Plastic Free Shopping Bags

Plastic Free Shopping Bags


I know I am a day late writing this but  I have been having so much fun sewing these shopping bags, the time has just slipped away from me.

So Zero Waste week is now less than a week away and my pledge for Zero Waste Week  is to be zero plastic all week. I have in my head some of the things we need to change in order to succeed with our pledge and I have slowly been working on this. (Post coming soon) But it never occurred to me how much plastic was in our reusable shopping bags we bought from a supermarket, until one broke this week and I was left with a massive problem. It is made from PLASTIC the one thing we are trying to cut down on and how do I know get rid of it now its broken? (Still not solved this problem) Although we do have some canvas bags we don’t have  enough or the right sizes to complete our weekly shop.

Then I came across Luv In The Mommy Hood blog where Shannon had made some Japanese Bento bags, which not only looked fantastic but she had a tutorial on how to make them too. These bags can be made to any size you would like and you don’t need to be an advanced sewer to be able to follow the pattern.

First Bags

 My Girls New P.E  Bags (made from recycled bed sheet and duvet cover)

These are my first attempt at making these bags and all though I like the results I was unhappy with the seams being on the outside of the bag as it did not give a clean finish.  So I sat down and read the instructions again thinking I might have missed something but I had followed them to the letter. I looked on the pictures of Shannon’s bags and the seam was sewn on the inside and it give the bag a cleaner look. So I thought I would give it a go again sewing the seams on the inside.

Reusable shopping bags

I much prefer my second attempt with the seams not on show (made from some scrap fabric I had left over after making a family quilt for our livingroom) 

According to the instructions you can make these Bento bags in any size you would like as long as you have the ratios correct. This got me thinking, if I made smaller versions I could use them in the fruit and veg shop and then place the smaller bags into my larger bag protecting our fresh food even more.  (Taking the place of the individual plastic bags on offer for loose goods or putting all your loose goods in one bag and them getting damaged.)


This smaller version is just perfect for buying our apples, grapes, eggs and bananas (made from a dress one of my girls had grown out off)

I am so happy with the smaller version of the Bento bag, that I am definitely going to be making a massive stack of these as well as several of the larger size bags.

Now we can be completely plastic free when we are going shopping but these bags are not only going to be great for shopping, they will be fantastic to use to hold towels and packed lunch on family days on the beach or to just hold my phone and wallet while meeting up with friends for coffee.

Time for me to go and raid some more of my scrap fabric to whip up some more of these bags ready for the food shop on Friday.

Are your reusable shopping bags completely plastic free? 


6 responses to “Plastic Free Shopping Bags

  1. Hi Emma,
    Thanks for a really great post! I have plenty of scrap fabric,so I’m definitely going to give it a go! I’m thinking Christmas presents too!
    In regards to your broken reusable bag…here in Australia, Coles (and maybe other supermarkets) recycle lots of soft plastics and that includes old reusable bags. Do you have a soft plastics recycling system over there?
    Nic x

  2. These look fantastic Emma – I really like your first attempt with the outside seams too! Thanks for sharing; will be posting this up on monday for the plastic-free day 🙂 x

  3. Pingback: “One More Thing” Reducing Plastic | Mommy Emu·

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