The Evolution of the Reusable Tote

whole foods six pack beer bag

It’s comparing presents time. 80P and I just got back from our long winter break, bringing back to the apartment new jackets (him), cardigans (me, although I really wish he would cave to that trend!) Converse sneakers (him), over-the-knee boots (me), and for both of us, a  Blu-Ray player (thanks 80P’s parents!)

As we took a couple hours to put everything away, I noticed a most adorable Whole Foods reusable tote bag. 80P’s mom filled it with gifts of sake. But it was no ordinary tote – there are interior dividers, morphing the bag into a reusable 6-pack container.

In fact, could there be more totes going on right now? DC charges per use of plastic bag (and gives the proceeds to the Anacostia River Protection Fund) so you will see plenty of shoppers lugging totes around to not only the farmers’ markets, but to grocery stores as well. But I’ve yet to see a clever upgrade of the tote. And as the girlfriend of a boy that is always bring a mixed-beer pack to friends’ houses, I’m excited by this development.

And while claims exist about reusable totes’ unsanitary qualities, this must be better for our lives than all that darn plastic.

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  • dad gansie January 4, 2011  

    Nice stuff thanks for leaving a tote home for us

  • Cap2Cap January 4, 2011  

    The bags are just as unsanitary as other stuff that people don’t wash (like ties for many men, or overcoats for a lot of people). Solution? Toss ’em in the laundry. Ta da!!! 6 pack holder is way cute and useful.

  • erica January 4, 2011  

    laundry works fine, just hang them to dry. even better, use *fabric* not *plastic* bags and you stop perpetuating the plastic waste AND you can put it in the dryer in case your bag gets, say, cat food ingredient juice on it. fabric ones are less bulky and heavy as well, and more portable.

  • Rachel January 4, 2011  

    I find the plastic ones lighter, actually, and *if* they’re made from recycled water bottles or something (a big if) they’re probably better for the earth than something made from cotton (bad, bad cotton).

    Though I just realized you (erica) might be talking about the hard plastic bags like you get at Trader Joe’s rather than the “fabricy” bags that are made from PET.

    I agree that we need more clever totes–have seen the six-pack one before and loved it. How about a cheap solution for produce bags? They’re like $5 each, which doesn’t make sense since regular reusable bags are a buck or less and usually free these days. I want to be able to buy broccoli without a)getting it all over the bottom of my gross shopping cart or b)wasting a plastic bag.

  • Britannia January 4, 2011  

    WF’s provides the six-bottle totes for free with the purchase of six bottles of wine, needless to say I’m the owner of at least 8 of these things. Also, Cork & Fork on 14th St has 4 bottle totes, which are just as practical.

    I never thought to wash these things, good call.

  • erica January 4, 2011  

    i have not seen recycled plastic bags lighter weight than fabric.

  • erica January 4, 2011  

    i’d like to add, that *of course* recycling something makes MORE sense than throwing it into a landfill, but to me it makes far less sense than just avoiding the plastic in the first place. there are many types of material beside cotton which are dryer safe, if you’re avoiding cotton, many of which you can find in your “give away” pile 🙂

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