When ChicoBags contacted me and asked if I wanted to do a review of their rePETe bags, I was hesitant. I wasn’t even sure what rePETe bags were so I went to their website which says “All ChicoBag rePETe products contain certified repreve fabric which is made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles”. I’m all about using reusable products, but since I’ve attempted to eliminate plastic from my life how do I actually feel about recycled plastic? This was an issue I had to make a decision on, and after lots of thought I chose to try the bags out. I’m still against buying new, unnecessary plastic, but all of those plastic water bottles have to go somewhere, and I’d rather that be a functional, reusable bag than into the ocean.
So what did I actually think about their bags*?
*Disclaimer: I have only been using these bags a little over 2 months so I can’t vouch for long term durability, but I can tell you my experience using them.
The first bag they sent me was the Vita rePETe Serenity. The simple review: This bag is functional, easy to use, and convenient to store. It’s not fancy, and there aren’t extra pockets or lots of built in features, but that’s sort of the beauty of it.
The bag comes folded into a built in pouch that makes it easy to store in your purse, car, or basically anywhere else. Once unfolded it turns into a full sized bag that can be used as any other tote. The straps fit over my shoulder comfortably, which makes this a great bag to carry with me for that unexpected grocery run that inevitably happens. It also fits a large amount for taking up such little space.
While it is easy to stuff the entire bag back into the small pouch, a big plus for the functionality of this bag, it stays looking wrinkled after it has been opened up, which isn’t aesthetically pleasing. (It should be noted that the wrinkles don’t bother me, but they are noticeable.)
The second, and last, item that they sent was a pack of the Snack Time rePETe bags. I actually came into this thinking I wasn’t going to like these. I know, I know I should keep an open mind, but really when am I ever going to need a snack bag? I already use homemade cloth bags for most of my bulk shopping, and I usually just bring lunches or snacks with me in a jar.
Turns out I really enjoy these bags. In the beginning of April I went on a trip, and instead of hoping to find bulk snacks in the airport, I brought my own snack mix along with some chocolate and almonds in two of my new snack bags. The bags have Velcro at the top and in the middle to secure it closed two ways. If the bag is full you can simply secure the top of the bag using the long Velcro strip at the edge. This works well, but it doesn’t seal it 100% so it can spill if the contents are small enough (smaller than a cashew). If the bag isn’t all the way full it can be folded down so that it is half the height and held in place using another small Velcro strip. While it doesn’t fit as much this way, it does hold items in better.
When I was traveling I filled the bags all the way up with snacks, and stuffed them into my purse to take with me on the plane. They worked fabulously and kept my snacks fresh. I have since used them while shopping in bulk and shopping for produce with good results. My favorite thing to do now is store my spinach in one in the fridge, because it seems to stay fresh much longer than when I kept it in a simple cloth bag. And as an added bonus the bags can easily be thrown in the wash to clean. I stored mushrooms in mine last week making the inside quite dirty, but the marks easily came out once I ran it through the wash.
The biggest reason I tried out these bags is because of the company’s motto, which is “to help humanity bag the single-use habit”. They recognize the problem that trash, and single use plastics in particular, poses to our environment and they are on a mission to be part of the solution rather than the current waste cycle. The company itself strives to be zero waste in all that is does. They have a composting system for all employees (complete with office chickens), and they have also done away with things like paper towels in favor of reusables. All in all they seem to just be a great company, which is something I don’t say too often. But even with all of the awesome things they do, the ultimate reason I tried their products is because the ToGo Ware company recently became a part of the ChicoBag company. This may not seem like a reason to try out their bags, but I enjoy the quality and functionality of my ToGo Ware items and I wanted to see if ChicoBag’s products had the same standards. Turns out they do.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”