20 Practical Reasons To Switch To Reusable Grocery Bags [Infographics]

As the battle for making the world plastic-free heats up, the search to find suitable eco-friendly packaging options is also increasing. Eco-friendly is not just about green alternatives but also sustainable ones. For example, paper bags can be a green and eco-friendly option to replace plastic, but the number of trees that need to be cut to fill in the gap will not be practical. Moreover, the paper is extremely fragile and will not be able to carry a lot of weight.

Switch To Reusable Grocery Bags

 As the search intensifies, cotton emerges as one of the most convenient alternatives. It is reusable, sustainable, biodegradable and capable of carrying significant weight. As a result, it is also a versatile and flexible packaging alternative with a diverse range of uses.

Most importantly, cotton is easily available and affordable. This is by far one of the biggest advantages of plastic globally. It is cheap and easy to procure, and cotton reusable bags are by far the best replacement for these. The fact that these are washable and reusable makes them even more attractive.

Here is a quick look at why and how cotton bags are emerging as one of the most practical and popular options to carry things around. 



[Infographic] Reasons To Switch To Reusable Cotton Grocery Bags  

reasons to switch to reusable grocery bags

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Cotton Bags are Reusable

One of the biggest reasons why cotton bags are making a comeback is because cotton is reusable. Statistics suggest that reusable cotton bags are not just eco-friendly and practical, but also contribute to lower air pollution and soil contamination levels. 

cotton bags are reusable

Estimates suggest that close to 8 million metric tonnes of plastic waste make it to the ocean every year

A recent study of a Dead Whale’s stomach revealed close to 60 pounds of plastic intake by it. 

Though there are several other green packaging options like paper bags but cotton stands out for its versatility. Paper can easily give away if the weight is too much. It is prone to absorbing moisture, but with cotton, these are not issues.

Reusable cotton bags have some striking features

  • These are hygienic and can be washed after every use
  • These are economical and do not lead to an incremental rise in cost
  • These are more reliable and can be used for carrying varying types of products. 
  • These are biodegradable and can be disposed off quite easily. These don’t add to bio-waste/pollution. 

Therefore, the fact that cotton is reusable makes it a relatively better environmental-friendly packaging option. It offers a practical solution to stop the use of plastic bags. 

Cotton Is Washable

Reusable cotton bags are amongst the top options when you are looking for plastic alternatives. But the fact that cotton is washable adds brownie points to its charm. It takes the entire concept of reusable bags to completely different levels. 

cotton bags are washable
  • Washable ensures hygiene is no longer a concern. 
  • You can use the bag any number of times and simply washing it after every use makes it a clean and green way to carry your stuff. 
  • The concerns about spilling something and making the bag redundant are not a concern either. Just in case something spills, you can easily wash it off. 
  • It also makes these bags utterly sustainable. The concept of use and throw takes a complete back seat. The washable cotton bags are now heroing the idea of use and wash. 
  • Needless to mention the washable factor also makes it a rather economically viable option.

So we can easily conclude that reusable cotton bags increase the versatility and functionality of a shopping bag to a large extent. When you add the washable feature, it boosts the functionality further. It does just wash dirt but also worries and makes the bag fit for reuse as many times as you like.   



Cotton Is Biodegradable

Increasingly, we are seeing the shift in social and buyer mentality. It is not just the fear of the Government penalty, but also a conscious responsibility towards a better tomorrow is driving people to opt for eco-friendly packaging options. But how do you decide on what’s best?

cotton bags are biodegradable

Estimates suggest that 100 billion new plastic bags are being used every year and 14 million trees are being transformed into paper bags annually. In this scenario, it is important to look for options that are sustainable as well as environmentally friendly. 

Cotton, in this context, easily comes across as one of the most viable alternatives in many ways. It is

  • Dependable
  • Economical
  • Practical
  • Green

But most importantly, it is biodegradable. It is one of those rare fabrics which are completely natural in terms of composition, but at the same time, it is also economically viable and creates zero waste. 

As a result, you do not just get a reusable and recyclable option, you cut down hazardous waste. Its repeated and extended re-use does not pose any kind of natural damage or disturb the eco-system. Rather, its features help maintain the eco-balance. It does not create a waste that is harmful to the environment or that pose a threat to animal life.  



Cotton Helps Reduce Plastic Usage

Think about your shopping trips. Whether you are out to get groceries or buy new clothes, the plastic shopping bags often offer the best combination of reliability and durability. In the wake of sustainability concerns and environmental hazards, the paper may look like taking dominance, but the fact is that the damage to the environment does not stop with paper. 

