Simple re-usable produce bags
These reusable produce bags are a great alternative for single-use plastics when doing your weekly shopping. You can bring them to the grocery store, farmers market, bakery and bulk foods store to hold fruit, vegetables, nuts, legumes, cereals and bread. They’re also handy to use as a laundry bag, shoe bag, holding toiletries and for travelling. I keep mine with my green bags so that I won’t forget them when I go shopping!
They’re quite light and weigh around 20 grams each, but I also get the shop assistant to weigh the bag before filling it so I’m not paying for extra weight. If made with a sewing machine they’re quite strong and you can clean them on a gentle wash cycle and they’re good to go again.
For the material, I prefer using natural fibres (cotton, linen, silk) so the produce can breathe, especially if I’m storing them in the fridge. See-through materials are ideal as they allow you and the shop assistant to see what your buying. If you can, use scrap material that you already have, otherwise try sourcing it from op shops. I’ve made some out of a scarf that I found in an op shop, an up-cycled delicates laundry bag, and the ones I’m making now are old netted curtains.
A store-bought set cost around $20 for 5, but they’re super inexpensive and easy to make yourself at home if you follow these steps…
- Sewing machine
- Material of choice
- Measuring tape
- Fabric scissors
- Draw string and safety pin
1. Cut out your desired fabric size, I’m using a piece 80 cm X 40 cm.
2. With the fabric inside-out, fold in half and line up the seams.
3. Use pins to secure the bottom edge and side edge, leaving the top edge open. Sew along this seam.
4. For the draw string casing, along the top edge fold down fabric about 2 cm.
5. Use pins to secure this and sew all the way around but leave a 1 cm space in this seam for the drawstring to come through.
6. Cut a 70cm piece of string or ribbon and pin a safety pin to one end.
7. Pull this safety pin all the way through the casing and out through the 1 cm space.
8. Turn bag the right way out and it’s ready to use!