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Grocery shopping is probably one of life’s regular fixtures, isn’t it? And that’s why everyone deserves to have their own trusty grocery bag that doesn’t give up - no matter how heavy a load it needs to carry!
And in our experience, no bag does the job better than a canvas grocery bag! It is the most convenient item to help you store almost anything you can think of.
A reusable canvas grocery bag has an edge over other reusable bags because of its sturdiness, lightweight, and also the fact that it's 100% eco-friendly, and a lot more other cool features which we’ll talk about in a bit. To add on, a lot of countries in the last couple of years have introduced either a ban or a heavy tax on plastic bags.
So if you’re looking to know about the many benefits of canvas grocery bags, read on!
What is a canvas grocery bag?
Contrary to conventional opinion, the canvas is not a material but a type of pattern used for weaving! It is a type of weave that is incredibly strong and is routinely used to make a lot of items like bags, shoes, tents, upholstery covers, etc.
It’s also a great surface to make paintings as you all might already know. The fabric used in canvas grocery bags is usually cotton or linen. The thread count of canvas material bags is quite low because it's tightly woven, sacrificing a bit of softness in exchange for durability.
Factors to consider before purchasing canvas grocery bags
There are lots of different kinds of canvas bags on sale, with differences in size, shape, material, quality, etc, which you get in stores nearby and even online. So here is a little guide for you to keep in mind when you’re purchasing canvas grocery bags.
- Material type: This is one of the most important things to look out for when buying a grocery bag. Since grocery shopping involves a lot of loading and unloading of items, your grocery bag will have to be ready for some rough handling. That’s why the ideal canvas grocery bag needs to be made of a material that is strong, sturdy, and long-lasting. While plastic bags were the norm for the last few decades, they are slowly but steadily being replaced by other materials which offer a high standard of quality as well as environmental friendliness. But canvas cotton is one of the best materials, hands down, for your grocery bag. Its heat retention abilities and its moisture-wicking abilities are a bonus too! If you compare it with other materials like jute, paper, polyethylene, cotton canvas bags are more durable, sturdy, and easy to wash. There are also other sustainable materials like twill, denim, upholstery fabric which can be fun choices as well.
- Durability: The last thing you would want is your stuffed grocery bag tearing off from the sides or the bottom. - a nightmare (we’ve all been there). That's why it’s a good idea to check if heavy-duty material is used for the bag, and also the handle - It needs to be sturdy! In some bags, you’ll see seals on all the corners which hold the bag together which not only prevents it from any wear and tear, but lets you freely chuck in a good amount of weight.
- Size: Make sure you pick a suitable size for your canvas grocery tote bags, depending on what you’re going to store in them. A capacity of 2-25lb and a width of 4-12’’ is the recommended size for a regular reusable canvas grocery bag. If you are using it to store beer, wine, or liquor you can go for a width of 3-10’’. It is always recommended to buy a slightly medium or bigger size, so you can use it in so many ways. And it stays forever! You can also use a smaller-sized grocery bag to gift someone smaller items.
- Sleeves for bottles: This is one thing that can be super handy and it would also make your life a lot easier. Extra compartments to keep items like milk, soft drinks, or any kind of glass or plastic bottles separately, instead of chucking them all together, which puts it at the risk of breaking, if your grocery bag is in the trunk of your car or in the luggage box of your bike. Makes it a versatile grocery bag!
- Hanging hook at the checkout station: Make sure that your cotton grocery bags have a hook that is solid in place so that it makes it easier for you to load your groceries when checking out at the cashier table.
- Versatility: See your grocery bag as a one-time investment - you should be able to use it for multiple purposes. For example, running your errands, storing groceries, storing books, laundry, going to school, gifting, etc. For all of this, you will have to make sure that it’s a sturdy, thick bag, which will be able to withstand all kinds of weight. It must be made with heavy-duty material, while being foldable, collapsible, and also lightweight at the same time.
- Machine washable and easy to care for: In my opinion, it defeats the purpose if your cloth bag for groceries is not sturdy and strong enough to be machine washable. You don’t want to spend time hand washing your bag. Nowadays in any product description for grocery bags, it is specifically mentioned that its machine washable. If it isn’t, look away! Canvas cloth bags can survive in any kind of temperature, weather, etc. You don’t necessarily have to look after it other than washing and drying it. Good canvas grocery bags, don’t shrink even after a good machine wash.
- Purchase from small businesses: Please please buy from smaller businesses rather than the big box retailers you see these days. Not only are you supporting them but also reducing the environmental impact that they have. Not only do the big guns lure you with attractive discounts, and push you to buy in bulk, but it's always cheaper as well to buy from smaller businesses. Another thing you would have to face in big box stores would be bigger crowds, which means longer queues at the counter.