Imagine a large number of trees cut down each year to get the requisite amount of paper bags. The balance of the environment still gets heavily biased towards forces that work against nature. 

cotton bags helps reduce plastic usage

This is where cotton, one of the oldest known fabrics to man, may offer a viable option. 

  • These are durable as plastic
  • Available in a wide range of sizes 
  • Easy to carry and do not occupy a lot of space
  • Relatively cheap
  • Washable, reusable, recyclable and biodegradable 

Therefore, the need for sustainable and economically viable environment-friendly alternatives leads us to Cotton. As countries globally are waging a war against plastic, the search for sustainable alternatives becomes important. 

Cotton bags do not just address packaging worries but effortlessly introduce a hassle-free way to cut down plastic. It is providing a solution that is equally effective and hundred percent green.  





Cotton Bags Are Recyclable

cotton bags are recyclable

If you are keen on creating zero waste resources, Cotton comes up as an easy option. Cheap and affordable, it is considered as one of the most popular green options to replace plastic. You can say that the fact that it helps but most importantly, it is recyclable’. It is a type of product that leads to almost zero waste, and that is what makes it a viable alternative. 

You can use old cotton bags for 

  • Making unique doormats by braiding pieces of old bags
  • Sew them together to make handy, comfortable and inexpensive kitchen wash towels
  • Sew a few of the old ones together to make new sturdy bags
  • Make coasters
  • Yoga mat bags

In fact, if you apply yourself to it, the list can be pretty exhaustive. It totally depends on your creative skills and ability to improvise. 

The best part is that this is a kind of product that can actually guarantee zero waste. They are useful even when they are old and torn. It helps spur your creativity and bring out products that are both useful and help you find a way to use these old bags for even more extended time.  

Cotton Bags Help Keep Produce Fresh

cotton bags keep produce fresh

Have you ever stored veggies in a plastic bag overnight? Well, the experience will tell you that it is one of the easiest ways to spoil them. The veggies sweat and then rot in the moisture created as a result. One easy way to stop it is to choose cotton instead. 

These are natural, breathable fabric that helps retain the natural freshness. It allows vegetables and fruits to breathe

Most importantly, keeping the food products in a cotton bag is as good as storing them in natural condition. You do not have to worry about potential contamination and the quality of the plastic. 

  • You can keep the vegetables and fruits for a reasonably long duration in these bags. 
  • Even when you are storing vegetables and fruits in the refrigerator, you can use these cotton bags
  • They help maintain freshness and natural taste, flavors
  • The cotton bags are lightweight and do not add more burden for you
  • It helps create an environment-friendly eco-system

You can finally bid adieu to worries about food contamination and the woes of potentially losing the freshness of the produce. But at the same time, it is an option that is handy, easily available, and does not result in additional expenses. You literally get freshness within budget.  

Multiple Uses of Reusable Cotton Grocery Bags

Multiple Uses of Reusable Cotton Grocery Bags

Cotton bags are versatile and multi-functional products. The list of what all you can use them for is simply exhaustive. 

  1. Convert these to stylish beach totes or summer bags: You can easily add interesting applique patches or embroidery and convert a regular bag into a stylish tote. 
  2. Carry Your Yoga mat or gym clothes: These can easily double up as convenient gym bags.
  3. Make Water Bottle holders: Stitch them into smaller compartments to carry your water bottle and similar items.   
  4. Use them to carry picnic lunch or overnight clothes- All you have to do is to make some adjustments in shape and add reinforcements to make it sturdy. 
  5. Use them as alternative diaper bags: Why spend those additional $10-30 when you have an option ready. 
  6. Make storage boxes: Saw them with old cardboard boxes and get your own inexpensive and stylish storage options. 
  7. Sew them like Christmas stockings and hang them instead: This is another cost-saving option. 
  8. Make floor rugs: It helps use the really old bags that are torn.
  9. Make a hanging shoe rack or wall-pocket for stationary: In case you have too many spare cotton bags, this is a cost-effective option. 
  10. Plant herbs and tomatoes: This is another original and creative option. 

Hence, if you are looking for reasons why you must use cotton bags, this should throw up reasons easily.  

Cotton Bags Are Easy To Use

Cotton Bags Are Easy To Use

When you are looking at temporary packaging for fresh produce, the relative ease of use is crucial. It is important to close your bag securely and store your food well. If you are looking at a plastic replacement, then cotton bags could be an alternative. They are easy to open and operate, and at the same time, the manufacturing cost is at par with plastic. 

Most cotton bags are equipped with drawstrings. 

