About five years ago, I moved to a Delightful European Country, and was surprised to discover that my local supermarket intended to charge me for plastic grocery bags. They were very nice, study, thick plastic bags, but perhaps not quite worth the regular fee. I popped next door to a bag shop and bought some reusable bags – you know the ones: nylon bag, stuffs in a little pouch, tucks in your handbag.
That purchase was not my wisest. I promptly lost the little pouches, so the bags ended up overtaking my handbag. The bags were on the small side, but the straps were skinny, so even their little load dug into my shoulders for the few hundred metres walk to my Tiny European Apartment. It took me a few months, but I eventually upgraded to Envirosax.
I’ll admit, I was first drawn to Envirosax because they’re just so pretty. They come in all sorts of beautiful patterns. The fact that they’re definitely a Cool Tool is seriously just a nice bonus.
Envirosax are nice and large (the manufacturers claim they hold two plastic bags worth, and my experience backs this up) but fold up nice and small. The straps are thick, so they’re very comfortable to use for long periods. They’re corralled by an attached strap, which can’t be lost like a separate pouch (even if neatly folding and strapping them can be a little tiresome). They’re very sturdy and very strong – I load them up regularly and even my five year old ones still look pristine. They’re also really pretty.
I’ve subsequently moved on to A Land of Free Grocery Bags, but I still swear by Envirosax. I always have two tucked in my handbag, which helps me decline plastic bags at most stores. (Yes, environment-schmironment, but mostly it’s because my plastic bag cupboard is perpetually overflowing.) I always have them with me when I travel – they’re great for a beach trip, bakery run, unexpected suitcase blow-out or emergency carry-on. I’ve probably given a dozen as gifts. And they’re really pretty.
[Note: Like Ilana, I have a few five-year old Envirosax bags that have held up extremely well even while hauling heavy loads from the grocery store. These bags along with the previously reviewed IKEA totes comprise most of my reusable stuff carriers.--OH]