Cotton Grocery Bags for Fruit & Veg
One of the most common plastic wastes in landfills and the most polluting is the single-use plastic bag, a little bit more than plastic drinking bottles and disposable sanitary pads, and nappies.
These single-use plastic bags are commonly used by many people around the world to carry their groceries and other things. In the UK alone, before the 5p bag charge was introduce, the average household used around 140 single-use plastic carrier bags a year. Whilst this tax has seen a significant decrease in general carrier bags, it has made no impact on the single use plastic bags which are used for consolidating and carrying single items of fruit and veg.
These single-use plastic fruit and veg bags are so lightweight and are easily carried away by the wind. It takes hundreds of years to degrade only into smaller pieces and they end up in the oceans and had trapped a lot of marine creatures, suffocating them to death.
Fortunately, the growing awareness of the harm these plastic bags to the environment had urged many customers to try to consider reusable grocery bags to collate their fruit and veg, however until the plastic bags are no longer an option, some customers will continue to use these.
There are two preferred types of reusable grocery bags, that we recommend as the best alternatives to plastic ones these are:
- Cloth reusable grocery bags – made of cotton fabric, canvas, or could be homemade from repurposed clothing. Do check however with these that any material used does not include polyester, acrylic or nylon as these all contain plastic.
- Eco-friendly cotton mesh reusable grocery bags – these are see-through reusable grocery bags also called cotton drawstring bags, and made of natural cotton, convenient to use, washable, and described to outdo a thousand plastic bags. This bag is naturally compostable and is the most recommended as it doesn’t contain plastic materials.
Watch out for reusable grocery bags that are not made up of 100% cotton as some still carry some percentage of plastic fibres like polyester, acrylic and nylon. As our purpose here is to be completely plastic-free when using grocery bags, we do not want to be changing to an alternative which still has plastic elements!
If you are still using the single use plastic bags, please ensure that these get recycled in with general carrier bag recycling schemes as this is better than not doing this. However please also be mindful that these bags can only be recycled once into higher grade plastics which are then unrecyclable so ultimately will end up as plastic waste and pollution one day. Which is why it’s best to eliminate the use of plastic bags altogether plastic.
So back to the cotton bags, as we have said we recommend the cotton mesh reusable grocery bags. Being see-through, this also helps check your shopping before paying. If you are concerned with the added weight of the cotton bag on scales when weighing the fruit and veg, consider weighing these without the bag and then re-packaging again afterwards.
Cotton mesh reusable grocery bags come in different sizes and often comes with a pull string and wooden slider lock. They are washable, durable and will last a long time, when they come to the end of their useful life, you can cut them into small pieces and mix them in your home composting, these will then decompose and degrade down within a few months.
Click here to see some options!