  • This makes opening and closing rather simple
  • Despite the simple design, the drawstrings close the bag rather securely 
  • Drawstrings don’t open that easily even if children carry it
  • Unlike plastic, it is a way more secure option

As a result, the cotton bags come across as a practical alternative to carry around. Customizing these bags is simple too. You can easily choose to attach longer handles or choose shorter ones depending on your need. That makes these a lot easier to use as well as enhance the relative maneuverability. 

That apart, compared to the average plastic bags, cotton bags are also lightweight. It makes them easy to carry, easy to use, and adds to the convenience factor to a great extent. Therefore, you get a comfortable option that is sustainable too.  

Cotton Bags Carry More Weight

cotton bags carry more weight

The weight carrying capacity of plastic bags is a key game changer. So when you are opting for environment-friendly options to replace it, the immediate weight-bearing capacity is compared. Though paper is a sustainable solution, they have limited weight carrying capacity. Most bags can take up to 25 lb weight and some as little as 1.5-2 lb. If you want any stronger, these need plastic reinforcements.

However, in comparison, cotton represents both strength and sustainability in the same platter. It’s natural weave, and cohesive strength makes it a great bag to carry any kind of weight. Whether you are shopping for just vegetables or the monthly grocery, it accommodates everything easily. Most importantly, you can carry it for any distance without any worry of the bag giving way.

The functionality of the cotton bags also expands as a result. The product variant or the volume does not disturb the reliability equilibrium in any way. That, no doubt, makes the cotton bags a dependable option. Their load-bearing capability adds to their versatility too. It easily allows people to use the same bag for shopping grocery and carrying overnight luggage too. 

Apart from being eco-friendly, it also becomes pocket-friendly when used for an extended period. 


Cotton Bags Are Customizable

Cotton Bags Are Customizable

This is an age of customized brilliance. Business solutions are customized to suit customers; products are customized as per needs and often packaging too follows this customization mantra to the ‘T’. This is exactly why when you are looking for alternatives to customized plastic, cotton bags come up as an easy solution. 

  • These can be printed
  • You can embroider
  • You can sew it in any shape
  • You can create a wide range of size and shape options
  • You can use these to store any type of durable and non-durable products for an extended time. 

It is practically that one solution that fits all problems. Even in terms of what you are packing, cotton comes across as an easy solution. Whether you are looking for kids packaging or adults, cotton makes business and environment sense. 

In fact, these cotton bags often turn out to be a great attraction for kids and adults alike. These are rather versatile and wonderfully functional. 

They are not just reusable, but they go a long way in enhancing brand cohesion. Remember every time someone uses your bag; it creates free publicity for your brand. In fact, it can also become the USP for a business, and you can capitalize on it.  

Cotton Bags Enhances the Prospect of Shopping Incentives

Cotton Bags Enhances the Prospect of Shopping Incentives

Cotton bags are environment-friendly, but you don’t just profit in terms of benefits to nature. There are benefits that trickle into your kitty too. There are many firms like Target and Whole Food that have found a special way to acknowledge their customer’s environmental consciousness. They pay you for getting reusable bags and cutting down the relative carbon footprint. 

Stores like these are also encouraging their customers to use sustainable options by offering shopping incentives. They use a variety of tools to attract customers. These include

  • Gift cards
  • Cashback
  • Discount coupons

All these incentivize the customers in some way or other and convince them to choose an environment-friendly bag. The goodies help customers take the much necessary leap of faith and settle for an eco-friendly option. The sense of gaining something in return powers their decision. It makes them feel empowered also gives a sense of satisfaction. 

Needless to mention, this type of shopping incentives also makes your monthly household expenses a lot more within budget. They say many a penny make a pound. Reusable cotton bags surely go a long way in adding those pennies to make a pound. It also strengthens the brand of the stores that encourage use of reusable bags.  

Cotton Bags Mean Less Trash

Cotton Bags Mean Less Trash

Cotton bags are useful, practical and lead to lesser use of plastic. The idea is to opt for greener options that help in creating a zero-waste ecosystem. Here is a quick look at how cotton bags stack up Vs. single-use plastic options. 

  • First and foremost, the grocery and daily supplies that used to take heaps of plastic bags every day can be converted into mere 3-4 bags annually. 
  • The cotton bags are sustainable in nature. They just don’t create waste and can be reused many times over. 
  • Apart from that, these bags are multifunctional. Unlike single-use plastic, the same bags can be put to a variety of use through the day. 
  • Moreover, you do not need to throw old bags. You can use these creatively to decorate new bags, or as planters, washcloth and similar options. 
  • Cotton bags also come across as handy storage alternative. This means that the amount of trash coming out of your storage area too gets reduced. 

