July 3 is International Plastic Bag Free Day and it is just one of the many initiatives established by organizations worldwide to raise awareness on the environmental impact of plastic bags, especially single use ones. According to Global Citizen, as much as 8.3 billion tons of plastic have been produced worldwide since the 1950s and only 9% of it has been recycled. This is why a lot of initiatives have been undertaken to minimize the use of plastic bags and other plastic items such as utensils, straws, cling wrap, toothbrushes, and more. In celebration of International Plastic Bag Free Day, we’re rounding up 10 of the most popular and highly rated eco-friendly reusables that you should invest in to help minimize the use of single plastics.
1. Food Huggers Reusable Silicone Food Savers, Set of 5
Here’s some trivia for you on this International Plastic Bag Free Day: more than 40% of groceries purchased in the U.S. get thrown in the trash and about 48% of fresh produce purchased gets thrown away without being eaten. We often turn to plastic bags and plastic containers to store our leftover food, but that too eventually turns into waste. To address this problem, get your family the Food Huggers Reusable Silicone Food Savers, which effectively help save tomatoes, onions, lemons, limes, kiwi, grapefruit and other fresh food. It can also be used as reusable can covers to keep its contents fresh when you’re not using the entire can. It wraps around your fruit halves to create a tight seal and saves your fruits from going rotten too fast. It is made of 100% FDA silicone that is BPA and phthalate-free. Rated 4.0 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Promising review: “These bright and colorful food savers are great! They save on plastic wrap which is very important to me. They keep my cut lemons, oranges, tomatoes (and a variety of other round foods) nicely in the refrigerator. They are easy to clean and take very little room in a kitchen drawer.” C. L. Lihani
2. Itzy Ritzy Reusable Snack Bag
Say goodbye to single use plastic sandwich bags with these Itzy Ritzy Reusable Snack Bags, which are made of 100% cotton exterior and a lining that is waterproof, FDA approved and BPA, lead and PVC-free. It features a zipper closure that keeps the contents in place while you travel. It’s perfect for snacks and lunches, as well as other non-food items such as makeup, toiletries, beach gear and more. It’s easily machine washable and line-dry recommended for easy maintenance. Rated 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Promising review: “Perfect for kids lunches! We’ve had these for years. They last and are super easy to clean. A must have. Ditch the plastic!!” Tawna Backman
3. S’well Traveler, 16oz, Aurora
Did you know that on top of plastic bag waste, we also contribute to about 25 billion Styrofoam cups ending up as waste every year? According to earthday.org, as much as 14 million US tons of polystyrene (plastic foam) are produced globally. We must put a stop to this by using reusable drink containers such as this S’well Traveler that features triple-walled construction to keep beverages cold for 24 hours or hot for 16. This convenient, reusable beverage container is made of high-grade 18/8 stainless steel that is BPA-free and toxic-free so you know it will stand the test of time. It features a wide mouth and thick rim for easy drinking and placing of ice cubes or fruit pieces for infused water. Also has an ergonomic grip, making it easy to carry around no matter where you go. Rated 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Promising review: “As good as advertised. What I liked about the product is its ability to keep my water cold in hot summer days. I filled my swell water bottle with refrigerated water and forgot it in my car on a blazing 90 degrees summer day for a couple of hours. Came back when I remembered and it was like I just grabbed it out the fridge.” Maui
4. WeeSprout Double Zipper Reusable Food Pouches, 6 Pack
There are at least two benefits to using reusable storage pouches for your little one: first, you minimize waste for a better tomorrow for him, and two, you get to make good, homemade food without any ingredients you wouldn’t want him to eat. These squeeze storage pouches from WeeSprout are convenient because they have a zipper on the bottom that you can fill with food or clean when you’re done. It is made of eco-friendly and strong materials that are free of BPA, PVC, lead and phthalates, making it perfectly safe for your family. It’s also dishwasher safe for easy cleaning. Rated 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Promising review: “Very pleased that these are easy to clean (so far) and they work great! I’ve used them with yogurt and applesauce and they have been leakproof. I finally feel good about using the pouches…no more throwing the empties away and sending them to the landfill!” Kathryn
5. Ecotribe Reusable Metal Stainless Steel Straw Set
Perfect as a gift for friends and family, this set of reusable metal stainless steel straws are the solution to eliminating plastic straw waste. These environmentally friendly reusable drinking straws measure 8.5 inches and are made of FDA approved metal that are non-toxic and BPA-free. This set comes complete with 4 metal straws, 2 wooden cases and 2 cleaning brushes. Each cleaning brush is made of 100% cotton nad stainless steel. It also comes with cases so you can take the straws with you wherever you go. Each metal straw is stamped with the EcoTribe logo. Rated 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Promising review: “We originally bought these for the obvious purpose of doing our part to minimize the harmful effects on the environment that plastic straws cause, but we were surprised to find that these also just make things have a cleaner taste and the sturdiness of a stainless steel straw provides a more pleasant drinking experience; it is sort of like the difference from a plastic coke to a glass coke.” Michael Ponder
