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Reusable Shopping Bags – Your Ultimate Green Bag Guide

resuable shopping bags

Ahh, green bags. They are heralded as sustainable super heros at times. And now that single use plastic bags have been banned, you are going to see a lot more green bags pop up.

But we are here to tell you that not all green bags are eco friendly reusable shopping bags.  We are going to tell you exactly what you need to look for when buying a green bag for your grocery shopping.

Aren’t all green bags made with the same materials?

Some reusable green bags have indeed been created in a very environmentally friendly way. Other bags are well, green…in colour.

Studies have emerged showing reusable bags such as the green bags commonly sold at Coles and Woolworths have to be used 104 times (weekly for two years) to make them more environmentally friendly than those grey single-use plastic bags.

This is because it can take more materials and energy to make green bags. It’s also worth noting that these bags are often also made with plastic.

This is probably one of the most important bag types to learn about in detail. Let’s take a look at the main things you need to consider when you are buying a green bag:

Green Bags

Other things you should look for in a green bag

  • Quality manufacturing including double stitching
  • Non toxic branding inks used in the design
  • If it cannot be put in the washing machine, make sure it can be wiped clean

Our top pick

OK so as we said earlier in the article, you are going to see green bags everywhere. In fact you have probably already seen people use green bags in supermarkets over the last couple of years.

There are loads and loads of companies that manufacture green bags. Some offer a quality alternative to single use plastic bags and some do not. Here is our top pick (drum roll please)

Why this is our top green bag pick

We like this bag because it comes with a reinforced handle and is a wide base design which is great for packing more groceries into.

The stiffener at the bottom of this green shopping bag is removable and it has extra sturdy handles sewn into the entire face of the bag for added carrying strength.

You can wash it in your washing machine

Yep. Remove the stiffener from the base of your bag and pop it in your washing machine to ensure it stays clean. Pop it on a gentle cycle and hang dry only. But you can’t tumble dry, bleach or iron it (who irons their sustainable bags??).

This bag should be able to hold around 9 kilograms but we wouldn’t encourage you to carry bags that are that heavy as it may do some damage to your back!

This particular green bag is made of recycled polypropelyne.

Consider this:

The lifespan of a reusable green bag is approximately 4 years. If your family purchases just 4 Green Shopping, and take them to the store regularly, you will save between 3,328 and 4,160 bags over the bags 4-year lifespan! Impressive.

How much weight do green bags hold?

Reusable shopping bags

The weight that reusable green bags can hold varies depending on the design. For example, the green bag we mention above has strong reinforced stitching which means it should be stronger than other green bags that don’t have additional stitching.

Whilst it is tempting to buy cheap bags, you need to recognise that they might not last as long as green bags of a higher quality.

How long will my green bag last?

This depends on which brand you purchase. Some green bags can last as long as four years with weekly use. To maximise the usage of your reusable green bag you should follow cleaning instructions carefully and avoid over packing your bag with groceries.

How many bags will I need?

One family (of 4 members) will likely require about 8 Green Bags. We suggest you keep the reusable bags in your handbags or backpacks for their day-to-day convenience shopping.

Are green bags recyclable?

Not all green bags are recyclable. Check their tags to see what they are made with. Those that are 100& recyclable will most certainly advertise it!

How do I recycle my bag?

Many manufacturers or retailers who sell reusable green bags offer a recycling program. The most common of which is called REDCycle .  This initiative is designed to raise awareness about responsible disposal of green bags and other recyclable materials.

Not all green bags come with a guarantee

All reusable green bags are most certainly not created equal. Try to find a brand that is willing to stand by its quality by offering a guarantee.

If you use your bags all the time, you want to make sure that you are purchasing reusable bags that are as “environmentally friendly” as they can be.

Re usability is one thing…but finding bags that are sustainable as well is another win for the environment.

Related Articles

War on Waste: Do you know how many times you need to use your green bags?

Environmental impacts of shopping bags 

RedCycle website



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