So all in all, cotton bags help in reducing the amount of trash significantly. It does not just help in reducing the carbon footprint environmentally but also maintains the hygiene levels of our immediate neighborhood.

Cotton Bags Are Durable

Cotton Bags Are Durable

If you want to adopt a no plastic eco-system, many sustainable options spring up. Cotton and paper are amongst the foremost in this category. Paper bags are rather popular but have you wondered why they are not used that extensively. One reason is the limitation in terms of weight. The 

  • The maximum weight that most genuine paper bags can withstand is 25 lb
  • The minimum can often be as small as 2lb

That apart, paper can be fragile and soaks in moisture too. This limits their versatility to a large extent. Let’s say you are carrying milk packets out of the refrigerator in a paper bag. Chances are by the time you reach home from the shop; the bag would have yielded to the heavy moisture deposit on the packet. 

Therefore, the need to look at more versatile and durable options becomes important. In fact, this durability aspect often makes cotton bags a viable alternative. 

  • It ensures that the handles don’t give way suddenly. 
  • It introduces the concept of a single bag for all products. 
  • The degree of wear and tear is also fairly lower. 
  • Cuts down incremental cost due to its durability. 

Therefore, the durability of the cotton bags doesn't just make it environment-friendly but pocket-friendly too. 

Reusable Cotton Bags Speed Up Bagging at Checkout

Reusable Cotton Bags Speed Up Bagging at Checkout

How many times have you been stuck at the checkout counter for longer than the actual shopping spree? Often the rush coupled with lack of appropriate bagging options adds to the chaos. The reusable cotton bags can, however, be a handy alternative at the checkout counter.

Compared to plastic bags, these customized reusable cotton bags- 

  • Hold their shape better than plastic. This enhances the speed at which things get thrown inside
  • Option to create as many and as big pockets as you need. As a result, there is a definite place for every product. 
  • Improve efficiency in terms of packing the products
  • Speed of bagging it increases 

So, all in all, the bagging speed at checkout gets a definitive leg up when you are using this kind of bag. Both in terms of the speed of putting things inside and allocating separate space for separate products. 

Moreover, even in terms of space, customization of shape is rather easy. It goes without saying that filling one bag is faster than filling 5 small ones. That also materially impacts the bagging speed at the checkout counters. You can choose the layout of your bags as per your convenience as well. 


Cotton Bags Help Save Taxpayer’s Money

Cotton Bags Help Save Taxpayer’s Money

Single-use plastics are not just a big menace for the environment, but they also pose a rather worrying threat to the Govt exchequer. Preliminary studies indicate that the New York City officials spend over $12 million every year to dispose off plastic bags. That is only one city; you can now compute the math on your own to understand the impact on a global context. 

According to a 2013 study, 

  • Almost 50 million of the 100 billion single-use plastic bags used by Americans use every year ends up as litter nationwide. 
  • The cost of cleaning this goes up to almost $15 per resident. 

As a result, plastic does not just clog up natural resources but also monetary ones. Now imagine if the money was not diverted to cleaning up plastic, it can be better used for the development of cities and direct more funds for facilitating better infrastructure in cities and eventually districts. 

Cotton is not just a sustainable alternative to plastic, but in many ways, it is also a profitable option. Both in terms of manufacturing it and also the cost of dealing with garbage created. As a result, it is cost-effective. This is exactly why it makes better economic and environmental sense to opt for cotton bags.  


Cotton Bags Are Comfortable To Carry

Cotton Bags Are Comfortable To Carry

How do you choose your packaging options? Many factors go into this decision. Cost, quality, durability are amongst the primary concerns. But another key factor is the comfort element. Most of you would have experienced at least one or more of these concerns. 

  • Cuts On Palm & Soft Skin: Often thin or bad quality plastic end up cutting the skin. The sharp edges rub against your palm and bruise them. Particularly if you are holding the bags for long, this is a key issue. 
  • Shriveling Of Handles: In case you are holding the plastic bag for too long, the handle starts losing shape. They crinkle and shrivel. As a result, you often have rather narrow handles to hold and even get bruised especially palm region. 
  • Handles Breaking Midway: The other major problem with plastic handles is the risk of breaking midway, especially if you are carrying heavyweight. Cotton bags, that way provides a handy alternative. 

