Eco-Friendly Reusable Grocery Bags to be the Wave of the Future

The waste of disposable paper and plastic grocery bags clogs waterways and piles up in landfills. Some cities are taking aggressive action by banning plastic grocery bags. According to the Austin American Statesman, Austin, Texas, will ban all single-use grocery bags, both paper and plastic. As more and more cities are going green and implementing plastic bag bans, consumers have only one option: to use reusable shopping bags.

reusable bags

reusable bags

Reusable bags are not only eco-friendly, but they also can help to save money. Some places give consumers a credit on their bill for every reusable bag they bring. While this usually amounts to five cents per bag in savings, it is still a cost reduction on the overall price paid. Unlike wimpy paper sacks that break when wet or plastic bags with easily ripped handles, reusable shopping bags hold more and can carry heavier weights without breaking. Consumers also gain an added benefit from not having to deal with piles of plastic or paper sacks after the groceries have been put away. Reusable bags fold flat for convenient storage anywhere, and keeping one or two in the back of a car is a good idea to be ready for an unplanned shopping trip.

Eco-friendly bags provide a service to consumers that paper grocery sacks cannot do: keep foods cold. Many reusable bags have insulation built into the material. These insulated grocery bags keep ice cream from melting and milk fresher longer than standard bags. These bags come in handy when making a trip to the grocery store is only one of several errands to run. Though they extend the time foods remain at a desired temperature, food should not be left in an insulated grocery bag for more than two hours to prevent spoilage. For safety, wash the bags regularly in hot, soapy water to kill germs. Insulated grocery bags have another use as extra-large picnic bags for carrying party-sized entrees to a picnic or potluck.

Rather than waiting for their city to ban plastic or paper bags, consumers can take the greener option now and opt for reusable shopping bags. These bags help retailers save money since they do not have to buy single-use bags and may help the customer to save money in bag incentive programs. Aside from the money savings, reusable bags free space in landfills and waterways where plastic sacks collect but do not readily decompose. If everyone used cloth or insulated shopping bags, the amount of bag waste overall could be dramatically reduced.

Reusable shopping bags appear to be the trend for future shoppers. Electing to use them creates a win-win situation for both the consumers and retailers. Consumers should embrace the future now and use the greener choice for shopping and grocery bags.

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