Yes, most grocery stores now make reusable totes cheap and readily available in the checkout line. But you don’t have to walk around looking like a walking supermarket ad if you don’t want to! There are plenty of affordable, functional and stylish reusable bags out there.
In a surprising but eco-friendly move, Kroger announced it plans to ban plastic, single-use shopping bags across all stores by 2025.
"The plastic shopping bag’s days are numbered," Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen wrote in an editorial. "Our customers have told us it makes no sense to have so much plastic only to be used once before being discarded – And they’re exactly right."
The total number of plastic bags used in the United States per year is between 70 billion and 100 billion, according to the National Resources Defense Council. Most of those bags end up in landfills, where they can remain for at least 1,000 years, or in the ocean, where they can harm wildlife.
Though plastic bags are recyclable, only about 5 percent are recycled annually. With nearly $123 billion in annual sales, Kroger is the country’s second-largest grocer. The company’s push toward reusable bags is likely to inspire competitors to follow suit. Though Kroger’s ban won’t take effect any time in the immediate future, there’s no reason not to check out some our favorite reusable grocery bags to start eliminating waste today.
Madewell’s Reusable Canvas Tote
Ah, Madewell, how I love thee. Lightweight and fashionable, this tote is perfect for meeting your daily grocery store needs. Buy it here.
J. Crew’s Large Reusable Everyday Tote
This bag lands on the pricier side at $18, but is quite stylish and slightly roomier than Madewell’s version. By it here.
Earthwise’s Deluxe Collapsible Reusable Shopping Box Grocery Bag Set
This set means BUSINESS. Made specifically for large grocery hauls, these bags are large, heavy duty, easy to carry, and easy to store. Plus, they have reinforced bottoms for extra protection. Buy it here.
Earthwise’s Large Insulated Grocery Bag
These are great for long grocery store commutes. This bag has ample room to safely store all of your frozen purchases. Buy it here.
Easy Fold Bag’s Reusable Grocery Bags
Like its name suggests, these bags are super simple to store. Not to mention, they’re probably your best value at about $9 for a pack of three. Buy it here.