The question then is how to deal with these. One option is to look for comfortable options without these problems. The cotton shopping bags come across as a convenient and comfortable option in this context. Whether you are carrying heavy luggage or for a long time, most cotton bags offer better support


Cotton Bags Are Pet Friendly

One of the biggest risks with plastic bags is, of course, the environment, but that’s not all. The plastic bags can also suffocate kids quite easily. Even for pets, this is a high-risk option. It is quite natural that the colorful designs of the plastic bag is attractive and attracts pets.

But there is more to that story. The crinkle of the plastic bags also makes pets excited. They often mistake it for some type of toy and start playing with these. What is just an outcome of friction becomes a matter of excitement for the pets and increases the risk of suffocation.

Cotton Bags Are Comfortable To Carry

Moreover, plastic bags often have the smell of food wafting through them. That also acts as a catalyst in attracting pets to it more often than not. That raises the risk of suffocation as well as potential food poisoning to a large extent.

Therefore, the cotton bags are not just environment-friendly but pet-friendly too. These are a breathable and washable alternative that helps maintain the health of your pets in a comprehensive way. The problems of suffocation too are also reduced to a large extent, and you can offer a safer environment for your pets.

Reusable Cotton Bags Reduce Carbon Footprint

Reusable Cotton Bags Reduce Carbon Footprint

Your bid to reduce carbon footprint is all about choosing an eco-friendly way of life. Be it reducing harmful CO emission or cutting down plastic; it is a lifestyle choice that concentrates on maintaining a green environment. 

That is why reusable cotton bags come across as a versatile alternative to help reduce carbon footprint. It 

  • Cuts down the use of single-use plastic bags in a comprehensive way
  • Reduces carbon emission involved in recycling of plastic bags
  • Cuts down carbon emission involved in manufacturing plastic bags
  • Reduces carbon emissions emerging from burning of plastic in many areas. 

So, all in all, reusable cotton bags work in a multipronged manner to cut down carbon footprint. 

  • It cuts down the production level of plastic bags
  • It reduces the regular use of plastic bags
  • It regulates the amount of plastic deposit in the garbage too. 

Therefore cotton bags play a crucial role in limiting environmental pollution. You can create consciousness amongst customers by incentivizing the use of these bags and regular audiovisual content. 

Moreover, the lower carbon footprint can make for a better tomorrow for our children. That is why increasingly we are seeing customers and businesses veering towards creating green and environment-friendly solutions. 

Cotton Bags Are Ocean-Friendly

Cotton Bags Are Ocean-Friendly

As climate change is becoming a reality, the need to preserve the environment is also becoming a necessity. Just under 6 months ago, you got plastic bags easily and absolutely free for just about anything you bought. Even now, single-use plastic bags are more easily available than you can think. This results in a huge deposit of plastic in garbage dumps across the world. They take close to 1000 years to degrade and lead to severe clogging of cleaning systems. That apart, just the cost of cleansing the garbage from plastic is humongous. 

  • The production of plastic bags need a huge amount of cost and uses a considerable amount of non-renewable energy
  • Annual plastic consumption cost for US retailers is over $4 million
  • The plastic garbage poses a huge threat to marine life

It is for this reason; the movement towards green packaging is making cotton bags an alternative. These are not just sustainable and nature-based but also results in practically zero waste. 

It is green, clean, cheap and sustainable. You can practically check every box with these shopping bags made of cotton. As a result, you see a growing trend globally where cotton is fast replacing a lot other packaging alternatives.  

Cotton Bags Help You Stay Organized and Keeps the House Clean

Cotton Bags Help You Stay Organized and Keeps the House Clean

The fight against plastic bags is not just about a Green Earth. While, that remains the broader and the more important concern, the immediate benefits of lesser plastic use is no less. In fact, sustainable options like cotton can play a role in transforming the public stance towards shunning plastic and embracing eco-friendly alternatives.

Cotton bags are one popular way to deal with this problem. It de-clutters the house in a meaningful way. Think about it, almost 5-6 plastic bags making way to your kitchen every day for carrying a variety of stuff. Additionally, you have vegetables and fruits and so many other things coming in with their plastic packaging. The result is 

  • Growing clutter of plastic every single hour with very few ways to get rid of them or recycle them
  • Small packets floating around the house as kids and pets invariably get attracted to these tiny colored packets
  • Use up space in kitchen, bedrooms and even the car

The ease with how you can deal with clutter is what is striking. When heaps of plastic can be replaced by mere 3-4 reusable cotton bags, the dynamics change instantly. Therefore cotton bags don’t just keep the environment clean but helps you maintain an organized home too. 

Switch To Reusable Grocery Bags

Written by

OCM Content Team

Our wonderful Content Team at Organic Cotton Mart