Did you know that across the world, about 500 billion single-use plastic bags are being used by shoppers annually? That’s according to Ocean Crusaders, who also report that about 100,000 marine creatures die annually from plastic entanglement, and those are only the ones that are found. Single-use plastic has long been a problem globally. Which is why today’s more discerning, more environmentally-aware consumers are opting for products that are packaged in a way that lessens environmental impact. From reusable shopping bags to steel water cantinas, many are opting to bring their own containers to groceries, coffee shops, and other establishments to lessen the consumption of single use plastics, whether it’s in the form of plastic bags or plastic bottles, which also end up in landfills and the ocean. The U.S. is in the top 20 list of countries that contribute to mismanaged plastic waste that’s disposed of in oceans, as per Ocean Crusaders. The top five are China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka. This is evidence that plastic waste is indeed a global problem that must be resolved by not just one country. In line with raising awareness on plastic waste pollution, July 3 was established as International Plastic Bag Free Day. To learn more about this initiative, which aims to eliminate the use of single-use plastic bags all over the world, visit zerowasteeurope.eu. In the meantime, we’ve curated some of the top eco-friendly, reusables for your home and family for those who want to transition to better, more environmentally friendly alternatives to non-recyclable single use plastic bags.
The Best Reusable Bags for International Plastic Bag Free Day
1. BeeGreen Reusable Shopping Bags/Grocery Totes (Set of 7)
Convenient to bring anywhere you go, the BeeGreen Reusable Shopping Bags can easily be folded into a small attached pocket or wrapped into a small roll that you can toss into your purse! These reusable, washable totes are excellent for last minute grocery runs so you can refuse to use single-use plastics and help save the earth. This set of 7 bags feature totesat measure 14.2 x 17.7 x 4.7 inches, making it perfect for grocery runs or anytime you need extra carrying space. Each bag features long and wide handles for easy hand holding and wearing on your shoulder. These sturdy reusable bags are made of nylon. These bags have an overall rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Promising review: “Really pleased with these bags–they are large, pretty, sturdy, and machine washable. SO much better than the reusable bags offered at grocery stores. Love that they fold down into a pouch that is attached to the bag, and that I can fit several in my purse so I always have one available.” M. Godfrey
2. Ravmix Reusable Foldable XX-Large Shopping Bags, 5 Pack
Lightweight and easy to carry in your purse or bag, the Ravmix set of extra extra large shopping bags are great for grocery runs or anytime you need to purchase things at the market or mall. It features 10-inch long wide handles for easy carriage and machine washable rip-stop polyester fabric that is durable and can withstand daily wear and tear. The best part is that they can be used over and over again so you can finally say goodbye to single-use plastic grocery bags. When folded, it measures 5.5″ x 4″, which is perfect for tossing into your bag. This product has an overall rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Promising review: “These bags were just as advertised. Large, durable and washable. I bought them after our grocery store changed [its] policy for people bringing in their own bags due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I feel better that I can wash my bags after each use. (I also purchased mesh veggie and fruit bags for my produce). Very happy with my purchase. Extremely good value.” Flagdogs
3. Earthwise Deluxe Collapsible Reusable Shopping Box Grocery Bag Set with Reinforced Bottom, Set of 3
For those who purchase groceries in larger quantities, it’s best to invest in larger reusable shopping containers such as this box with handles, which is not only great for going to the grocery, but also for picnics, boating, laundry storage, and more. This versatile container is made of heavy duty 80-gram non-woven polypropylene and features recycled cardboard walls to provide a rigid structure when upright and open. It also folds up flat for easy storage in the car or at home. This product has an overall rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Promising review: “Very durable and convenient bags. Lots of room and easy to use. Would definitely recommend. I get compliments on these every time I use these!” Amber
4. Foraineam Reusable Durable Heavy Duty Shopping Box, Pack of 3
Featuring a large capacity for longer grocery runs, these bags can carry 4 US gallons each and feature 1.2-inch wide handles for additional strength and support. The Foraineam reusable box bags are made of premium non-woven material with a rigid recycled cardboard insert between layers for a sturdy construction that can be used for longer. They also fold up flat and tidy for easy storage in the car or kitchen. It stays open and upright for easy checkout at the counter. Just stash the groceries in and you’re ready to go. This product has an overall rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Promising review: “I love these grocery totes! It is unbelievable how much will fit in these! An added bonus is when I open the hatch of my SUV I no longer need to play the “catch the groceries” game because everything had spilled from the plastic bags or shifted in transit. These stay where they are placed! I don’t get dirty looks from the cashier with these because they unfold quickly and are as easy to fill as the plastic bags. The best thing about them though, is I am no longer swimming in plastic bags. We are a family of six so every trip can cause a build up of a dozen plastic bags.” Nicole Engelbrecht
5. Creative Green LifeReusable Grocery Shopping Box Bags (3 Pack) in Coffee
