Inspired by plastic blogs such as Fake Plastic Fish, I’ve been reducing my plastic consumption. One item I’ve targeted is the super-thin, plastic produce bag.
At first, my plastic reduction strategy was to simply reuse the produce bags. I stored used produce bags in my cloth grocery bags, and brought them back to the store. This worked pretty well, but punctures happened and I was left holding a useless piece of plastic. Also it seemed silly for me to use cloth grocery bags, but still use plastic produce bags. After all, plastic is plastic.
A couple puncture resistant bags that I love to reuse are these mesh bags:
These bags are durable and free.*
*with the purchase of citrus
Driven mad by my desire to avoid plastic, my mouse stumbled upon EcoBags.com. I bought three mesh bags for produce and a few non-mesh bags for flour or oats.
The cotton bags seem durable and I can wash them in my washer. The downside? Are you sitting down? Did I mention that the bags are organic, fair wage, fair labor? The mesh bags above are $4 a pop and the non-mesh variety are $3. The bags are not exactly ‘an exercise in frugality’ price-wise, but for me frugality is much more than cost. Frugality is about my consumption. And in this case, my desire to consume fewer plastic bags.
And finally, for those reluctant to spend a small fortune on cotton bags, I bring you Tidy Totes.
I found this inexpensive, eco-hack at Wise Bread. Hack? It’s a hack because these bags are marketed for car organization, not reusable produce bags. But, I’m sure they’d work just great. A 4-pack of expandable Tidy Totes sells for $1 on Amazon, or keep your eye open for them at Walgreens or your local dollar store (look in the automotive section).
If you’re a do-it-yourself type, you can make your own bags from old t-shirts or pillow slips. Wisdom of the Moon has a great step by step guide for making your own fabric produce bags.
I like this idea from EnviroWoman at Living Plastic Free – just plunk your produce in your shopping cart and don’t use a bag at all. Nothing says “I’m green” quite like carrots, apples, and tomatoes sitting right on the checkout conveyer belt. Really. Why not? You’re going to wash everything before you eat it anyway.
The next step for me is sandwich bag reduction. Oy! There is so much plastic in my life. I’m drowning in a sea of it.
What about you? Are you reducing your plastic consumption? Please share your ideas via a Comment.