Vegetable Storage Bags: Storing Produce without Plastic

When it comes to using vegetable storage bags to keep my produce fresh I always try to avoid plastic packing for many good reasons. While plastic bags might seem convenient to transport your goods home from the grocery, I normally have a couple of cotton packs with me to put the vegetables in already at the supermarket.

The main reason why I decided to go completely plastic-free when storing food is that plastic contains dangerous chemicals that have the potential to harm a person’s health. The recent research has proven that most plastic bags and wraps contain toxic elements that can leach into the food and cause tissue changes, chromosomal damage, hormonal errors, and other health problems.

Another good reason to go green when storing vegetables and other food supplies is to cut down on waste. While paper and cotton bags are recyclable and biodegradable, plastic packing is chemically much more stable, which means it might take hundreds of years before a plastic bag decomposes. And after it finally does, the elements that will be left will still be toxic and will continue to poison the environment.

Comparison Chart of 6 Best Vegetable Storage Bags

PictureNameNo of bagsPriceRating
Organic Cotton Mart's Produce Bags - The Best 6$$$5
flip and tumble Reusable Produce Bags5$$4.7
BahrEco Mesh Bags for Grocery Shopping & Storage5$$4.7
Simple Ecology Organic Cotton Mesh Produce Bag 6$$$4.6
Natural Home Reuseable Produce Bags5$4.4
The Original Eco Friendly Washable and Reusable Produce Bags5$$$4.4

Independent Reviews of 6 Best Vegetable Storage Bags to Keep Your Food Fresh

1. Organic Cotton Mart’s Reusable & Washable Produce Bags Made from 100% Organic Cotton – Best Vegetable Storage Bagsreusable cotton produce bags

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This set of organic cotton vegetable storage bags features six baggies (two of each size) to provide maximum flexibility to your shopping activities. These are the most versatile reusable bags that are also a great solution for both shopping and storage. They come in five different sizes and can carry from two to fifteen pounds that equals to approximately three to twenty-four large apples. Like the majority of high-quality cotton produce bags, Organic Cotton Mart’s produce bags are washable in cold water and is 100% plastic-free.

I read through dozens of positive reviews of this item and it looks like it’s really worth the money. These bags can perfectly replace food containers while vegetables stored in them stay fresh quite long. Although the muslin fabric provides a pleasant and delicate feel, it’s thick and rigid enough to withstand many years of use. Lots of customers find these items a huge help both for shopping and for food storage. They have another type of bag called the cotton mesh produce bags which can also be used instead of a plastic bag.

1. Flip and Tumble Set of 5 Reusable Produce Bags

This fairly-priced set of 5 reusable bags for produce is a great choice for those searching for lightweight but strong bags that can be used for storing all sorts of foods as well as traveling accessories and other items to have them handy. The bags are made of polyester mesh which is easy to see through and is completely plastic-free. The color tags allow for easy sorting while the flip and tumble design offers everything you need to store your fruits and veggies while doing your grocery shopping.

Users have left tons of positive feedback on these items due to their durability, rugged design, and ease of use. I found reviews of customers who have been using these bags for many years and they still showed no signs of holes or rips. Besides, they wash well and are perfect for trips and picnics since you can wash the fruits and vegetables directly inside the bags.

2. Reusable Produce Bags – Premium Washable Bahr Eco Mesh Bag for Grocery Shopping

If I was to buy a really good set of spacious vegetable storage bags, I’d surely consider this great offer from Bahr Eco. Not only does it offer a great alternative to plastic bags, but it also comes in a great design as well as provides plenty of useful features. It’s made of durable and see-through mesh with a drawstring and a pop-lock for easier access. Since it’s machine-washable, you can always be sure there are no bacteria or mildew on your bag so it’s clean and safe for your next grocery shopping day.

The numerous positive reviews of this item that you will find on the Web come from both avid environmentalists and plastic bags fans since the Bahr Eco is a really multifunctional item that can be used in various situations. For some customers, it looked like the produce could last a little longer using these bags, which I guess could be true since it gets better ventilation and is organized nicer than in a conventional plastic packing.

4. Simple Ecology Organic Cotton Mesh Produce Bag

Another great item by Simple Ecology features a set of multipurpose six vegetable storage bags (two of each size) that are made of organic cotton fabric with an exterior tare weight tag for easier checkout. If you’re looking for a produce bag with excellent air circulation, this particular model is the right thing for you due to its 1/8-inch square stretchable mesh that is great for both content storage and identification. These mesh bags are also great for other jobs such as transporting various items, laundering, dry food storage, etc.

Although the manufacturer doesn’t recommend machine-washing these items on ‘hot’, I found several reviews from customers who had done this many times without causing any harm to the bags. Many users like the extra-large size that is big enough to hold two bunches of chard or romaine or several pounds of beets and potatoes. Another great advantage lots of people pointed out is that even the largest bag takes almost no space when folded, which is very convenient if you want to have a couple of spacious bags in your pocket.

5. Natural Home Reusable Produce Bags

This set of polyester vegetable storage bags for grocery offers four 11-inch by 14-inch bags for larger items and one 6-3/4-inch by 6-3/4-inch bag for smaller belongings. Each bag’s drawstring is colored differently so you can use one color bag for the same products each time. These reusable bags are fairly priced and offer great value for the money. So if you’re looking for a simple and reliable plastic-free bag for your groceries, Natural Home offers a great solution.