For easy and safe carrying, go for the Creative Green LifeReusable grocery boxes that are designed spill proof so you can have confidence placing them in your car and kitchen. It features a rigid structure that stands up and stays open compared to other reusable bags. It’s so spacious that it holds the same as up to 10 single use grocery bags. It’s perfect for family-sized trips to the grocery. These are made with top quality materials and a rigid insert between the layers for it to stand upright every time. When not in use, the bottom flap folds up to be easily stored in your car trunk or kitchen closet. This product has an overall rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Promising review: “I have tried every shopping bag on Amazon. These are by far the very best. I carry mine in the car, so when I stop by the grocery store they are right with me to use. They are very sturdy and easy to fold. You can’t go wrong by ordering these. also, they are the right size. If they were any larger it would be very heavy to carry once you fill up the bag.” Texasdriller
Top Eco-Friendly Reusables for Your Home and Family to Avoid Using Single-Use Plastics
1. Stasher 100% Silicone Reusable Food Bag in Clear, 15 oz
For families with several kids, plastic sandwich bags are often a kitchen must-have. But if you want to cut down on single-use plastic sandwich bags, invest in the Stasher food bag, which allows hygienic and healthy food storage without the fuss. It is made of 100% pure non-toxic platinum silicone and is the world’s first fully functional, self-sealing, non-plastic bag. Its materials contain no BPA, no PVC, and no latex so you know your family’s food is kept safe to consume. These food bags feature an innovative air-tight pinch-lock seal that locks in freshness and moisture, whether it’s a sandwich, marinade, sous vide, and more. These bags are also safe to use in the freezer, microwave, dishwasher, boiling water, and oven up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. This product has an overall customer rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Promising review: “I love these silicone baggies, I try to purchase one every chance I get. I feel good by not using plastic not only for my health but for our environment. Easy to open, a little spot on one corner helps to open them right up. They work great in the freezer, icebox, or ice chest. These are an investment but I feel it’s worth it.” Mrs. Humphreys
2. AwesomeWare Beeswax Wrap Reusable Food Wrap Assorted 3 Packs
A great alternative to sandwich plastic bags and plastic cling-wraps, the AwesomeWare Beeswax Wrap is a reusable kitchen staple that can wrap cheese, fruit, vegetables, cookies, sandwiches, and more. It’s made of certified organic cotton, sustainably harvested beeswax, organic jojoba oil, and tree resin. This product is washable, reusable, and compostable so you’re sure you’re contributing to rather than harming the environment. This product has an overall customer rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Promising review: “I love these reusable food wrappers. I’ve used them several times so far to wrap lunch food in for work, and they work great! I need to order some larger ones as well to use for bigger items.” Kathryn T.
3. True Natured Co. Reusable Produce Bags with Drawstring, Set of 7
A trip to the grocery won’t be complete without these reusable produce bags from True Natured Co. These machine washable, reusable grocery and produce shopping bags are made of 100% biodegradable natural cotton and feature a muslin drawstring and a wooden closure. It also features double stitching and durable seams so it will last longer. Each bag includes tare weights on the labels for easy and fast checkout and overall use. This set includes 1 cotton net reusable grocery bag, 3 mesh produce bags for vegetables and fruits, and 3 bulk bin food bags for coffee, nuts, grains, rice, and more. This product has an overall rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Promising review: “Such an easy, practical way to reduce plastic waste. Originally thought I’d make my own but considering time and materials, these were a better choice. The different sizes accommodate everything from bulk sunflower seeds to celery and the bag weight is on the tag – absolutely brilliant! Great gift idea.” Kim Totten
4. Simple Modern Reusable Food Pouches 10-Pack 5oz
Did you know that while Tetra Paks are 100% recyclable, only a few recycling facilities are actually capable of processing them? Furthermore, it still has a thin layer of plastic on it that can only be downcycled, according to Medium. So if you want to decrease your consumption of Tetra Paks or simply want to make your own beverages for your kids, try the Simple Modern Reusable Food Pouches. These US patent pending food pouches are freezer safe and made from materials that are BPA, PVC, lead and phthalate free. It features a double zipper opening that allows for easy filling and leakproof storing of food and drink. It’s easy to clean too, as it is top rack dishwasher safe. This product is rated 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Promising review: “I am saving money on groceries with these! I have to be careful filling the pouches otherwise there is a mess, but still, it’s easy to clean and so worth it.” Jessica
5. Kaizen Home Goods Reusable Storage Bags – 12 Pack
When we purchase meats in the grocery, they are often packed in single-use plastic bags. To lessen the use of such disposables, why not bring these reusable storage bags that are great for veggies, meats, fruit, and more. It is made of eco-friendly food-grade PEVA material that is all free of PVC, lead, chloride, toxic and BPA. It’s convenient for frozen meal prep, refrigerator, leftovers, veggies, preservation, and more. It’s also great for storing all kinds of meat, chicken, fish, healthy fruits, greens and vegetables in freezing temperature in your refrigerator. This product has an overall rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Promising review: “I love these! I used to feel guilty each time I pulled a disposable bag out to use it. Not anymore. These seem sturdy and are easy to seal.” E.T.
For more on sustainable living and the top recommendations for eco-friendly, reusables for your home and family, check out the stories from our archive below. Don’t forget to share and celebrate International Plastic Bag Free Day with these amazing recommendations.
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