Check out the “Plastic bags are killing us” expose on Salon.com today if you want some food for thought on the ever-evolving grocery-bag debate. Neither paper nor plastic comes off looking very good. In fact, you’re probably better off using a cloth or reusable bag, even if it means buying a new one made in part with — you guessed it — plastic.
In addition to all the reusable bags grocers sell, you might also check out one of the many reusable-bag campaigns. 1bagatatime.com bags come in stylish black and help you advertise for their own campaign instead of a specific grocery store.
I highly recommend Trader Joe’s extra-large insulated bag for keeping items cool during your Prius ride home. My personal favorite reusable bag, however, is the machine-washable and bulletproof Ad bags from Seattle’s own Alchemy Goods.
Though Alchemy is more known for their messenger bags, their multi-purpose Ad bags carry much more than your average reusable grocery sack and are far tougher because they’re made of old mesh vinyl advertising banners.
Their comfy handles are constructed from recycled seatbelt straps and recycled bike inner tubes. Mine was apparently made from an old Seattle Seahawks banner once displayed at Qwest Field. I love that the handles are large enough to fit over my shoulder for easy carrying of the heaviest of loads.
It was a $30 investment, but no two bags are alike and they’re guaranteed for life. Plus, when it comes time to hit the farmers market or supermarket, I actually want to use it.