Thursday, February 24, 2011

Grocery Bags

I'm always looking for ways to be kinder to the environment and a few years back I decided to start using reusable grocery bags because I found myself getting groceries from a store that didn't offer paper bags. The store sold these reusable bags for just $1 each and I really never needed more than 4 at any one time. A good amount of time passes and I felt good about the change I made until I saw a news story about these reusable bags.

Apparently the groceries that are carried in there can leave behind all kinds of nasty bacterias that just multiply over time. The bags are not made of cloth, in fact it is hard to tell what it is made of. There is no label explaining the material but if feels like it might be some kind of plastic derivative. The only info on the label is instructions to clean any dirt off with a wet cloth.

I don't know why it never occurred to me that these bags would become safe havens for bacteria. I knew that grocery stores were dirty places and I knew there was no way to disinfect the bags I bought. At first I thought I could solve the problem by purchasing some of the much smaller canvas bags the store sold for $15 but I didn't want to spend that kind of money on something like this. That's when I saw the plastic bag recycle bin just inside the grocery store entrance. I could use the plastic bags and just bring them back to be made into more plastic bags.

So now I'm able to cut down on the spread of bacteria and still feel like I'm being responsible. But I can't help but wonder if I'm overlooking something, the way I was with the cheap reusable bags. What do you think? Should I just ask for canvas bags for my birthday this year?


  1. In Europe they use open net bags. Maybe this is why?? I have a few of these for my "warehouse" grocery shopping. Never thought of them as bacteria petri dishes. ewwww. I may try washing mine and see what happens...Canvas bags would be a great gift but I'll bet somewhere those Euro net bags are for sale on the web....

  2. Making a cloth tote bag out of an old tshirt was my first successful sewing project. If I can do it... :)

  3. I have washed my reusable bags. Some hold up, and some don't. I would also recommend spraying them with Lysol, anything to get rid of the germs. My daughter cuts plastic bags into strips, and makes plarn (plastic yarn). She then crochets these into reusable bags! Maybe check out those Euro net bags like Winny says.