9 Benefits of Using Canvas Grocery Bags
There are several benefits to using canvas grocery bags that make it an ideal choice to take along on your shopping trips:
- Reusable: Canvas bags are reusable - which is their biggest plus point. This makes them not only convenient for the user but great for the environment too! By reusing your canvas bag, you are avoiding plastic pollution and waste and making more sustainable lifestyle choices! A study done by ScienceAlert showed that using a single-use plastic bag 3 times has the same impact as using a reusable grocery bag 393 times! While gifts given in plastic or paper wrapping are not reusable, gifting someone an item with a canvas bag for cover means they can use it for other purposes too!
- Sturdy: It’s sturdy as well so you don’t see the material deteriorating that easily, so it's gonna last for a while. Along with being super sturdy, canvas grocery tote bags are quite flexible too, easily foldable. The tightly woven fabric gives it sturdiness. They don’t tear off if they get caught in something, unlike a plastic bag. The BARTEC seals on all the corners of the bag, prevents it from any wear and tear, even if your bag is subjected to heavyweights.
- Long-Lasting: This might seem quite obvious - but yes! A canvas grocery bag is designed to last for years. Even if you see color fading in a couple of years, the sturdiness is still maintained for a very very long time! They can withstand any kind of temperature or weather.
- Easy to Maintain: Most canvas grocery bags are machine washable. Cotton canvas bags have impressive durability and are very easy to maintain. All you need to do is just toss it in the washing machine once a month, and dry it - and you’re done. It's super easy to care for, takes up minimal space, and fits perfectly into your life.
- Cost-Effective: Earlier you used to get plastic bags for free at supermarkets, but now, a lot of countries have introduced a hefty tax on plastics(5 to 10 cents), to reduce the accumulation of trash flooding our city grounds, rivers and oceans. On average, a person uses 13,000 plastic bags in their lifetime. On the other hand, they use 150-200 reusable grocery bags. You do the math! Buying one or two reusable grocery bags is way cheaper. At the most, you would need 3-4 canvas grocery bags even if you want to separate items according to their type.
- Multi-Purpose: You can use a canvas grocery tote bag in so many ways - pack your books in them, carry them on a road trip, give it to your kid for school items, just chuck it into the trunk of your car and use it for anything! Not only can you use it as a grocery bag but one cool thing to do is, store a gift in it too while gifting someone. Looks quite cool!
- Eco-Friendly: I would say this is the biggest benefit of them all! Single-use plastic bags have filled up our landfills and ruined our planet for the longest time. Plastic bags are one of the biggest causes of water pollution as well - damaging the water bodies and causing marine animals a lot of harm and injury. Countries like Kenya have introduced the strictest ban on plastic bags. A reusable canvas grocery bag avoids the disadvantages of plastic bags and is much better for the environment. Like we said earlier, the fact that it's super easy to wash and maintain canvas grocery tote bags makes it a one-time investment. Reusable grocery bags eliminate the need for manufacturing more unnecessary plastic bags. Buy more canvas grocery bags, you are helping our nature a whole lot - it's worth it!
- Avoids clutter at home: How many of us have drawers filled with unnecessary plastic bags, stuffing bags within bags? Multiple single-use plastic bags can take up space in your home and keep adding to the clutter. Instead, you only have to buy a canvas grocery bag once - that's all! You can then either hang it on a wall or simply fold it up and place it in a cupboard. Plus, you don’t have to worry about replacing it for a long long time.
- Comfort: It's all about ergonomics! The use of fabric like cotton eliminates any kind of discomfort even if you’re carrying a lot of weight.
How to wash and care for your cloth bag for groceries
There’s always a risk of cross-contamination when you’re using your grocery bag for multiple purposes, especially when you store meat and other kinds of food. A study done in 2020, shows that most people admitted that they don’t regularly wash their grocery bags. But since grocery bags are a high-touch item, you need to wash them on regular occasions to protect yourself from harmful germs.
You can always hand wash, but most grocery bags nowadays are sturdy enough to withstand a machine wash. Just toss them into your washing machine, with warm water and detergent.
If you’re washing it by hand, use warm and soapy water and make sure you pay attention to all the nooks and corners of the bag, to eliminate all the germs. Then fully air dry your canvas grocery bag before using it again.
Pro tip: It is best if you can have separate canvas bags designated and labeled for specific items like meat, produce, dairy items, etc. And keep a separate bag for items like books, toys, tools. That way, not only are you more organized but also the cleaning process becomes clearer since you don’t mix the items.
To conclude, canvas grocery tote bags have the magical ability to make your life a whole lot easier! There are just way too many advantages attached to using canvas grocery bags compared to single-use plastic bags and other options - and it's great for the planet! What’s not to love?