More Eco-Friendly Reusables for International Plastic Bag Free Day and Beyond
1. Bee’s Wrap Eco-Friendly Reusable Food Wraps, 3 Pack
Cling wrap no more! Here’s a better, more eco-friendly alternative to plastic wrap: Bee’s Wrap food wraps that are crafted from organic cotton, sustainably harvested beeswax, organic jojoba oil, and tree resin. All natural materials that are safe to use around food! Its fabric and printing are certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard and the packaging is made from 100% recycled paper and biodegradable cellulose. These reusable beeswax wraps last about one year when used several times each week. This practical set includes 1 small (7″ x 8″), 1 medium (10″ x 11″), and 1 large (13″ x 14″). Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Promising review: “We buy expensive cheeses and many times have left-overs. Our hard and soft cheeses last very well wrapped in Beeswax wrappers. The hard cheeses stay fresh and don’t harden even when stored for a couple of weeks! The wrappers clean easily. We have reused the wraps for over a year.” Annie
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2. BeeGreen Lightweight Reusable Grocery Shopping Bags
Heading out to the grocery? Don’t forget to bring with you these lightweight reusable shopping bags from BeeGreen. These reusable grocery bags can hold up to 50+ pounds of groceries without tearing or breaking. It features long handles for easy carrying and traveling. These bags are made of 100% RIP-STOP nylon cloth, which makes it both lightweight but extra sturdy. It’s also washable so it’s easy to clean. These convenient reusable bags can be easily folded into the attached pocket-sized pouch and tossed into your bag before you step out of the house. Rated 4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Promising review: “Love these bags! So much better than the store reusable bags! They are larger, and much sturdier. They fold up to easley fit in your pocket. Fabulous to keep in your car for shopping trips and again, they do not take up much room!” Amy K.
3. All Cotton and Linen Reusable Produce Bags, Set of 6
When heading out to the market or grocery, make sure you have these reusable produce bags that are even more durable than your ordinary plastic bag. Say goodbye to single use plastic bags with these reusables that are made of organic cotton that is free from chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and insecticides, making it perfect for storing food items. Each one is neatly double stitched for extra strength. Features a drawstring opening to easily seal the bag when you’ve filled it with produce. This set of 6 comes with 2 extra large (14 x 18 in.), 2 large (12 x 15 in.), and 2 medium (10 x 12 in.) bags. Rated 4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Promising review: “Love these bags! I was tired of taking reusable grocery bags to the grocery stores and then coming home with all those plastic produce bags. These are light weight, see through, and sturdy. I have already washed them inside a lingerie bag and let them air dry and they were fine. Also love that you get several different sizes.” Mary A. Holzmeister
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4. Purifyou Premium Reusable Mesh/Produce Bags, Set of 9
If you’re going for the plastic-free lifestyle, invest in these premium mesh bags that come with tare weights on vibrant pastel-colored tags. It can safely and effectively hold up to 11 pounds. This set of 9 reusable bags include small (12 x 8 in), 5 medium or large (12 x 14 in), and 2 extra large (12 x 17 in). Also features a drawstring bead for easy opening and sealing. Rated 4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Promising review: “I bought these a few weeks ago and I’m over the moon about them. I try to minimize my use of one-time plastic items, and this puts a huge dent in my weekly consumption. Also, they do a great job of maintaining the right amount of moisture in the bag, so everything tends to last longer. Really really pleased, I almost never leave reviews.” Marian Weaver
5. CleverMade SnapBasket Luxe Reusable and Collapsible Structured Tote, Herringbone
If you were to purchase one thing this International Plastic Bag Free Day, let it be this: the Clevermade SnapBasket, a heavy duty canvas utility tote that’s perfect for grocery or market shopping. It features extra long vegan leather carry handles with a zippered storage pocket inside of the bag that can hold keys and other essentials. It measures 18.5″L x 11.75″W x 11.5″H when open and can be conveniently folded flat for easy storage in the car or at home. The best part? It is durable enough to carry up to 30 pounds! Rated 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Promising review: “I’ve only used them twice but I really like them so far. They are the perfect size for me to load up but still be able to carry. They’re sturdy and the straps are both strong and comfortable. I also love the way they look.” Lyndsay Penix
More earth-friendly ideas are in the links from our archive below. Tell us in the comments section how you’re making an effort to ditch plastic and save the earth this International Plastic Bag Free Day.
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