A string bag is a netted open bag which can be used for a variety of things, although many people use string bags to carry groceries. Many fans of reusable bags use string bags because they are sturdy and versatile. String bags are often available for sale at grocery stores and natural foods markets, for people who want to use them to carry their goods home. They can also be ordered through retailers who provide ecologically minded products.
String bags can be knitted or woven; many knitters devise their own string bag patterns, sometimes reusing strips of fabric, scrap yarn, or even plastic bags which are turned into a form of yarn. In any case, the design of the bag is intended to allow it to compact down to a very small size so that it can easily be carried around. When loaded, however, string bags can expand to accommodate a reasonable amount of heavy goods.
Reusable bags are an excellent alternative to the paper and plastic bags provided at many stores, because they can yield years of use when well cared for, rather than a single throwaway use. A growing concern about environmental issues in the late 1990s led to a proliferation of string bags. In Europe, many shoppers of all ages and classes carry string bags to the market, and the trend has spread to other continents as well.
There are other types of reusable bags; many companies make cloth bags, for example, or bags which are fabricated from recycled materials like plastic bottles. When searching for a string bag, make sure to find out which is deep; some string bags are very shallow, and objects tend to fall out as a result. Also look for a string bag which is made from sturdy materials; heavy duty cotton or hemp, for example. Many are made from recycled materials, and if this is important to you, you should ask or read the label carefully.
A fabric string bag is usually quite easy to care for. If it becomes soiled, it can be washed; stick the string bag in a pillowcase so that it will not hang up on the agitator of the washing machine, and wash it with similar colors in case the dye bleeds. Hang the string bag up when it's not in use, as keeping it tightly compressed can cause it to become misshapen. When you use your string bag, ask the staff at the store about a bag credit, as many stores offer a small rebate to shoppers who bring their own bags.