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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

34 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
290 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best reusable produce bags

Last Updated July 2020

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the US generated over 35 million tons of plastic in 2017, with more than half of it ending up in landfills. Unfortunately, the grocery store is a place where shoppers encounter a lot of plastic – plastic produce bags, plastic shopping bags, plastic containers, and lots of plastic packaging and plastic wrap.

Bringing along a handful of reusable produce bags when grocery shopping is a small but impactful way to cut down on the amount of plastic that ends up polluting the environment or clogging up landfills. Reusable produce bags are an eco-friendly solution for storing and transporting fresh produce from the supermarket or farmer’s market. If you’re seeking ways to reduce your environmental footprint, adding reusable bags to your grocery shopping routine is a step in the right direction.

Our buying guide will help you find the best pack of reusable produce bags for your food buying and storing habits. You’ll find our five favorite reusable produce bags in the matrix above.

There’s no need to wrap food items like oranges, avocados, and corn. Nature has already provided them with a wrapper!

Key considerations

Your typical grocery shopping trip

Think about how you grocery shop. Knowing your routine will help you select appropriate reusable produce bags. Do you buy a lot of products in bulk, like nuts, seeds, coffee, or vegetables? You’ll need a decent amount of reusable produce bags on hand. Do you shop for food on foot? Opt for the sturdiest bags available to prevent stressful spills.

Bag size and weight

Most reusable produce bags are sold in the form of variety packs with multiple bag sizes. Choose small, medium, large, or extra-large bags depending on the typical contents of your groceries. If you never buy leeks or fennel, extra-large bags probably aren’t that useful, for instance. Many products are weighed to determine their final price. A reusable produce bag should weigh very little so that its weight doesn’t have an impact on the cost of the food.

Bag material

Reusable produce bags should ideally be transparent so the food inside is identifiable for checkout. Bags should also be sturdy enough that they don’t easily tear. You’ll find reusable produce bags available in several materials:

  • Organic cotton: Organic cotton bags are an attractive, naturally derived option, but the downside is that cotton tends to weigh more than other fibers. Cotton is sturdy but doesn’t hold up well in wet conditions. Cotton bags also don’t fare well in the washing machine or dryer.
  • Jute: Jute is a biodegradable material that’s pretty durable, but like cotton it doesn’t hold up to wet weather.
  • Hemp: Hemp is a durable, natural fiber that’s usually machine-washable. Reusable produce bags made of hemp, however, aren’t cheap.
  • Polypropylene: A type of flexible plastic, polypropylene bags are incredibly sturdy. If selecting bags made of this material, opt for ones made of recycled plastic.
  • Polyester: You should also opt for polyester bags made of recycled plastic. This material is mold- and water-resistant.
  • Nylon: Nylon is a synthetic material that’s both strong and durable but weighs significantly less than cotton. It’s water-resistant, too.
     

If you select a mesh-style reusable produce bag, pay attention to the mesh size. Mesh with large openings may not be suitable for smaller items like nuts or berries.

EXPERT TIP

Are you tired of wasting produce? Wash and prep it as soon as you return from the grocery store. You’re more likely to snack on and cook with prepped foods.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Color-coding

Some reusable produce bags are color-coded so that you can quickly identify the contents of each bag once stored in the fridge. Color-coding helps users find the right size bag as well. Some reusable produce bags also feature a small tag that identifies the bag’s tare weight, which is useful during the checkout weighing process.

Machine-washable

Check the manufacturer guidelines to verify whether a reusable produce bag is machine-washable or not. You’ll appreciate a product that’s easy to care for in the event that food stains the bag or spoils inside.

Drawstring

Close a reusable produce bag’s opening and prevent foods like cherry tomatoes and Brussels sprouts from toppling out. Bag sets with drawstrings have a tendency to get all tangled up, though, so store the bags carefully.

EXPERT TIP

Do you have vegetables in your fridge that are starting to near the end of their edible lifecycles? Make a delicious vegetable soup for dinner or toss them on a sheet pan for roasting.


Staff  | BestReviews

Accessories

Reusable produce bags are a useful, environmentally friendly grocery shopping accessory. There are also plenty of other ways to cut down your environmental footprint during food planning, prep, and shopping.

