The Best Reusable Produce Bags for 2023
A simple reusable produce bag can go a long way toward protecting the environment. Get yours today!
Reusable produce bags are one of the environment-friendly alternatives to disposable plastic bags. They have many benefits over single-use plastics, such as a low carbon footprint.
Even their manufacturing process has significantly fewer effects on the environment when compared to plastic produce bags. These bags are typically solid and lightweight to ensure convenience while shopping.
There are tons of different reusable produce bags available, making it hard for you to pick the type to buy. So, we have compiled a list of the best ones available to help you make your decision.
How We Picked
Size and Capacity
The size of your produce bag determines how many you’ll need while shopping and the number of veggies and fruits you can carry at a time. For your convenience, we selected bags with sets containing various sizes for your convenience.
Material and Durability
Reusable bags are made from a variety of materials, each one of them with a varying degree of strength. We made sure to pick bags made from highly durable materials that won’t tear easily.
Some reusable bags have drawstrings or handles for convenience and ease. We chose bags whose designs facilitate your overall shopping and storage experience.
Being reusable, these bags are already very cost-effective. We went further to pick bags worth every dime you spend on them in quality and design.
Our Top Picks
The best thing about the Lotus Sustainables Reusable bag is the mesh design. Not all reusable produce bags are suitable for storing fruits and vegetables simultaneously because fruits are stored better in bags with large mesh openings. In contrast, fresh vegetables need bags with tight weaves. However, the Lotus reusable produce bags have a mesh size that is perfect for storing both kinds of produce. This offers a high level of convenience.
Purifyou’s organic cotton reusable produce bag is one of the most environment-friendly bags you’ll find. They come in a cardboard canister box, and the bags are made from unbleached, natural cotton, which is one material that doesn’t have much of a negative impact on the environment when processed. Each canister box contains nine bags in three different size ranges, ensuring you have versatility regarding your reusable bags' capacity.
This is another high-quality bag from the Purifyou brand that comes in nine different sizes. These bags have a fine mesh holding large grains like rice and oats. They are made from polyester, which is why the bags are lightweight and extra durable. Despite their lightness, these bags are highly durable, and the largest sizes can hold over 15 pounds of produce at a time.
Everything We Recommend
A reusable produce bag with a versatile mesh weave.
This bag goes the extra mile to protect the environment.
This highly economical bag is excellent for bulk buys
Who This Is For
This list is for anyone looking for an effective way to help protect the environment by avoiding single-use plastic. It is also for you if you’re looking for new reusable produce bags to replace the ones you already have.
Benefits of reusable produce bags
Reusable: Right there in the name is the most significant benefit of these bags. When you get a reusable bag, you’re getting one for a long time. You can easily wash these produce bags, which will be suitable for use again. It’s always essential to clean the bags after every use to prevent bacteria buildup.
Environment-friendly: The reusable nature of these bags makes them have an uncommonly low environmental impact. Unlike single-use plastic and paper bags that require significant resources and energy to manufacture, reusable produce bags are more energy-friendly and conserve resources.
Prevent pollution: Although the world produces about 400 million metric tons of plastic waste yearly, only approximately 18% is recycled. Some make it to landfills, where it can take 20 to 500 years before they degrade. Others float around neighborhoods, increasing litter. The rest find their way to water bodies around the world. According to the World Economic Forum, 75 to 199 million tons of plastic are currently polluting the oceans. Reusable produce bags do not pose pollution problems because they are biodegradable, can be reused, and are easier to recycle.
Protect wildlife: The massive amount of plastic in the environment has a dreadful effect on both land and marine animals. Hundreds of animals ingest or get entangled in plastic waste yearly, which can easily lead to death. Reusable produce bags can significantly reduce this occurrence.
Highly durable: Unlike regular plastic bags, reusable bags are less likely to tear or rip because of the weight of the items inside them. Because of the mesh nature of most of these bags, sharp box edges or objects that would ordinarily poke a hole in a plastic bag don’t affect them.
Versatile: You can use reusable produce bags for different things around the house. You can convert them into a beach bag, a bag to carry work supplies, a laundry bag, you name it. They come in different designs and are more durable, which makes them perfect for other purposes besides shopping and storage.
Cost-effective: With most stores in the U.S. charging for plastic bag use, you’ll find that reusable produce bags will save you a lot over time as you keep using them.
Are reusable bags actually useful?
Although many people argue that the manufacturing process of bulk reusable produce bags pollutes the environment just as much as plastic bags, we do not entirely agree with that.
