With supermarkets moving on to paper bags and some countries beginning to ban plastic bags, it’s becoming increasingly important to be aware of the other bag options that are available.
There are plenty of eco bag options, and whilst they all have their impact on the environment, the fact that they are reusable, and durable is key.
Of course, the best option is to reuse any bags we have at home rather than purchasing more bags, but when the need arises there are a few options that come off better.
Paper bags are a great alternative to plastic bags, and you can find different types that are just as durable.
It’s a common misconception that paper bags are weak and for single use. There are plenty of options out there that you will be able to use to carry your weekly food shop in or use to go around some of your favourite shops.
Shopping bags made from repurposed fabric a great low-waste option that makes something good out of something that already exists.
You can try making some yourself, or alternatively local markets are a great place to find craftspeople who make and sell reusable bags for a living.
Plastic bags made from recycled products
Buying plastic shopping bags may seem a little contradictory for anyone trying to cut down on their plastic usage. However, there’s a big difference between making bags with brand new plastic and making bags with recycled PET plastic.
PET is the plastic that drinks bottles are made of and there is a constant stream of these bottles in circulation. Whilst many of these are recycled across the world, there are plenty that could be used to make another reusable products such as plastic bags.
From a lifecycle point of view plastic bags made from PET have the lowest footprint of all reusable bags. They are made from materials that are already in existence and are durable.
Cotton, jute and other materials
Bags made from natural fibres are a hugely popular choice for reusable options as they are durable and easily reusable. These bags are widely available from retailers online or in your local supermarkets.
Jute and hemp bags tend to be the most eco-friendly, as cotton bags are usually more water and chemical intensive to grow which increases their environmental impact. Organic cotton is becoming a more popular choice though and is has a smaller footprint than regular cotton.
Bags made from natural fibres are a great choice for businesses who would like to stock eco-friendly bags for their customers to purchase, as they can be easily printed on to create beautiful bespoke bags.