Reusable Grocery Bags-Ecofriendly Shopping Bags!

Since the late 1990’s, some supermarkets have started todiscourage the uses of disposable plastic bags and have been offering thealternative reusable environmentally friendly shopping bags for a small fee. Inmost cases the non-woven polypropylene bags cost them around 25 cents and are beingsold for a dollar or two. Because of this the reusable shopping bags, made fromfabrics such as canvas or woven recycled synthetic fibers, are finally startingto take over for the nature endangering plastic bags. The reusable shoppingbags are becoming one of the popular new fashion trends to carry everythingfrom groceries, to fabrics, to small appliances and hardware. The clothing industryeven started promoting reusable shopping bags as sustainable fashion. Famousdesigners quickly jumped on board and are now offering their ‘original logos’ etc.on shopping bags. For example check out the UK designer Anya Hindmarch, whoprinted ‘I'm Not A Plastic Bag’ onto unbleached cotton bags then went on tosell them for 15-20 bucks.



Finally, very slowly yet encouragingly steady we as a societyworldwide are becoming aware of environmental concerns. ‘Going green’ or ‘being green’ is becoming alifestyle or fashion trend and bringing one's own shopping bag makes one apart of it all.

Unfortunately, a problem has come up with the reusable bag. Shoppers do not wash these shopping bagsnearly enough and are in danger of contaminating their groceries. Increased casesof food poisoning and such are being reported everywhere. Repeated exposure toraw meats and vegetable are increasing the risk of food born illnesses. Recentstudies found that high levels of bacteria, yeast and mold contaminating thesereusable shopping bags.

The good news is that if you follow some or all the suggestionsyou’re going to be fine using your reusable shopping bags for years.

  • Always treat these grocery bags the same you doyour food prep surfaces. Use the samecleaners and hot water etc.
  • Have different colored bags and only carry rawmeats, poultry or fish in the ones designated for that only. Raw vegetables andfruit should not be carried in these bags and neither should ready to eatfoods; such as non-sealed bread for example , French stick or baguettes.
  •  Canvas shopping bags, can be washed in thewashing machine and dried in the dryer. The non-woven polypropylene bags, canbe wiped out with hot water and antibacterial dish-soap or a biodegradable soap. Now I have to admit that I have washedthese poly-bags in the washer too in hot water but did not dry them in thedryer. (This will shorten their lives considerably and will fade the colors butI think it’s well worth to know that they’re nice and clean.) It’s important tomake sure that they stay open until totally dry as you do not want mold to growin between the seams.
  • If you're handy with a sewing machine you can make your own reusable shopping bags. If you do then you can kind of 'color-code' them. The produce ones could be green, the ones for for fish blue, the ones for meat maybe red or pink or... just so that it becomes an obvious choice when you're packing up the groceries at the store. This way the ones you use for produce, meat and fish are the ones you have to take more attention to and if there was a leaky situation they're easy enough to throw into the washer.


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Comments 45 comments

Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Thank you for reading and commenting Richard.

regards Zsuzsy


RichardCMckeown profile image

RichardCMckeown 5 years ago

Great facts! Love this hub. THanks.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

irenemaria, thank you for stopping by and for commenting. If we all, world wide, do a little for the environment such as use eco-friendly shopping bags we will save big...

regards Zsuzsy


irenemaria profile image

irenemaria 6 years ago from Sweden

People here in Sweden are getting there. Shopping bags that are re-used is popular and nice too.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Tracy Monroy, definitely a great scrap-user-up project.

Thanks for taking a look and for commenting.

regards Zsuzsy


Tracy Monroy 6 years ago

A lot of Californians I see make their own out of leftover fabric. It is one great way to make something out of your old project scraps for sure. Great hub!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Mythbuster, so glad you stopped by. Each and every reusable bag will make a difference.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


mythbuster profile image

mythbuster 6 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

Nice hub, Zsuzsy Bee! I'm also taking down notes from your How To Make An Eco-Friendly Shopping Bag with the pattern you've provided, so I can make my own bags. Thanks for the information, including tips on how to take care of these items.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

GmaGoldie, thanks for taking a look and for commenting.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


GmaGoldie profile image

GmaGoldie 6 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

Excellent! Love your safety tip to treat the bags with the same care for food preparation - very critical to prevent illness.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

printed carrier bags, thanks for taking a look and for commenting.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


printed carrier bags 6 years ago

This is a nice hub I completely agree with promoting environmentally friendly packaging. I am in this industry myself and I think it is really important to promote only Biodegradable polythene products and paper packaging to help the environment.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

George Green Jr. are you telling me that the plastic bags hold your cans and do not rip? and the handles of the plastic bags are long enough on to carry over your shoulder?

