When buying bulk foods, plenty of plastics are used to wrap and packaged the bulk foods. If you want to contribute to the effort to reduce waste in the environment, you can make your own reusable bulk food bags using fabrics that are washable and reusable. Here’s how.
- Cut. Although there are plenty of other fabrics that you can use, Rip Stop is one of the ideal fabrics for making bulk food bags, since these fabrics are very strong and highly useful for bags. These are made using nylon, and can be purchased in most textile shops. Decide on the number f reusable bulk food bags that you need, and purchase the corresponding amount of Rip Stop. Next, take a tailor’s chalk or other washable markers and use it to draw the outlines of the square or rectangular bag. Make sure that you add in an inch or so on the perimeter of the shape, which will be where you stitch the bag. Cut the outline using shears.
- Sew. Use tape or pins to secure the two pieces of rip stop on the sewing machine, unless you are able to manage the very slippery surface of the rip stop yourself. From the edges of the fabric, you will need to run a straight stitch that is at least half an inch form the edges of the fabric. Do this for the three sides of the two layers of rip stop, until you have a square bag that has one opening.
- Reverse. To hide the raw edges, you will need to reverse the rip stop so that the stitches will be hidden from view. If you want to give the bag a finished appearance, you can add in hemming to the edges of the bag. There are also some settings in most sewing machines that will allow you to make fancier stitches for decorative purposes. But since the bulk food bags will be used mainly to store and carry food, decorations are not necessary for most people.
- Finishing touches. As a finishing touch, you can fold the two remaining flaps on the open end of the bag. These two flaps are from the two parts of the fabric that have been sewn together, assuming that you have left an inch or so of unstitched seams. Fold these flaps in half separately and sew it close with a running stitch. You will have enough space in the fold for you to insert a cord which you can use to close the bulk food bag. You can also attach cords on the end of the bag so that the bags can be hung when not in use.
Making these reusable bulk food bags will only take you a few minutes, but each bag can serve you well for months and even years. Not only will you minimize the impact of plastic use in the environment but you will also save your household from dozens of unused plastic bags after each grocery shopping session.