Food storage containers: Rubbermaid FreshWorks Produce Saver Food Storage Containers
Stay away from tossable plastic bags when storing fresh produce and invest in a set of reusable plastic containers. The Rubbermaid FreshWorks storage containers are available in multiple sizes to keep food fresh for longer by separating produce from moisture with a CrispTray. The containers also feature a FreshVent that regulates the food’s exposure to oxygen. Each container is BPA-free and dishwasher-safe.

Shopping carts: dbest products Trolley Dolly Grocery Foldable Cart
Skip the short car trip and walk to grab groceries with a sturdy shopping cart on wheels. Use it for other errands, too. By visiting the supermarket more frequently with your shopping cart, you’ll reduce food waste and save money on your monthly grocery bill, all while getting a boost of cardiovascular activity.

Meal planners: Pretty Simple Press Weekly Meal Planner
Plan meals in advance with this weekly meal planner and save yourself the headache of deciding what to eat at the last minute. You’ll likely spend less on delivery and takeout. With a master plan in hand at the grocery store, you’ll save money by skipping impulse purchases and focusing on your list.

Reusable produce bag prices

A set of 15 reusable produce bags made of lightweight synthetic mesh won’t cost more than $15. You’ll pay the same or more for half that amount of cotton bags.

Pricier bags aren’t necessarily better for buying produce, however. More expensive reusable produce bags tend to be made of heavier, thicker materials, which is fine for storing and transporting groceries but not for wrapping up individual produce items.

EXPERT TIP

Don’t store potatoes with onions. That combination encourages spoilage.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Many grocery stores are making a move to curb food waste by offering damaged produce at a discount for shoppers. Save on your grocery bill by checking out the discounted produce section.
  • Buy food in season as much as possible to limit your carbon footprint.
  • Avoid overbuying fresh produce. Go to the grocery store with a plan and don’t buy more than you and your family can eat in a week.
  • If you need to stock up on produce, opt for frozen vegetables since they won’t spoil if not used within the week.
  • Store your reusable produce bags in your car or shopping cart so that you never forget them when heading to the store or farmer’s market.

Other products we considered

There were a few additional reusable produce bags that caught our eye. The Era Natural Heavy-Duty Reusable Mesh Produce Bags come in a pack of 18 bags. Each bag features a handy drawstring. These reusable produce bags are color-coded and machine-washable.

The Qinline Reusable Produce Bags are made of organic cotton and feature tags with listed tare weights. This set includes six muslin bulk food bags in addition to a large reusable shopping bag.

Finally, the Berosy Reusable Mesh Produce Bags are lightweight and transparent enough that barcodes can easily be scanned through the material. They come in a tear-resistant pack of nine.

Adjust the humidity levels in your refrigerator’s crisper drawers according to what’s stored inside. Lettuce prefers higher levels of humidity, for instance.

FAQ

Q. How do I wash my reusable produce bags?
A.
It depends on the material. Bags made of natural fibers like cotton are susceptible to shrinkage in the washer and dryer. Check the care instructions before tossing soiled bags into your washing machine.
 

Q. Can I store my produce in reusable bags in the fridge?
A.
We don’t recommend doing so unless you plan to eat those fruits or vegetables right away. Reusable produce bags don’t usually provide a moist enough environment for produce. Lettuce, for instance, is likely to wilt if left in a reusable produce bag in the fridge. Instead, we recommend using food storage containers designed for keeping produce fresh. If you have a stash of plastic bags in your cupboard, use them to store produce and rinse and reuse as needed.
 

Q. What are some other ways to reduce my ecological footprint at the grocery store?
A.
Many grocery stores are now allowing customers to shop with reusable containers at butcher and fish counters. Bring your own containers instead of relying on packaging from the store. Shopping in season is another way to shop in an eco-friendly manner. And don’t forget to make a list of what you need. Shopping without a plan is likely to lead to food waste down the line.

Other Products We Considered
The BestReviews editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.
The team that worked on this review
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer
    Writer
  • Katherine
    Katherine
    Editor
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Steph
    Steph
    Writer

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