The Benefits of Using Eco-friendly Tote Bags

The Benefits of Using Eco-friendly Tote Bags

Paper or plastic? That’s a common question asked at checkout in many retail stores. You might choose a plastic bag because it’s cheap and convenient, or go for paper because it seems like a more environmentally-friendly option.

While both materials have undeniable benefits, they have major downsides you should keep in mind.

The problem with plastic and paper

Americans use 100 billion plastic bags a year, yet only 9% are ever recycled. Most recycling centers can’t process them because they tend to clog up the machinery. As a result, the majority of plastic bags end up in landfills, where they can take hundreds of years to degrade.

What’s more, they flutter around in waterways and oceans causing serious harm to wildlife. For example, hungry birds and sea turtles often mistake shredded plastic bags for food, filling their guts with toxic debris. Fish also eat thousands of tons of plastic a year in the form of microplastics, which then move up the food chain to bigger fish and marine mammals.

Paper bags avoid some of the pitfalls of plastic bags being made from trees, which are a renewable resource. But you may be surprised to learn that it takes significantly more energy to create one paper bag than it does to make a single-use plastic bag. The manufacturing process also produces more greenhouse gas emissions which aren’t great from a global warming standpoint.

The good news is that there’s a better option out there: Eco-friendly tote bags!

Most tote bags are made from canvas, but they can also be made from recycled materials and other natural fabrics like hemp, cotton, linen, or jute. They come in many shapes, sizes, and materials for carrying all sorts of things.

If you care about the planet, tote bags can help you live a more eco-friendly life, plus they have many more amazing benefits.

Here are a few good reasons why you should ditch the plastic and paper for tote bags today.

The benefits of Eco-friendly Tote Bags


Single-use bags are a glaring example of the throwaway culture that’s filling our world with waste. We use them once and toss them in the bin without much thought of where they’ll end up.

Tote bags are a great solution to this problem because you can use them countless times, cutting back on the amount of trash you generate and keeping landfills under control.

Once they’ve outlived their purpose, they’ll return to the earth because they’re fully degradable.

Conserve natural resources

We are consuming earth’s natural resources at an alarming rate which is having a devastating impact on our planet. Almost 40% of the world's industrial logging goes into making paper which has led to massive deforestation and degradation of some precious ecological places.

Meanwhile, the extraction and burning of fossil fuels for plastic cause habitat destruction, air, and plastic pollution.

When you use a tote bag, you help conserve the world’s forests which are fundamental to our life support system and reduce the use of fossil fuels which are the primary cause of the current climate change.


Tote bags are incredibly convenient to use for many reasons. Not only do they have plenty of space to store all of the items that you need, but they are also simple to grab when you’re on the go. When you’ve done with errands, you can fold them up, and slip them back into your car or near your front door, ready for the next time you need them.

In addition, they can be rolled up into the smallest sizes so they won’t take up much space in your drawers like with plastic bags.


While a nickel or dime may not feel like a lot to spend on a single-use bag, consider how quickly that adds up if you typically use several bags with each trip to the store.

Americans use an average of 365 plastic bags per person per year - if each bag costs a nickel, that’s a significant amount of money you could save per year.
Tote bags are a one-time purchase that you won’t have to add to your budget for a long time.


If comfort is your number one concern then tote bags will work for you. They have long, soft handles that make it easy to carry your shopping home. You don’t have to worry that the bags will stretch out with the weight, tear, or cut into your hand or shoulders like plastic.

Easy to clean

To reuse plastic bags, you have to wash each by hand with soapy water and hang them to dry which can be time-consuming.

Tote bags are designed with easy care in mind. Since they’re made of fabric, you can clean them fast by tossing them in the washing machine before your next shopping trip.


If eco-friendly tote bags didn’t have a long shelf life, they wouldn’t be effective in achieving their purpose. They’re made from a quality, sturdy cloth that is resistant to stretching and shrinking, as well as thick handles that can carry heavy things.

These qualities mean that eco-friendly totes can stand the test of time and will last you many years.


If you like to look chic on your weekly shopping trip, a tote bag with an eye-catching print can be the perfect addition to any outfit. You’ll be spoilt for choice because there are plenty of colors, designs, and patterns to choose from. You can even have your tote bag customized with a unique logo, slogan, embroidery, or embellishment - there’s no limit to what you can spot in your bag.


Tote bags can be used for multiple purposes and occasions, not just errands. You can use them for work, school, the gym, as travel bags, or even as beach bags.

They also come in an abundance of varied designs that you can pair with just about any look. The best part is you can have different kinds of tote bags to serve different occasions and moods.

A powerful statement

Sometimes small actions can make a big statement and have a ripple effect on those around you. By introducing tote bags in your daily life, you make a public stance against single-use plastic and show your commitment to the environment you live in.

This can inspire others to take similar steps that can make for a cleaner, greener planet for all.

How Do You Choose the Best Tote Bag?

Some tote bags are more environmentally friendly than others. Although cotton is one of the most used fabrics in tote bags, cotton production is a resource-intensive process and requires copious amounts of water to grow - between 10,000 and 20,000 liters to produce one kilogram of cotton.

In fact, a study found that an organic cotton tote needs to be used 20,000 times before it can replace its environmental impact.

Materials such as jute, hemp, and recycled water bottles are less resource-intensive textiles and are more sustainable for the environment.

Always remember, a tote bag is only eco-friendly if you use it many times, so don’t be afraid to get your money’s worth.

What are you waiting for, get yours and start reaping the benefits of eco-friendly totes today!
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