Greening Up Veggie Bags

September 27th, 2013 BY Craig Baird | 8 Comments

Plastic bags contain a whole multitude of chemicals that can be harmful to us. Naturally, we do the best thing possible with them, and that is put them in close contact with our food. That way we can get our daily dose of petroleum and high density polyethylene when we bite into  a shiny apple.

As part of Our Green Year, my wife and I have decided to eliminate plastic bags from our trips to the grocery stores. We felt it was not the best thing to buy organic veggies and fruits, and then put them in a chemical laden plastic bag. However, our decision to stop using plastic vegetable bags goes well beyond our health. First of all, millions of them end up in the environment every day, clogging up waterways and killing animals who happen to mistake them for food, or just get caught by one.

As well, it takes 1.75 kilograms of petroleum to make one kilogram of high density polyethylene, and with the higher prices of oil these days, you can expect that some grocery stores will start charging you for the plastic vegetable bags in the future.

Thankfully, there plenty of healthy and environmentally-friendly alternatives.

Here are some great tips for cutting away your need for plastic vegetable bags:

  1.  Use paper bags instead, like the ones that are available for mushrooms in your store. They work great and can be used again.
  2. Buy a mesh vegetable bag that can hold everything from apples and oranges to honeydew melons and yams. If you can find one that is made from something organic like hemp, then all the better.
  3. Buy bags made from recycled goods. The regional authority in our area sells bags that are made from recycled juice containers. They work great and look awesome.

There are many alternatives to plastic vegetable bags, and by choosing one of them you are helping not only yourself, but the environment as well. No longer will you have those bags sitting around your house as you collect more and more every single week, and no longer will turtles and other animals choke on them, thinking they are food.

  1. Murf

    Getting rid of the plastic bags is a great idea, (except for the people who work at the plastic bag companies, they are probably not to happy,) but my question is what do we do with all of the bags already in existence? I use them for small trash bags and try to reuse as receptacle when I can, but the amount i still accumulate is large. Is there a company out there recycling and how do I recycle my plastic bags?

    • Responses to Murf
      Linda Lee says:
      September 15

      The company that I have found that accepts and recycles plastic bags is Walmart. Before you actually enter the store (in the area where the carts are kept), there is a container to put them in. You might want to check Kohl’s as well. There are also places where you can bring bags to so that they can be used again. Where I live, the public library accepts some bags so that when it rains, people have something to keep their books dry. Another thought is to bring them to small, privately owned second-hand stores. My sister has such a store, and she always is looking for bags.

    • 3
      Laura says:
      April 7

      If you live in an area with Publix grocery stores (the southeast), Publix has bins outside of their stores to collect the plastic bags for recycling. They also recycle paper bags and foam trays.

    • 4
      Karg says:
      April 7

      Where I live in Suffolk County, NY the supermarkets are required to recycle the bags and have receptacles you can put the bags in. However, many don’t. The employees says they’ll be recycled, but I wonder if they are going in the trash. I hate these laws with no enforcement. I have noticed a receptacle at Stop & Shop though.

    • 5
      JB says:
      April 14

      I just noticed that the target near me (metro NYC) has a bin to collect plastic bags. I think it’s new.

  2. tater03

    I really like that mesh bag. I never thought about a mesh bag before but it just seems like it would be nice to have one of these and hold more.

  3. Frantz Francois

    My name is Frantz Francois. I am from the Caribbean. As I usually grow plants in a small green plastic bags 4 and a 1/2 by 10 inches, is there an alternative in the green area you could suggest towards accomplishing the same. Remember that the plants have to be watered from time to time. Where could I purchase those bags?

    Best Regards,
    Frantz Francois

  4. alizarin

    I would love to use mesh veggie bags but have not ever seen them. Where are they available and are they expensive?

  5. What do you have to say?