Going "green"? Think about your "green"
In states and cities where there are plastic bag bans, stores charge $0.05 to $0.10/plastic bag if someone forgets their own form of bag. The average family of four uses around 15 bags a week at least. Even if they reuse those bags a couple times, the bags ultimately end up in landfills taking thousands of years to degrade which is bad for the environment, in addition to your wallet. $1.50/week x 52 weeks = $78/year. Side note: These bags cost stores between $0.01 - $0.02 to purchase.
CHEAP NONWOVEN POLYPROPYLENE RUSABLE BAGS
The cheap bags that sell for $0.50 (Walmart) to $1.00 (Meijers, Kroger) are actually a green farce (otherwise known as "Greenwashing"). The bags probably cost less than $0.10 for them to buy, given their large economies of scale. Because they are so cheaply made (and can't be anything other than hand-washed) they quickly fall apart or become an excellent source of bacteria. Average number of uses by a family of four could be between 5-10 times depending on level of care before the bags start falling apart. They can hold more than plastic ones but at 10 bags every 3 months that could cost $40 minimum every year once companies stop giving them away as promotional items. But the worst part is that there are only a handful of #5 recycling centers in the USA so most of these grocery store and promotional corporate bags end up in landfills. Here they take longer to breakdown than the plain old plastic bags they were meant to replace in the first place. To keep them out of landfills, Sun Sugar Farms offers a credit to CRESBI buyers and repurposes them into pet rugs and boot toppers.
CLOTH REUSABLE BAG
Most can hold as much as polypropylene ones but can be machine washed. Usually $7- $10 per bag. Although new ones shown on home shopping networks look like they can hold the whole grocery cart which would render it impossible to lift and lug. Most can be washed in hot and recycled or repurposed when needed. Family of four would spend $70-$100/year initially.
Collapsible crates can be purchased almost anywhere but most are usually too big and get too heavy to fit more than one into a grocery cart. CRESBI crates are collapsible, too, but they also fit into every cart in existence and can be stacked to ensure your food doesn’t get crushed. Plus they’re dishwasher safe and feature an extra hook for your grocery cart to keep them out of the way while you shop. Or you can save time while you shop by opening the crates when you start and then placing your items barcode up in them. Then the checker scans the items and never removes your products from the crate. All but the crates themselves are made in America. Single one time investment for a family of four: CRESBI 5 Pack& Cooler ($70) or CRESBI Colossal 6 Pack ($80) or 4N1 Special ($55).