Does that makes sense???

Well MY standards of quality are higher then just an old plastic bag. A suggestion...If you made your own carry bags you could make the handles of the bags as long as you need them to be.


George Greene Jr. profile image

George Greene Jr. 6 years ago from California PA

I have tried those "green bags and find that they fail up to my standards of quality as they rip if you crry cans or if you want to carry them over your shoulder while riding a bicycle the handles are not long enough! I am happy with plastic bags as they can be reused for recycling and trash.


Beth100 profile image

Beth100 6 years ago from Canada

I would love a tea! I too have found that the Sobey's are the best. My first has outlasted my most recent PC ones. lol And, their size is perfect for bread. Again, thanks for the wonderful tips!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Beth so glad you stopped in for a visit. Tea?

Some of the bags held up better then others. The Ones from Sobeys are the best even after numerous washings they're still going strong. However the ones I made are my favorites though because I have them all 'color-coded'

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Beth100 profile image

Beth100 6 years ago from Canada

Washing out the bags is a very good point. I do designate certain bags for certain foods, but haven't thought of washing them. (maybe I just don't like doing laundry...) . I've wondered how they would fair in the washer, and to know that you can wash the nonwoven polypropylene bags is a bonus. Thanks Zsuzsy! (and now I have no excuse to wash them) :D

BTW, congrats on your beautiful "e"! :)


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

LRobbins, thanks for taking a look and for commenting. If we all do our share we will get there...

regards Zsuzsy


LRobbins profile image

LRobbins 6 years ago from Germany

Great hub, thanks for highlighting how plastic is so destructive to our environment. Plastic bags are one of my biggest environmental peeves, especially when there are so many other options out there as you've pointed out.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Latrelle thanks for taking a look and for commenting.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Latrelle Ross 6 years ago

Excellent hub! Great way to keep things sustainable. Love it :)


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Hi Al, hope you can get the "green" trend started in Venezuela. But no-matter how little you guys do to start with will help in the long run...

greetings from Canada Zsuzsy


Mystique1957 profile image

Mystique1957 6 years ago from Caracas-Venezuela

Dear Zsuzsy...

Great hub! I am going to have to translate your hub into Spanish and roll it around the net here(Venezuela)LOL. People are not well-educated regarding the "Going green" trend, at least not enough people to make a difference!

Thanks for sharing!

warm regards and blessings,

Al


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

MPG, I had one of the poly bags go moldy a couple of years back... that's when I thought about throwing it in the washer. If it wasn't going to make it, it was not a big deal because I would have had to throw it out anyway as I wouldn't want to use it moldy. As a matter of fact that particular bag is still going strong even after multiple washes.

regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Kaie, I used to forget my reusable bags at home too all the time. I cured myself by making up about twenty of them out of scrap material. Purposely I did not make any place for them in the house except in a crate in the back of the SUV. This way they're under foot in the kitchen sometimes for a day or two till they *tick me off* for being in the way and then I take them out...ta-da they're in the car when I need them... smart eh? (Little trickery onto myself does wonders hehe)

regards Zsuzsy


MPG Narratives profile image

MPG Narratives 6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

Reusable shopping bags have been in use in Australia for 20+ years now but there are still too many plastic bags around. Some larger stores now refuse to give them out which is a start to better eco-friendly shopping. Never actually thought of washing them though!


Kaie Arwen profile image

Kaie Arwen 6 years ago

I love the Eco-friendly shopping bags............ my biggest problem is remembering to put them back in my car! :-(


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Paradise always glad when you drop in for a visit. Got time for a tea? The grocery stores here too sell the bags for a buck. I just like mine better because I can just throw them into the washer much easier.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Tammy, how are you my young friend? I do the organic and bulk too, but get this the store I used to shop at refused to bring in the paper bags. They insisted on using the plastic so I now go a little further and they let their customers use the plastic reusable containers... the scales tara it out each time and t works great.

The weather has been better for the past couple of days but unfortunately the winter still is far from over.... after all we're talking Canada

Hope you're well

Greetings from your old home Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Pollyannalana, love the new avatar. Thanks for stopping in and for commenting. Yardsales are great places to pick up shopping bags never thought of that. Thanks for the suggestion.

regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Hi Audrey thanks for taking a look and for commenting. IT has been a long time for people to start to notice all the problems that those plastic bags are causing that's for sure.

