It was only a week or two after the plastic shopping bag ban came out that news stories started to appear about how to avoid injuries from over-filling reusable shopping bags. It might seem like an obvious thing not to do, but when you hand the bag over at the checkout, unless you ask them not to overfill it and watch what goes in, there's a reasonable chance the bag is going to be heavier than you want it to be.
It is for this reason that we LOVE the new Original Size shopping bags from Chico Bag. They are approx the same size as the old plastic bags in the t-shirt style that the supermarkets used to hand out. Most reusable bags are close to double that size.
They are perfectly sized for kids (as you can see above) and if you're a short adult (like me) if you're around 5 foot tall (or even a tad shorter), you can fill these and hold them down by your side without the bag dragging on the ground. Most of the bags with longer handles that go over the shoulder and take around 20kg will drag on the ground for a short person and your only choice is to carry them over your shoulder, which isn't always good for your posture either.
They measure 43cm wide x 36cm tall (plus another 18cm for the handles) and you can carry 11kg in one. They come in a small pouch that has a carabiner so it can hang off your keys or your belt or anywhere else you want to clip it on. The pouch is small enough to be compact (8 x 10cm) but roomy enough that you don't have to be a magician to get it stuffed back in to the pouch. The pouch is attached to the inside of the bag so you'll never lose it.
For those who do want that extra room and aren't height challenged like I am, the Vita is the full size bag. It has handles suitable for carrying over your shoulder if you choose, it's 48cm wide x 33cm tall plus the height of the handles. The pouch size is 8 x 13cm so it's a little larger and may be just a tad too bulky to have on your car keys, but that's a personal choice.
Both sizes are made from a durable woven polyester. They feel a little stiff when you first purchase them, but after a few uses and washes, they soften up nicely. We recommend choosing something from our natural cleaning products range to wash them, in cold water and then hang to dry. Any of our laundry liquids or powders will be fine, or even the soap nuts if you want to go with a plastic free laundry. Soap nuts have no plastic packaging, come in a canvas bag and can be placed in your compost once they stop foaming up (usually after around 5 loads of laundry) The heat from a hot wash or the dryer may shrink them a little.