Bag It Again! Product Review



You’ve probably heard by now that plastic shopping bags are the bane of the environmental movement. In fact, most environmentalists aren’t sure exactly how many plastic bags are produced around the world every year. There are simply too many to count accurately; most experts pin the number at 500 trillion to 1 billion.

That’s every year, mind you.

And, less than 1% of these plastic bags are ever recycled.

Fortunately, however, we’re all starting to wake up to just how damaging plastic bags are to the environment. And, more and more of us are taking reusable shopping bags with us to the grocery store.

We’ve definitely got our pick with reusable shopping bags these days: cotton, organic cotton, thick canvas, hemp…one of my own bags is even made out of recycled water bottles. Neat.

A few weeks ago I stumbled across these super cool reusable jute bags at John Allegro, who owns the company, generously sent one of his jute bags (in addition to a canvas one) for me to take a look at. And, I was very impressed.

The Cool Thing About Jute Shopping Bags

What I love most about jute is that it’s incredibly sustainable.

First, jute reaches maturity in 120-150 days. When it’s harvested, it’s a whopping 8-12 feet tall, so it’s very fast growing. And the best part? Unlike cotton (which sucks down pesticides like I do coffee), jute doesn’t need any chemicals to grow.

Another cool thing is that jute is entirely biodegradable. When its life is done, it doesn’t take that long to decompose.

Jute (which is called “burlap” when it’s woven into a fabric) is also incredibly strong and won’t stretch over time. It’s a great fiber to make bags out of.

Jute Vs. Cotton: The Face Off

As I said above, John at was nice enough to send over a jute bag and a canvas bag for me to take a look at.



Between the two, the jute bag won my heart. The main reason was because of the shape; the jute bag is smaller, and has a much sturdier shape (and a very sturdy feel).

I took mine to the grocery store this weekend and found it to be perfect for putting all my produce in. Because of its smaller size, I didn’t mix any other cans or boxes in with my veggies, and it worked out great. Even my portabella mushrooms arrived home in pristine condition.

I won’t be going to the grocery store without my jute bag again. Ever.



The canvas bag is ok; John said he only recently started offering them because his customers were requesting them. I don’t think it would be a good grocery store tote simply because it doesn’t hold its shape well. Once you pick it up, all the groceries kind of fall in the middle of the bag.

This tote would work much better for larger items (like, if you’re going to Target), or for hauling large numbers of books around.

Last Word…

If you head over to to check these bags out, then I highly recommend the jute bags. John is selling them 3 for $9.95, and I think it’s a good deal. I love my jute bag, and it’s well constructed enough that I think it will last a long time. Final vote: 5 out of 5 stars.

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