic materials can be, hence why plastics take so long, if ever, before they disappear.

If you, like us, share an eco conscious mindset, knowing that your daily shopping habits are waste free helps to provide peace of mind. By avoiding plastic bags, you can also help to reduce the cleaning costs paid out by local community councils as a result of plastic waste pollution.

The most common reusable produce bag materials

It’s important to make sure that the produce bag you own can actually be recycled. This can usually be identify fairly easily, sine each of the materials have a unique appearance and pattern.

We recommend avoiding all plastic based materials, however produce bags can often be made using:

Cotton can be recycled at a textile recycling facility

Polyester can also be recycled at a textile recycling facility

Polypropylene is a plastic-based fabric that can also be recycled

Polyethylene Terephthalate
Polyethylene terephthalate is another plastic based material that usually cannot be recycled

Plastic bag pollution

In the US, more than 100 billion plastic bags are used each year.

It is estimated that the world uses up to 1 trillion plastic bags each year. The frightening question is where these bags go after they have been disposed, since they do not biodegrade.

Polythene (used to make plastic bags), uses up to 8% of the worlds (crude) oil resources in order to manufactured the demand. These intensive manufacturing processes also cause harm to the environment.

Plastic bag bans are becoming more widespread as a result of global warming awareness. Germany plans to ban single-use plastic bags from next year, joining a growing movement in the fight against plastic pollution.

Bans on single-use plastic bags in cities across the US are also becoming more widespread. From plastic pickup services to plastic bag alternatives, many American cities are waking up to the harsh reality of plastic pollution and starting to take action.

How do reusable produce bags reduce retailer costs?

According the Center for Biological Diversity, the American population uses approximately 100 billion plastic bags each year. This equates to a typical family, on average, taking home around 1,500 plastic bags per year.

It is estimated that these plastic bags cost retailers around $4 billion per year. Therefore switching to eco friendly produce bags helps not only the environment, but also the retail economy.

From a branding perspective, it is becoming an increasingly savvy marketing decision to make the switch to earth friendly bags, since more and more consumers are becoming more environmentally conscious.

There is potential to attract positive media attention and new target audiences by promoting an eco friendly shopping culture within your brand.

The implementation of plastic bag taxes is also a step in the right direction, if bans cannot be put in place.

According to NBC News, the average store in L.A. reduced its plastic bag distribution by almost 2 million units after the introduction of a 10c bag tax.

What to do with old reusable produce bags?

1. Recycle them. Most reusable product bags can be recycled either locally or via a recycling facility, depending on the material.

2. Reuse them around your house (gardening supply storage, laundry storage, old book storage etc.).

3. Use them for art or for adding texture to collage acrylics. Alternatively, if you have children, they may well find some use in decorating or finding new use cases for them.

4. Let your pets use them. I think pets can ‘speak for themselves’ when it comes to finding creative ways to utilise anything you can give them, including reusable mesh bags!

How eco friendly reusable grocery bags help animal health

According to the United Nations, at least 800 animal species are affected as a result of marine debris, and as much as 80 % of this waste comes from plastic.

Species such as ocean sunfish and turtles often mistake plastic bags and for jelly medusae and therefore end up consuming plastic bag waste. Wales and dolphins are another victim of plastic pollution, with scientists often finding large traces of plastic in their stomach.

Many sea turtles have been found dead as a result of trapped plastic bags in both their throat and digestive systems.

Approximately 13 million metric tons of plastic finds its way into the ocean each year, highlighting the drastic need for a change in the way we manufacture and dispose of plastic.