Depending on where you live, plastic single-use grocery bags may be a thing of the past. More and more cities and towns in the U.S. are instituting bans for single-use plastic grocery bags in favor of reusable grocery bags. California became the first state to institute a ban in 2014 and is all set to go go live with the ban this summer. According to the Surfrider Foundation, there are 100+ municipalities that have ordinance banning plastic bags. The trend for supporting reusable grocery bags and banning single-use plastic bags is only gaining traction.
Now while that may seem like a good thing, it might actually be a mixed bag. (See what I did there with that pun)? The key to these ordinances making a difference is what retailers are offering and consumers are using instead.
You may not think it matters and that reducing the number of single-use plastic bags in favor of reusable bags is all good. Unfortunately, not all reusable bags are created equal and it can be difficult for consumers (and retailers) to determine just what the best options are. Some of the reusable grocery bags can actually use more resources to produce than their single-use counterparts, use more environmentally damaging plastics or don’t use recycled plastics in their production.
There is one option that is better than purchasing reusable grocery bags from a retailer though. That option is to make your own market bags from textiles you source around your home or from the thrift shop. The biggest impact on reducing your carbon footprint is to eliminate the need to purchase new store-bought goods. Making your own reusable grocery bags is the clear winner.
You can use old t-shirts, sheets, oilcloths, tablecloths, coffee sacks, towels, sweaters and more. Here’s some inspiration to get your started.
15 DIY Tutorials for Making Your Own Reusable Grocery Bags
- DIY Oilcloth Bags
- Repurposed T-shirt Market Bags
- Farmers’ Market Kitchen Towel Bags
- Knitted Market Bags
- Crochet Shopping Bags
- Another Knitted Bag Tutorial
- Market Bag Makeovers
- Coffee Sack Market Bag
- Make Yarn from Sheets and Crochet Market Bags
- Pillowcase Grocery Tote
- Repurposed Sweater Market Bag
- Repurposed Canvas Drop Cloth Bag
- No Sew Ultrasuede Market Bag
- DIY Linen Bread Bags
- Vintage Tablecloth Market Bags
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