Flimsy Plastic Produce Bags

While I LOVE all the reusable shopping bags now seen everywhere at the grocery store — Whole Foods always has such cute ones! — one thing that still irks me are the flimsy plastic produce bags people still insist on using. Its pretty humorous that we’ll buy apples that travel thousands of miles from an orchard…to a wholesaler’s warehouse…to a grocery store’s truck…to the hands of a store employee…to the display at the store…but the part of the journey we are most concerned about is the short and safe distance from the store to our home! Just doesn’t make sense to me.

So, what do I do? Unless the produce is wet (lettuce, broccoli, anything that sits under the sprayers at the store), I don’t use a produce bag. And, when I do use a bag I re-use it the next time I’m at the store. Yes, you can recycle those bags, but recycling takes energy and money. Why not re-use the bag until its past its prime and then recycle it?!

Still freaked out? At the very least, don’t use a plastic bag for foods with thick peels like bananas or oranges. The peel is nature’s perfect protection, and since you aren’t eating it anyway why create even more waste by using a plastic bag?!

I am looking forward to the day when walking down the street with a plastic drink bottle or a plastic grocery store bag is as embarrassing as walking down the street with a stream of toilet paper stuck to the bottom of your shoe. In the meantime, I’ll continue my personal crusade to cut back on waste and encourage others to join me.

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4 Comments for this entry

  1. Andrew S Wienick says:

    Trader Joe's has some cute ones, too!

  2. Donna R. says:

    Hey Maureen,
    I use large mesh tote/beach bags from Old Navy…choose your colors and they're washable. If I can only remember to put them back in the car each day.

  3. Maureen says:

    LOVE that idea, Donna!!!

  4. Sadkitty says:

    I use cloth produce bags. Unfortunately they do have more wight than the filmy plastic ones. Most big stores don't teach their cashiers how to do a tare weight anymore though. I just set the produce on top, have them weigh it without the bag and then bag it up at the checkstand

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