Country Lore: How to Make Reusable Produce Bags

This reader is so opposed to using use disposable plastic bags for fruits and vegetables she figured out how to make reusable produce bags from cloth.

| June/July 2009

  • reusable produce bag diagram
    Steps 4, 5, and 6 for making a reusable produce bag.
    HEIDI WARREN
  • reusable produce bag
    Making your own reusable produce bags will eliminate the need for disposable — hence, wasteful — plastic bags.
    PHOTO: HEIDI WARREN
  • reusable produce bag diagram
    Steps 1, 2, and 3 for making a reusable produce bag.
    HEIDI WARREN

  • reusable produce bag diagram
  • reusable produce bag
  • reusable produce bag diagram

Over two years ago, I purchased reusable and washable canvas bags for packing all my purchases at the grocery store. This eliminated my consumption of plastic grocery bags. Unfortunately, I still had to bag fresh fruits and vegetables in the plastic bags provided in the produce section.

To eliminate that need, I made reusable produce bags from cloth. The bags need to be transparent so the cashier can read the produce label, lightweight because produce is usually weighed, and washable and sturdy enough for multiple uses. I used sheer curtain fabric for its transparent and lightweight properties. Alternative materials could be tulle, hosiery, or nylon netting.

These bags are suited for storing most fruits and vegetables, but the mesh bag is unable to retain the moisture needed to keep lettuce from wilting.

I’ve found the cloth bags to be excellent alternatives to plastic, and hopefully shoppers will reduce more of their waste stream with similar reusable packaging.



Heidi Warren
Dover, OH 


Construction Instructions:

The cloth produce bag can be made from sheer curtain fabric, tulle, nylon netting, or hosiery material. A rectangular section of fabric is cut and then folded in the middle.  Start with a rectangular piece 12" wide by 24" long before folding.

Trent McGlasson
2/9/2012 3:06:44 PM

My wife saw a woman who was using her old dry dog and cat food bags to carry groceries. She had obviously washed them out but had also resewn them to incorporate handles. She said they looked rally neat.


JOHN & VIRGINIA LEDOUX
2/8/2012 10:47:00 PM

Dumb.


anasuya
6/16/2011 5:27:25 AM

i want to start the manufacturing of alternative product of plastic covers,what is the procedure of start the manufacturing and how to get investment part any government help







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