ACME Workhorse Bags

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These reusable nylon bags are about the size of a plastic grocery bag, but are stronger, can hold a lot, and they pack into a self-contained pouch attached to the bag. They become very small when collapsed/packed and are very lightweight (1.5 oz). It takes me around five seconds, to stuff one back into its pouch (I think I’ve even done it in two). I find I can easily keep three ACME’s in my not-huge handbag so I don’t have to remember them; a lot of my shopping is done walking, so the car isn’t the best place for them. I use them multiple times per day because of their convenient size and weight. Unlike the reusable shopping bags sold at grocery stores, these don’t have a logo emblazoned on them, so I feel comfortable bringing them into any store. They’re cheaper than similar bags of this nature I’ve seen. They also come in subdued colors — I have three in black (I originally ordered four, but my boyfriend nabbed one as soon as he saw them! I also just ordered four more in a different color). Before purchasing I was concerned that they don’t have a flat bottom — I thought they might spill all over when I do throw them in my car. Turned out not to be a problem, because it’s very easy to knot and unknot the handles. Because ACME’s handles are part of the body of the bag, there are no seams to get stressed by the load. I definitely haven’t maxed mine out, but ACME advertises it can hold up to 25lbs. I’ve mainly put things like a gallon of milk, plus other stuff – definitely things I would have doubled up a regular plastic bag for.

I save about 3-4 plastic bags or 2-3 paper bags each trip to the grocery, about 12 plastic bags per week, not counting all the other non-grocery places I pick up additional bags. I used to have a few of the Whole Foods-style reusable bags, but don’t use them at all now. The ACME bags are far more portable. Helping the environment feels good, and I find the concept of reusable/self-contained things to be elegant, but the main reason I am so happy with the ACME bags is how much they’ve reduced the clutter in my life. I have a tendency to carry a lot of “junk” from place to place–home to car, work, and even within my house–and then I end up with large numbers of bags hanging around the house/car/work. Having only three ACME bags in use at once forces me to empty them immediately so I can use them again. And then I don’t have to wonder what to do with the plastic bags I get from the store.

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-- Maria Blees  

ACME Workhorse Bag $6 Available from ReusableBags.com Or $18 for 4 ReusableBags.com