Reusable produce bags help in decreasing land and marine pollution and environmental degradation.
The reusable nature of these bags allows them to be used for a long time, eliminating the need for other bags. This cancels out any detrimental environmental effects their products might have caused.
Why You Should Trust Us
While picking reusable produce bags, we considered essential factors that ensure you enjoy the overall experience of using these bags. We paid attention to factors like how durable the bag’s material is, its style and design, storage capacity, and cost.
How We Picked
There are a wide variety of reusable produce bags available online, and making our choices was not a small task. Our first consideration was the material used to make the bags because it determines the weight and durability of the bag.
Reusable produce bags are made from materials like cotton, muslin, recycled PET, etc. We picked bags made from a lightweight material like cotton that is biodegradable yet still strong enough to work efficiently.
We chose bags that offer a variety of sizes because this gives you more versatility to pick the particular bag you need for different production capacities. We considered each bag’s design and closure type because they can affect the convenience of storing or shopping with the bag.
We also considered bags that can be used for other functions apart from shopping and storing, as this flexibility offers more value for your money.
Some reusable produce bags come with color-coded tabs that make it easy to determine their weight. This feature is essential because you should remove the weight of your bag from your total purchase weight at checkout. Therefore, we ensured our picks had easy-to-read and easily identifiable tabs.
Using clean reusable produce bags is also necessary for good health, so we went for machine-washable bags. All our picks offer top-notch quality for an affordable price.
Our Picks For You
Best Pick - Lotus Sustainables 100% Cotton Reusable Produce Bags
Who It’s For
The Lotus reusable produce bags are perfect if you need one bag for both leafy and non-leafy vegetables and fruits. It’s also good if you need a bag that can hold heavy fruits.
Why It’s Great
This set contains five reusable bags; one large, two medium, and two small-sized bags. It has fewer bags than our other picks, but the brand makes up for this with durable cotton material. The cotton bags are soft and light yet so strong that the largest bag (12 x 17 inches) can hold items weighing up to a whopping 25 pounds without ripping. Therefore, you wouldn’t need so many bags because just one is enough for a grocery trip. The mesh material can also store both leafy and non-leafy vegetables. These bags have a single drawstring closure that sports a pop lock bead that is great for keeping the items safe. The drawstring is great for carrying and hanging up the bags.
Some online reviewers complained that because the bags are manufactured in China, there may be issues with warranties and refunds. Some people also worry about the ethics of manufacturing in China. However, the company assures that its manufacturing conditions are up to code.
These three different available sizes have color-coded tabs for easy identification and show the bag's weight for checkout. The bags are machine-washable and strong enough to store other items like toys, crafts, supplies, etc. The Lotus company offers a “100% Love it Guarantee” where customers can get their money back if they are dissatisfied with the product. Finally, they donate 10% of their profits to companies focused on reducing the impact of single-use plastics.
Runner Up - Purifyou Organic Cotton Reusable Produce Bag
Who It’s For
This bag is excellent for you if the primary reason behind your getting it is for the environment’s sake. They are also suitable for people looking to switch to a more climate-conscious reusable bag.
Why It’s Great
This set of nine reusable produce bags contains two large, five medium, and two small-sized bags. This variety in sizes is ideal as you can pick which bag is most suitable for the amount of shopping you need to get done at any time. Each bag is made from 100% cotton, a durable and machine-washable material. The single drawstring closure is perfect for not just safeguarding the contents of the bag but also conveniently opening it at checkout. It is equally great for hanging the bag, with its contents, in the pantry. The largest bag in the set (12 x 17 inches) can safely hold items weighing up to 11 pounds.
The bags have color-coded tare weight tags that tell you each bag's weight. However, the labels are light-colored, and the bag's weight is printed on the tags in white. This makes it very difficult to decipher the weight at checkout. Customers complained about the steel beads on the drawstring because they made it hard to machine-wash the produce bags. Some online reviews also mentioned that it gave off a foul smell when they opened the product for the first time.
The bag is highly stretchable, which allows airflow. This makes it ideal for storing non-leafy vegetables and identifying items quickly through the bag. The mesh design also allows its use as a laundry or gardening bag.
The seams are double-stitched to ensure the bag can carry heavy products without ripping or tearing. This product comes with two fish keychains that remind us of the effects of single-use plastic on marine life.
Finally, the Purifyou brand sends a percentage of its proceeds to construct wells in impoverished communities, so that is one brand you will want to buy from.
