How to Choose a Reusable Shopping Bag

So you’re committed to using reusable shopping bags. How do you know which reusable shopping bag is right for your advertising or marketing promotion? It all depends on 1) material preference, 2) price, and 3) handles and other features.

1. Material Preference:


  • Nonwoven Polypropylene:The majority of the inexpensive bags you see at retail stores today are made of nonwoven polypropylene, which is a form of plastic made to look and feel like cloth. Some nonwoven polypropylene is made from virgin materials and some is made from a mix of new materials and post consumer/industrial recycled materials.
  • Cotton: Do you want to throw your bags in the washing machine to keep them clean? If so, natural-fiber cotton is your best bet. Organic cottons are more expensive, but better for the environment, since pesticides are not used when farming it.
  • Laminated Shopping Bags: If you like to spray your bags and wipe them down, you’ll probably prefer a laminated reusable bag! Laminated bags are made from laminated woven polypropylene, laminated nonwoven polypropylene, or laminated recycled PET.
  • Polyester or Nylon: Reusable bags made from polyester or nylon are very popular because they are thin, durable, and compact. Polyester and nylon bags have a higher perceived value than some of the other reusable bag options but the price is still reasonable.
  • Recycled PET: Often referred to as ‘recycled soda bottles’, recycled PET is another popular material option for reusable bags. Recycled PET is made from post consumer recycled plastics (#1 recyclables) which includes soda and water bottles.
  • Jute, Bamboo or Hemp: Reusable bags made from jute, bamboo or hemp can be hard to find and are often more expensive than other bag options, but they are favorites among die-hard environmentalists. These materials tend to ‘grow like weeds’ which minimizes and sometimes eliminates the use of harsh chemicals and pesticides, while using less water to grow.


2. Price: It’s important to think about your budget before you start looking at bags. If you see samples of $8 bags before discovering that you can only afford $2 bags, you’re going to be disappointed. Here are some guidelines:


  • Least Expensive: Primarily nonwoven polypropylene bags, and a few small, nylon bags.
  • Mid Price Range: You’ll find the most selection in this price range. Laminated bags tend to be in the $2-3 range. Poly/nylon bags tend to be in the $2.50-$3.50 range.
  • Most Expensive: Primarily organic cotton, recycled cotton, hemp and jute.


3.Handles and Other Features: Some bags fold, some zip, some snap, some are small and some are large. Here are a few more considerations when choosing your reusable bags:


  • Handle Length
  • Gusset Size
  • Folding Bags
  • Bag Color
  • Imprinting
  • Insulation
  • Wine Bags and Bottle Sleeves


Reusable bags are so prevalent in our society, and there are tons of choices–a great thing, since custom reusable grocery bags printed with a business’ logo have the highest number of impressions across all categories of promotional products. The average custom grocery bag is used 5.8 times per month, which makes for great return on investment. Michael Kors tote

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