Food Waste

Published on June 16th, 2014 | by Becky Striepe


3 Alternatives to Plastic Produce Bags

3 Alternatives to Plastic Produce Bags

Are you trying to shop waste-free but aren’t sure what to do about produce and bulk items? Here are some alternatives to plastic produce bags!

I published a piece on my personal blog this morning about the gross overpackaging in grocery store produce sections, and my friend Kelli asked a great question in the comments:

Becky, this is one thing that I wonder about when I shop. I don’t like to buy produce as much from TJ’s because of all the plastic… but when I buy in bulk I’m still putting it into a plastic bag anyway. Granted, I do reuse those bags for other things and I use fewer of them since I leave some things unbagged (read: wrapping a head of cabbage is crazy!), but it’s still there. What do you do if not use plastic bulk bags? I’ve seen some people putting produce into those net lingerie bags. Other options?

I responded to her in the comments on my post about Publix, but it felt like such an important question that I wanted to address it in this space, too.  If you’re sick of those wasteful, flimsy plastic produce bags at the grocery store, try these ideas instead.

3 Alternatives to Plastic Produce Bags

1. Leave it Loose – Larger produce like tomatoes, avocados, and dark leafy greens don’t really need a bag. Just stick them into your cart loose, and they’ll be fine. Obviously, for smaller fruits and veggies and for bulk items like seeds, nuts, and flours, you’ll need a bag. Try one of the options below!

2. Kootsac – I’m a long-time fan of Kootsacs. Etsy seller Morgen Bardati makes these reusable bags from super light, durable ripstop nylon. You can use them over and over, and they don’t add too much weight to what you’re buying.

3. Simple Ecology Bags – If you’re not crazy about nylon touching your food, you can try these organic cotton muslin bags. The cotton is going to be heavier than the nylon, so if you’re buying by weight it might nudge the price up slightly.

I’m sure some of you have ideas on how to ditch the plastic produce bags in favor of something reusable. What’s your favorite solution to the plastic produce bag problem?

Image Credit: Oranges photo via Shutterstock

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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .

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