Plastic bags are one of the most hazardous items we dispose of on a regular basis. After they are discarded, they often end up strewn across the land and floating in rivers. Their tough handles can become snagged on trees and foliage, and they can ensnare animals.

To cut back on plastic bag waste, many places are now charging for disposable plastic bags. Some places are even banning them all together.

For environmental, financial, and practical purposes, consumers are now turning to environmentally friendly companies for bag alternatives for trips to the grocery store. These alternatives include the following.

1. Biodegradable Plastic Bags

One of the major faults of regular plastic bags is that they aren't biodegradable. They don't naturally break down. Instead, they stay in whatever environment they were thrown away in.

Biodegradable plastic bags, on the other hand, can naturally break down. This special type of bag also doesn't give off toxic gases like regular plastic does. So you don't have to worry about exposing your food to toxins in biodegradable bags.

2. Canvas Bags

Canvas bags are made of tough cloth. Since cloth is biodegradable, canvas bags can break down like regular biodegradable bags.

Another pro to using canvas bags is they're big and sturdy. Bags made of plastic rip under too much weight. In contrast, canvas bags can hold a lot of heavy items--including multiple gallons of milk--without so much as a fabric split.

Additionally, you can wash and reuse canvas bags. Other bags must be disposed of after holding wet items. Canvas bags you only need to pop in the washer.

3. Polypropylene Bags

Polypropylene bags are widely available at grocery stores. For a very affordable fee, you can purchase these bags instead of resorting to their plastic counterparts to carry your groceries.

Like canvas bags, polypropylene bags are sturdy and don't easily tear underweight. They're also reusable and can be washed in the event of a leak or spill.

Another advantage to using polypropylene bags is their light weight. They weigh virtually nothing and are easily folded up and packed away. You won't have difficulty storing them until your next trip to the store.

4. Boxes

Even the strongest bag can prove cumbersome when you're hauling a holiday ham or other heavy, bulky item. In these cases, using a box may be pragmatic.

Most any kind of box made of sturdy material (such as cardboard, for example) will work. They're easy enough to obtain since many supplies and online purchases come packed in them.

You can pack and stack your groceries in a neat, organized manner in a box. Afterwards, you can easily slide them into your truck or onto your backseat. Furthermore, you can feel confident your groceries won't roll around during the trip home.

5. Bookbags

Here's a great alternative to bags made of plastic for students. Simply dump out your school supplies and take your bookbag to the store.

They're designed to hold heavy items such as books and  supplies. You'll have no trouble hauling milk gallons, juice cartons, and the like back home.

Additionally, bookbags are ideal for shoppers who need to walk to and from the grocery store.

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