According to many reviewers, this set is very convenient since the four larger bags can easily fit into the smaller one when folded so you can go shopping with only one small item in your pocket. Although the material shows quite a decent stretch when loaded it doesn’t seem like it can tear easily. While these bags are not as transparent as plastic packing, one can plainly see what’s inside them which many users consider an advantage.

6. Eco-Friendly Soft Premium Lightweight Cotton Muslin Canvas Reusable Bags

These five great items by Naturally Conscious are both stylish and eco-friendly. They feature strong durable muslin vegetable storage bags produced from lightweight cloth that was definitely made to last. Unlike cheap plastic, this fabric will hold under any condition even after many years of usage. However, durability is not the only positive side of this product. The multifunctional design combined with an excellent foldable convenience make these bags perfect traveler companions.

I found plenty of favorable responses to this item on the Web. Most customers find the bags perfect for bigger-sized fruits and vegetables, greens, snacks, and many other food products. Due to the well-ventilated fabric, one can easily keep the produce inside the bags and throw it directly into the fridge. Due to five different colors, the bags will also perfectly fit many other activities like a family camping trip, for example, so that every family member could have their own bag.

How to Choose the Right Vegetable Storage Bags for Your Needs

While there’s plenty of alternatives to plastic baggies on the market, choosing ones that would fit you best may sometimes be quite difficult. When choosing a vegetable storage bag I always take the following factors into account:

  • The size of the bag.
    I normally use several different sizes of bags to store vegetables. This usually depends on the amount of produce I buy as well as on the quantity of food I prefer to have handy in one package. The place where the produce is stored and the type of veggie matters too. If I have to store the vegetables outside the refrigerator (like garlic, onion, potatoes, shallots) I’d normally use bags of larger sizes for better ventilation. Veggies that require immediate refrigeration to keep them at their freshest (like artichokes, broccoli, cabbage, corn, eggplant, mushrooms, spinach) are stored in smaller and tighter bags to prevent them from drying out as well as to keep them separate from each other in the freezer.
  • The materials used to produce the bag.
    Since I’m an ardent opponent of plastic vegetable storage bags, my best recommendation would be to use alternative packaging such as paper or cotton bags which are more eco-friendly and have several significant advantages. For example, instead of storing cabbage or cauliflower in a perforated plastic bag to keep the excessive moisture out, I prefer using a mesh or a cotton bag that provides maximum ventilation for the produce that is inside.
  • The form of the bag.
    I prefer using food storage bags that can retain their shape. This is very practical while loading or rearranging the supplies as well as helps to save space in the fridge or in the kitchen pantry. Some storage bags offer comfy color tags which make the process of sorting really easy.

Plastic Bags vs. Cotton Bags

  • Environment.
    While the number of disposable plastic bags for transporting grocery purchases used globally is rapidly approaching 1 trillion a year, only 1% is recycled. The rest end up in landfills, where it will take centuries for them to decompose while polluting the soil and the water with dangerous toxins.
    On the other hand, cotton vegetable storage bags are made of organic materials that are recyclable and biodegradable. They’re much more reliable and can serve on many shopping trips. Even if there’s a leakage from your veggies, the cotton bags are like new after a cold/warm water wash.
  • Price. 
    Although many stores still do offer plastic bags for free or for a few cents, the minimum additional investment to buy cloth bags for your vegetables will pay off after a short time, especially if you take into account the fact that many countries have now increased the prices for plastic bags or even restricted their usage for environmental issues. You can try and calculate how many bags you use every week and then consider the amount you can save by carrying your foods in reusable bags.
  • Load capacity.
    We’ve all been in the frustrating situation when the plastic bag’s handles start to slowly give way and break right in front of our door, causing our fruits and veggies scatter around on the porch. With cloth vegetable storage bags, that won’t happen since the sturdy cotton fabric is much more reliable while the stitching and extended handles significantly improve the bearing capacity as well as provide a convenient over-the-shoulder transport option that you can never have with plastic bags.
  • Fashion.
    Well, that may seem strange at first sight, but…do you think you could really make a bold fashion statement with a conventional supermarket plastic bag? The aesthetic appeal of a grocery store logo or some other cheap advertising is probably not that high, I would guess. Cotton storage bags, on the other hand, are not only practical to transport your food supplies, but can easily combine with your outfits since they’re normally available in a wide array of styles and colors.
  • Shelf life.
    No matter whether you keep your veggies in the fridge or in the kitchen pantry, chances are you will prefer to have them inside a bag for easier access and storage. However, if you leave your supplies in a plastic bag the excessive moisture due to condensation will result in rapid decay. On the other hand, cotton storage bags can provide a good level of ventilation and prevent rotting.

Also check out our list of best tote bags.

In Conclusion 

Nowadays, there’re plenty of alternatives to plastic bags. These modern vegetable storage bags are versatile, convenient, eco-friendly, reusable, and multifunctional. Most of them are quite stylish and have plenty of practical features. As for me, the best option for those who want to go really green is a bag made of organic materials such as cotton, for example, that are fully recyclable and biodegradable.

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