Eco-friendly bags are taking over grocery stores and shopping centers everywhere. They’re better for the environment, your wallet, and the stuff you’re carrying, too.
However, there are many varieties available, and you might be confused about which ones offer the best experience for you, the end user.
Today, we’re going to compare the three big options you have to choose from.
Let’s get started.
Nylon Reusable Bags:
We’re starting with these, because they’re easily the least recommended bags available if you’re looking to go green and reusable.
These are the super-cheap bags you find near checkout lines that are marketed as reusable grocery bags. They usually only cost a buck, and they do last a fairly long time if you watch how much you put in them. Being nylon, they’re also waterproof.
However, that doesn’t make them eco-friendly entirely.
Yes, by being reusable, they cut down on pollution caused by overproducing them and having to transport them along the supply chain. However, they’re still plastic. When they wear out, they’re going to the landfill, and they’ll take even longer to break down than the thin plastic bags you’re trying to get rid of. Their production also causes several chemical emissions that all plastic products produce.
These can be cheap, easy, and reliable ways to get people into reusing things, but they’re not as green as you’d think.
Canvas bags are very similar to the nylon bags we mentioned but without all the drawbacks. Canvas is made from plant fibers, it doesn’t produce much pollution in production, and you can use canvas bags for years without replacing them. If you want to go with a green bag that will last a very long time, the canvas is the way to go.
However, canvas bags can be a little pricier. At the checkout lane, you can usually expect to pay two bucks or more for a very cheap option, and nicer options can easily cost more than your morning coffee.
That sounds extremely cheap, but consider how many bags you’ll need to buy a week’s worth of groceries and transport it all. Luckily, you only have to make that investment once, and your bags will last so long that you’ll still save money compared to buying plastic ones at checkout.
The only real downside to canvas bags is that they’re a little more expensive to buy in bulk.
Brown Paper Bags:
We know what you’re thinking. “Aren’t paper bags problematic thanks to deforestation?” Well, no, they’re not.
That’s because eco-friendly companies don’t use trees to make their bags anymore. They use invasive seaweed species. That means that, not only do you get high-quality paper bags that don’t harm trees, but you also get to wipe out a destructive species that is destroying coastlines around the world.
While brown paper bags aren’t as sturdy as canvas, they’re easily the cheapest option on this list, and you can expect to pay between ten and twenty cents per bag. As long as you don’t get them wet, they’ll last a while, too.
Brown paper bags are probably the best solution for most because they’re cost-effective, and canvas bags are amazing if you’re okay with the larger investment.