I always say that many littles can make a big really easily. So if we all do our little bits it will make a change.

regards Zsuzsy


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

That's a good hub and very topical. My grocery store has them, you can buy one for a dollar, and use them over and over. It only makes sense.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago

I like my shopping bags better than the plastic. Walmart and the grocery store used to act like I was being a big pain when I used them...but now they are okay about it. I try to buy only organic so it doesn't look good if you use the plastic store bags.

Great hub, I hope the weather is getting a little better up your way. It has finally warmed up here.


Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 6 years ago from US

You can pick these bags up, or I do, brand new for $1 or less at yardsales, I get so many I even give new ones with tags still on in with gifts!


akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

You are right about slowly but anything is better than nothing! We have been asking for paper for years at the supermarkets (before we started bringing our own reusable bags) and the checkers look at us like we are speaking a foreign language. At least those are recyclable (and make wonderful packaging wraps for mailing gifts!) I have to always wear my rose-colored glasses though and believe we as a nation, as a world, can get it together and think more about everything - but especially right now the environment. Thanks for the hub - great point!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Katrina thanks for dropping in. Last time I was getting groceries...the lady in front of me at the check out, what a pain in the watoosy. She had a full almost overflowing shopping cart she needed 12-14 plastic bags to pack it all up, she b*****d non-stop at the poor little check-out girl because she had to pay a nickle a bag. When she noticed me shaking my reusable bags out she said "What's the world coming to when the grocery store even has to make money on stupid plastic shopping bags.You're a smart one, aren't you, bringing your own, don't buy any and spite them where it hurts". Rather then start a riot with the old babe I told her "I'm going green because it's the fashionable thing to do... look my bags match my coat".

Man-o-man, don't you just wonder about the mentality of some people? And people using too many plastic bags is one of my pet peeves.

regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

fits4life I agree that its about time that people start noticing that our planet is in problems. Always glad when you come over for a visit.

regards Zsuzsy


Katrina Ariel profile image

Katrina Ariel 6 years ago from The Highlands of British Columbia, Canada

Great hub! I think stores should charge a dollar for plastic bags. That would motivate people fast and reduce waste in a hurry. I also like it when I see stores reminding people to bring bags to the produce section, where a lot of plastic bags are used. I see people bagging things that don't need to be bagged, like bananas, oranges, apples, onions and the like.

Good point about keeping your reusable bags clean. Thanks for bringing that up.


fits4life profile image

fits4life 6 years ago from Richmond

Yes. The world is going green. When we consider all of the waste and pollution, its about time. We really waste money when we don't reuse. Nice hub. Keep up the great work.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Hiya Sally's Trove. Some of the polybags fare better then others. The trick definitely is to make sure they dry totally...

hope you're well

greeting to you and your Mom

Zsuzsy


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

What great information! I never thought about these bags becoming contaminated, possibly because I so often fail to remember to use them.

I'm glad to know you can put the non-woven polypropylene bags in the washer.

I like your system of keeping them in the car, especially the part about not making a place for them in the house. I identify completely with your strategy...I can put up with things out of place for only a limited time. My bags would eventually find themselves being kicked back into the car where they belong. Thanks for the tips!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Hypnodude, thanks for taking a look. My grocery bags are all made of washable fabric and it just so happened I had different colored scrap material. It's become second nature that when I pack up the groceries at the store I automatically use the greeny ones for produce, the blue one for fish-y stuff and the peach colored ones for meat.

Thanks for the stumble.

regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

brsmom (I just love that name) always glad when you drop by for a visit. I used to forget my reusable bags at home too all the time. I cured myself by making up about twenty of them out of scrap material. Purposely I did not make any place for them in the house except in a crate in the back of the SUV. This way they're under foot in the kitchen sometimes for a day or two till they *tick me off* for being in the way and then I take them out...ta-da they're in the car when I need them... smart eh? (Little trickery onto myself does wonders hehe)

regards Zsuzsy


hypnodude profile image

hypnodude 6 years ago from Italy

Actually I use pretty often reusable bags, around 90% of the times, but I've never thought about health risks. Well, my immune system is pretty good, nevertheless these are really important informations. Well Zsuzsy Bee, sorry but now I have to wash a couple of things. :) And I'll stumble this hub. :)


brsmom68 profile image

brsmom68 6 years ago from Alberta, Canada

Nice Hub! I don't think most people think about washing these bags unless they are visibly dirty. I know I hadn't given it much thought, as I usually forget mine and end up bringing home plastic bags. I do have a use for them though...I just need to make the time to use them.

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