Your produce bags can be used for other things too. Peel your potatoes into the bag, then just turn the bag inside out and give it a shake to throw your peelings into the compost. If you peel your spuds under running water (tisk tisk!) the water will flow through the bag. Use it in the bath to hold kids bath toys. Use it in the laundry to wash delicates that you don't want your washing machine to eat. Use knitted dishcloths? wash them in your produce bags to keep them from getting lost in the laundry.
Using a reusable bag saves wasting all that plastic each time you go do your grocery shopping. Like many of us use reusable bags to bring home the shopping, these allow you to say no to plastic fruit & veg bags.
A "breathable" bag means they don't get that steamy condensation buildup on hot days. You can even store your fruit & veg in the fridge in these to keep things tidy.
Not that I imagine washing your produce bags will be high on the list of priorities, but if something has leaked in there, or you've forgotten about those tomatoes you bought 2 months ago sitting decomposing away in the bottom of the fridge (*shudder*)..... then these bags are fully machine washable. Infact they can also double as a "delicates" washing bag (pantyhose etc.). The synthetic versions should not be tumble dried or ironed.
They are available in couple of different fabrics.
I have a few sizes available. By comparison, supermarket plastic produce bags are around 25cm X 40cm. The regular sized bags have been tested to hold a kilo of produce. This equates to about 9-10 oranges. Obviously different produce will fit differently, eg you won't fit many zucchinis in the regular sized bag, but you'd fit a massive lot of beans, but this size should suit most of your shopping needs. Smaller "handful bags" are available for when you want a couple of button mushrooms, a handful of spinach leaves or something like that, and don't want to use the bigger bags. larger bags and "sacks" are occasionally available (if I'm out of stock and you want one, just let me know)
The all important weight factor. As your produce is being weighed in the bag, the weight of the bag will be added to the cost of the produce. Obviously all reusable bags will be heavier than the thin plastic bags you get in the supermarket (which weigh about 4g), but the bags should not add any noticeable cost to your produce, and I have kept the weight down by adding only a single drawstring. The different fabrics have different weights though, so that might be a factor for you to think about. If you buy a $5 a kilo produce, the chiffon bags for example will add approx 4c to the total cost of the produce... (compared to 2c for the plastic bag)... so you may end up paying about 2c extra per bag of produce - but that's a small price to pay for being environmentally friendly! If you use smaller/lighter bags for smaller amounts and more expensive produce, you can minimise the costs.
Looking after your bags
The nature of these bags is that they are light enough to not add too much weight to your purchase, so a certain amount of 'flimsiness' is to be expected. The Chiffon and tulle net bags feel most "sturdy", which is why I make most of the bags from these fabrics. The "regular" sized chiffon bags have been tested over a kilo in weight, which they held without showing signs of strain. However the bags should not be overfilled as to strain the seams.
It is not recommended to carry the filled produce bags by the drawstring, it is instead recommended to hold the bag by the fabric at the top, with your other hand underneath, supporting the weight. They can be washed by hand or machine if needed, and should be washed before first use. The Tulle net bags are stiffer and the drawstring does not slide as freely as with the other bags, but it is recommended to use a gentle force to close the drawstring, to avoid damaging the bag or drawstring.
Return to Main Page