Disposable bags are everywhere, from supermarkets to petrol stations, clothes stores to gift shops. We all need to use sustainable shopping bags
Plastic bags, made from oil, never biodegrade and take up to 1000 years to decompose, breaking down into small toxic particles. Paper bags may seem like an environmental choice but they still require millions of trees to be cut down. Paper bag production involves the use of chemicals and high temperatures, and it releases toxins into the atmosphere at nearly the same rate as plastic bag production.
Despite being recyclable, many plastic bags end up in our rivers and oceans where they can easily be mistaken for jellyfish and ingested by birds and sea creatures. They block the digestive tract and animals starve to death. They also leach toxins into the water and research by the Ellen McArthur foundation suggests that by the year 2050, the ocean will contain more plastic by weight than fish.
Plastic, paper or reusable bags?
Here are a few facts that might encourage you to make the switch to reusable grocery bags next time you go to the store:
- Worldwide, an estimated 4 billion plastic bags end up as litter each year. Tied end to end, the bags could circle the earth 63 times.
- Some 14 million trees are cut down annually for paper bag manufacture.
- The petroleum used to produce 14 plastic bags can drive a car one mile.
- Its estimated that 1 million birds and thousands of turtles and other wildlife and sea animals die each year after ingesting discarded plastic bags. (This is truly a preventable tragedy the image of a bird stranged by a plastic bag is truly horrid and shocking, but sadly too frequent. NO, this is not nice content, but sometimes we need shocking content to push us into action. Our wildlife needs us to ditch single-use plastic bags, and we are not saying go for the most expensive bespoke woven cotton bags, even using our bags made from recycled water bottles is a very budget friendly sustainable option.)
- You have to pay for plastic carrier bags every time you go to the shops so reusable bags are cost effective as well as being better for the environment.
- The average reusable tote bag has a lifespan equal to that of more than 700 disposable plastic bags.
Organic Cotton Bags - Great Produce Bags
Our Re-Sack net bags make ideal replacements for plastic bags when you are buying fruit and veg in supermarkets. Made from 100% certified organic cotton, these reusable canvas tote bags are machine washable and can be put straight in the fridge full of food when you get home.
Re-Sacks handy eco bags fold down small so you can chuck them in your handbag and have grocery bags whenever you need them. The voile version is perfect for fresh bread, cotton bags are a great alternative to paper bags, further reducing your environmental impact and we all need to be citizensustainable/
To avoid cross-contamination, its still a good idea to wrap meat, but don't worry, we have reusable, eco-friendly alternatives to plastic wrap as well. Stainless steel containers are perfect for raw or cooked food, they are easy to clean and can be put in the freezer or fridge. Our Abeego wax wrap is great for buying cheese from the deli and the snack and go tubes are a great addition to string bags for smaller items like nuts or fruits.
Jute Reusable Bags
Fairtrade printed reusable jute tote bags with a long handle, handcrafted using sustainable materials make the perfect alternative to plastic carrier bags. Reusable shopping bags are environmentally friendly and a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. The tote bag shape, with sturdy handles, makes them easy to carry and they come in a range of colours and sizes depending on how much you plan on buying.
Jute shopping bags will happily double as a beach bag or the smaller size make a great lunch bag. They even make really lovely reusable gift bags, save on wrapping paper and your recipient has a lovely hand screen printed lunch tote bag to take to work the following day.
Our sustainable shopping bags have been crafted using traditional methods, passed down through generations. Woven Jute products are super eco-friendly. This sustainable material is quick to grow, needs little in the way of fertilisers or pesticides, enriches the soil and removes a large amount of CO2 from the atmosphere. Plus itâ€™s completely biodegradable and can be easily recycled when the time comes. Or at end of life, they can be used as planters for growing garden vegetables.
More reusable bag options - from Woven Organic Cotton to Foldable
If you are looking for a bag for more than just carrying food you might want to have a look at the gorgeous handmade goat leather bags, lined with cotton canvas, over in our accessories section. Our Grocery bags are drawstring cotton and perfect for fruit and vegetables. Our foldable bags also make a great option to keep in your handbag for those unexpected times in life when you need a bag!
The tote bag and messenger bag have long shoulder straps and are particularly handy for taking to the shops. With plenty of room for your reusable grocery bags, water bottles, lunch box and cosmetic bag. The Gheri fabric jogi bag with strap also makes a great shopper.
Then there are wet bags, (great for swimming kit or cloth nappies and wipes), reusable bin liners, (much better than their polyethene laminated counterparts) and insulated bags for your lunch.
If you are feeling brave you could even leave the excess plastic packaging at the supermarket and just keep the content inside them.