Most Cost-Effective - Purifyou Reusable Mesh Produce Bags
Who It’s For
This bag by the Purifyou brand is excellent for anyone who needs to buy reusable bags on a budget. They are also good if you need bags that can hold large grains like rice and oats and will not tear or rip while carrying heavy items.
Why It’s Great
This set contains nine reusable mesh produce bags, two of each of the small and large sizes, and five middle-sized bags. The mesh is made from polyester material that ensures the high-quality strength of these bags. They also have a double-stitched seam to strengthen the bags further. The bags have a drawstring closure with a simple plastic bead for safeguarding and storing your items. The mesh design allows air circulation to keep your greens fresh and healthy.
These bags are not very suitable for leafy greens, as many customers online complained that their vegetables got spoilt quickly after storing them in the fridge with these bags. The mesh is also hard to see through, so you might have difficulty sorting your items at checkout. The pastel-colored weight tags are also hard to read.
Because of its mesh design, you can use this bag as a strainer and store other items like toys, beach supplies, etc. The package comes with two fish-shaped keychains to remind you of the fish you will be saving as you use these bags. The polyester material is also very easy to wash and fold. This brand is committed to protecting the environment as these bags come in a recyclable cardboard box.
Almost Made The Cut - Five Two Organic Cotton Reusable Produce Bags
Almost Made The Cut
One of the best reusable bags for leafy greens.
The best produce bag for hiding stains and spills.
Who It’s For
The Five-Two reusable bags will be good if you are worried about stains on your produce bag. They are also great if you need different mesh sizes for your vegetables and fruits.
Why It’s Great
This set of eight bags comes in three different sizes, with two small sizes, four medium, and two large-sized ones. The bags are designed in two different weaves: mesh and opaque cloth weave. These two bags in one set allow you to store your leafy vegetables and fruits in the best bags that’ll keep them fresh for a longer time.
These bags have a double drawstring closure that secures the top of the bag more effectively than a single drawstring. The bags are painted gray with organic dye to cover up stains from produce. They are made from 100% organic cotton, which is easy to wash, strong, and lightweight. The tare weight of these bags is boldly written on a tag by their side for easy checkout.
These bags are relatively more expensive than our other picks. They are also not manufactured in the U.S., which could mean complications if you need a refund or return service. The gray color of the bags also means that you must open them to figure out what’s inside them, which translates to a long time checking out of grocery stores. Some users complained that their vegetables went limp quickly despite following the storage instructions.
The opening of this bag is wide enough for large produce, so you don’t have to struggle to get your fruits into it. Given that they have two weaves, they are very versatile and can be used as storage, laundry, or beach bags. They also organize fruits and vegetables in your pantry or fridge.
Care and Maintenance
The whole idea behind reusable produce bags is that you should use them multiple times to help the planet. But that will not happen if you don’t care for and maintain the bags.
Without proper looking after, reusable produce bags won’t last as long as they should, which means you will have to buy another set in a short time, thus defeating the purpose of the bags in the first place.
Aside from that, you risk cross-contamination if you don’t wash your reusable produce bags often. Cross-contamination happens when raw meats and produce are placed next to pre-cooked foods and other goods in bags that are already dirty.
Below are some tips for taking care of your reusable produce bag:
Do not use the same produce bags for seafood, vegetables, meat, or dairy. Label a designated bag for each kind of grocery, as this helps prevent cross-contamination
You must wash the different types of reusable bags differently. Most reusable produce bags come with cleaning instructions, whether machine-washable or not.
However, if you don’t have washing instructions for your bag, follow these instructions below:
Canvas or cotton reusable bags: You can wash these by hand or in a machine with hot water and detergent. Afterward, you can line dry or use a dryer. Ensure the bags are completely dry before reusing them to prevent mold buildup.
Recycled PET or Polypropylene reusable bags: Hand-wash them with warm water and detergent, then air-dry.
Insulated reusable bags: These bags are usually used to carry cold meat or seafood. You should spray them disinfecting solution and wipe them down.
Nylon reusable bags: Wash these in warm soapy water, either by hand or with the gentle cycle on your washer. Air dry after washing.
It is advisable to wash reusable produce bags inside and out before and after every use to prevent stains. Ensure you pay attention to the nooks and crannies between the seams and the inserts of your bag.
Always store your reusable produce bags after they have completely dried. This would prevent odors from sticking to them. Store them in a cool and dry environment with good airflow.
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