Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.
Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day are Flat Bottom Reusable Grocery Bags. This is one of those items that you don’t realize how great it is until you use it. Let’s start out with how I found them. A couple years ago we were at Albertsons Grocery and they had some similar bags for sale. I wasn’t totally sold as the bottom material seemed a bit thin. I bought two anyway. Figured if they work out, I’ll buy more.
Well they did work out and yet I did not buy more. Why? I never saw them again in a grocery store. Instead I see the common shitty reusable ones. The ones that don’t hold jack, are a pain in the ass to put items into and fall over when you are loading them. Sure they are like 2 bucks, but they are total garbage which is why so few people actually use them.
This flat bottom stye of bag works and works great. Note, I said stye, so if you find another brand you like and it holds up, great. All I can say is we own these and they have held up and seem well built. The primary marketing point of bags like these is ecological and I agree. However, when ecologically sound meets a better and more convenient solution to a problem, you really have something. Then make it affordable (8 bucks a bag) and long lasting (our oldest bags are 2 years old and still work fine) and you really have something that people will use.
Let’s break this down…
Ecological – I get labeled a planet hater because I don’t fall in lock step with the cult of global warming/climate change/carbon tax, etc. I am not, I am a stark raving environmentalist. I garden, compost, recycle, reuse, upcycle, raise my own meat, buy grass fed what I can’t raise, etc. And when it comes to bags from stores I am 100% on board with reusable bags.
It seems everywhere I go outside I see those stupid plastic thin bags most stores use. Look at the picture above, how many places have you seen this type of thing? Hung up in blowdowns in creeks, up against the fence at parks, everywhere. Garbage laying around that just doesn’t need to be there. And said garbage is persistent plastic that is bad for the environment and persists as micro plastics in our soil, food and water. We can and should do better. I could go on, suffice to say, this checks the box of being environmentally friendly in an affordable, easy to adapt way.
Connivance and Function – I will be honest, we were first drawn to these for convenience, function and value. Which by the way eco-fascists is how you should actually sell people on good “green” ideas. Make them affordable and better options and the market will chose them. Yes I hate seeing those shitty plastic bags all over, what I hate more is that they suck.
They hold so little, rip easily, fall over in your trunk and spill stuff all over. They are the ultimate result of a society that went all in on cheap junk beginning in the 1980s. Not so long ago heavy duty, flat bottom paper bags were the default at the grocery. I still remember my grand mother saving and reusing them. I remember making book covers out of them in school for text books, etc. They were good but still mostly a single use item.
Despite seeing so many bags laying around in nature I do know it is the minority of them, most do end up in the garbage but the problem is that is what they are, GARBAGE. They don’t work, they are total crap, everyone hates them, yet they remain the standard. Unless forced by regulation people just don’t use the reusable bags like you see at most stores. The reason why is simple, they just do not function well enough for people to pay for them or want to use them.
Here is what makes this stye work so well. First the sides are rigid, they stand up stiff. Next the bottom has a rigid insert. When not in use the bag folds flat and the bottom is stored inside (you don’t loose it). When opened the bottom panel is inserted into the bottom. The bag stand up, the bottom is flat, you can add items like you are putting them in a box. Essentially that is what they are cloth boxes that fold up to store away in a few seconds. Use them and you will never go back to shitty plastic bags or the pathetic bags most stores sell ever again.
Bluntly yes this is better for the environment. However, even if you personally murder baby seals with a coal powered cannon, you will love these. Again this is how you get eco friendly things in use by society, make it so good people that don’t care about your cause will want it anyway.
Long Lasting – Okay these are not super tough, tactical, double stitched, reenforced nylon bags. They will last a long time or a short time depending on how they are used. My wife is at the store once or twice a week (fricken spoils the kids). We do quite a few really big Costco runs a year, etc. Our oldest such bags are two years old and still seem brand new. That said I am not using them to store loose hand tools or rocks. They also stay in my car trunk or inside our truck, etc. Not on the porch in the sun. I am sure such things would seriously reduce their life expectancy.
Like I said the bottom of them seems thin (before the insert is installed) and all the bags like this I have examined like this are exactly the same. Still we have stacked them with cans of dog food and other heavy items, literally as heavy as we want a bag to be just to see, no trouble (yet). I checked a lot of varieties on Amazon before settling on this set of 5 for 40 bucks. Some did show damaged bags, none though a blown out bottom. I think most were likely poorly treated. I mean this is an 8 dollar bag, not a 50 dollar rip stop tactical unit. It is a shopping bag, not a tool bag. Use it accordingly.
I have to say this also makes them great for organizing stuff you keep in a vehicle, a closet, a pantry.
The set above is for 5 bags, there are options on Amazon for less or more, again I don’t have huge brand loyalty here, this item is about the size you want, and just being well built for the purpose. That said I own, use and have tested these and they pass. Take that as you will. We keep some in each vehicle and everything just works better with them. Even the check out people at Costco love them.
So if you are tired of tying up shitty plastic bags that hold almost nothing, picking up your groceries off the floor of your car, having everything tip over and nothing really work, give these Flat Bottom Reusable Grocery Bags a shot. It won’t totally change your life but it will make one part of it a bit better and yea it really is an environmentally friendly move at the same time.
Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com
* P.S. – Here is a brief video of these bags.