What are the Pros and Cons of Using Eco-Friendly Canvas Shopping Bags?

pros and cons of canvas grocery bags

Plastic has been a threat to nature all over the world in recent decades, and trying to reduce the amount of single use plastic products that are being used around the world has started to become a focus for many countries.

Whenever you go to the store, you used to be asked “paper or plastic,” but as time has gone on, that’s changed to paper or reusable bags.

Plastic bags are a huge waste, especially if they are thrown out as soon as they make it to your home, so it may be time for you to switch to an eco-friendly canvas shopping bag, or to other reusable bags.

But what are the pros and cons of using a canvas shopping bag?

Table of Contents

Pros of Eco-Friendly Canvas Shopping Bags

Environmentally Friendly

Obviously, the number one pro to an eco-friendly canvas shopping bag is the fact that it is more environmentally friendly than other options, especially plastic bags.

If you decide to get canvas shopping bags, you’ll only need a few bags, and those’ll last you several years if you take care of them properly and keep them clean.

That means a lot of grocery store trips where you are not using plastic bags and not throwing out plastic bags after.


A canvas shopping bag is highly reusable. Canvas shopping bags are very durable, so you won’t need to replace them very often, again helping with the environment; however, this also means you don’t need to worry about whether a store has bags ever again. You have one with you for every shopping trip you may need it for.

Sturdy Construction

Reusable bags, especially canvas shopping bags, are highly durable; they are made from good quality materials that can handle whatever you throw at them.

Plastic bags tend to be thin, and for heavy store items, you may even need to double bag. With a canvas bag, you don’t have to worry about double bagging because one bag is enough.

Money Saving

As new plastic reduction legislation comes into play all across the world, plastic bags at stores have started costing money.

At some places, it's up to a dime per plastic bag, which means a canvas shopping bag will save you money in the long run—especially if it's going to last for several years.


Of course, when you purchase a canvas shopping bag, you can get one that is personalized, or you can personalize it yourself easily.

Draw something fun on your bag, or turn it into an arts and crafts afternoon with your kids by personalizing the family shopping bags.

Cons of Eco-Friendly Canvas Shopping Bags

Bacteria Growth

There are some cons to having an eco-friendly canvas shopping bag, and the big one is bacteria. Since you are reusing the same bag over and over with many different groceries, some of which are going to have sweat and others leaving particles and vegetation behind, the bags need to be kept clean, otherwise bacteria are going to start building up.

As well, reusing the same bag over and over without disinfecting it can mean it becomes a health hazard to those loading up your bags at the store. Fortunately, reusable canvas bags are easily washable.

Extra Storage Needed

A canvas shopping bag is often going to take up more space than plastic bags, especially if you are always throwing out your plastic bags. You could consider the extra storage space that is needed to keep your canvas shopping bags out of the way between shopping trips as a con.

You’ll likely want multiple bags as well to ensure you have enough for an entire shopping trip.

We recommend storing a couple inside each vehicle and in your purse. Tuck them out of the way in a place where it’ll be handy when you happen upon an unexpected shopping excursion.

If you are looking for high quality, durable, and affordable canvas shopping bags, then visit the online store for Organic Cotton Mart today and order yourself a set.

Author: Karen Lamar

Karen is the Chief Content Officer at Organic Cotton Mart. She has a Master's Degree in Environmental Science from NC State with a special focus in Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy. Since her High School days, she has been an Environmentalist and was the President of her High School's Environmental Club for 3 years before starting her freshman year at NC State. She has a deep knowledge and understanding of various environment-friendly movements like zero waste, minimalistic living, recycling, and upcycling.

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