12 Sustainable Alternatives To Plastic Bags That Are Just As Easy To Use

New York's plastic bag ban goes into effect March 1, 2020. Make sure you're prepared.

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Dog and cat owners in New York state who often rely on plastic bags for backyard messes and little box cleanup will need to look for more sustainable alternatives come March 1, 2020. Even if you don't live in New York, we've pulled together a guide to all of the ways you can ditch single-use plastics from your routine.
Vincent Scherer via Getty Images
Dog and cat owners in New York state who often rely on plastic bags for backyard messes and little box cleanup will need to look for more sustainable alternatives come March 1, 2020. Even if you don't live in New York, we've pulled together a guide to all of the ways you can ditch single-use plastics from your routine.

It might be time to reconsider your plastic bag habit, especially if you live in New York.

The war on plastic is well under way across America. California and Hawaii have already enacted bans on plastic bags. California banned plastic straws in 2018.

Beginning March 1, 2020, New York state will join the growing list of U.S. states banning single use plastics in an effort to reduce the estimated 23 billion plastic bags a year New Yorkers go through.

Though there will be some exemptions to the ban (include trash bags, takeout food bags, and bags for fruit and veg), most of us will need to look to sustainable alternatives to Ziplocs and plastic bags.

That include dog and cat owners, who often rely on plastic bags for backyard messes and little box cleanup. If you’re the kind of person who relies on plastic wrap for leftovers, plastic baggies for airport travel and Ziplocs for your lunch, it might be time to consider more sustainable options that can be used more than once.

Whether it’s purchasing reusable alternatives to paper towels, or investing in an attractive compost bin for your kitchen, there are so many new and innovative ways to be more sustainable this year and beyond.

Though some of these sustainable alternatives are a bit more expensive than a box of plastic baggies, they are long-term investments that’ll save your wallet (and the world) in the long run.

Below, browse our guide to sustainable alternative to plastic bags.

Looking for the best deal before you buy? Check out HuffPost Coupons, where we have hundreds of promo codes from brands you know and trust, like Walgreens and Sorel.

Take a look:

A reusable grocery tote that tells it like it is
Emily McDowell and friends
This reusable cotton tote bag is fun, extremely sturdy and is as honest as they come. One of our editors owns this tote and can confirm that people frequently stop her on the street to ask where it's from. Grab one for yourself from Emily McDowell.
Extra large silicone bags to replace grocery store plastic bags
If you hoard a collection of old grocery plastic bags in your pantry, consider ditching the habit when they run out for these extra large silicone bags instead. They're big enough to hold full-sized produce, but can also be used in place of larger grocery bags around the house. Grab this two-pack of extra-large silicone bags on Amazon.
Reusable cotton tote bags with sleeves for bottles and jars
We're obsessed with how these organic cotton grocery bags have six interior bottle sleeves to keep tall and breakable items in place while you commute. Get a three-pack on Amazon and keep them in your car, backpack or purse for after-work grocery runs.
Frisco's planet-friendly poop bags for dogs and cats
Whether you're scooping litter, or cleaning up a backyard job, these biodegradable poop bags are a good alternative to plastic bags for dog and cat waste. Get them on Chewy.
Silicone stretchable lids to replace plastic wrap on leftover bowls.
Plastic wrap, or cling wrap, is used on a variety of foods and surfaces to keep your food fresher, longer. But instead of wrapping your food up in plastic, there are now plenty of alternatives to plastic wrap that’ll keep your food fresh and protected, like these silicone stretch lids are durable and expand to fit every sized leftover in your fridge. Get them on Amazon.
Reusable cloth produce bags
Keep your produce fresh for days with these natural and reusable muslin produce bags. They're a sustainable alternative to those single-use produce bags you grab from the grocery store. Get this set of six bag of different sizes on Amazon, and keep them tucked into your favorite reusable tote bag for grocery runs to make sure you have them on hand when you need them.
A flower bouquet tote
We all love a fresh bouquet, but perhaps not all of the plastic that comes along with a bouquet from your corner shop. Instead, bring along a reusable flower bouquet, like this design from Aplat, and you'll be cutting a tiny bit of plastic from your weekend errands. Get this Aplat bouquet tote on Etsy.
See-through reusable produce bags
If you're not into the idea of cotton produce bags, these rewashable see-through bags are another alternative. They're an Amazon best-seller and are made of a durable mesh polyester so they'll hold up to years of wash and wear. Use them to hold produce on grocery runs, to store your kiddo's favorite loose toy pieces or even to hold bulk grains like rice and quinoa. We've ever heard of readers hacking them to organize socks and undies on a vacation, in place of pricier packing cubes. Grab this 15-piece set of produce bags on Amazon in various sizes and colors.
Stasher reusable silicone bags for snacks, leftovers, lunch, travel and more
Unlike plastic bags, Stasher bags can be rewashed and reused time and time again. They're dishwasher safe, freezer-safe and can be tossed into a pot of boiling water to heat up leftovers. Our writers swear by them for storing compost in the freezer, for replacing travel-sized plastic baggies on flight and so, so much more. Get them on Amazon.
Bee's Wrap as a reusable alternative to plastic wrap and cling wrap
These bee's wax and jojoba oil-covered cloths are designed to be reused over and over. Use them to wrap cheese, half of a lemon, a crusty loaf of bread, a sandwich, or cover a bowl. They last up to a year with appropriate care (don't use hot water to wash them as it can ruin their natural wax seal). Get them on Amazon.
Linen bread bags instead of plastic or paper
Food 52
These stylish, flax linen bread bags will keep your crusty loaf of bread fresh better, and a bit longer, than paper or plastic. Get them from Food52 in two shapes: round or rectangular.
Pogi's Pet Supplies biogradable poop bags for dogs and cat litter
If you're a pet parent wondering how the heck you'll get on without plastic bags, don't worry. There are plenty of biodegradable dog bags and cat litter bags that you can feel OK about using moving forward, including these biodegradable poop bags from Pogi's Pet Supplies. Get them on Chewy.

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