Produce Bags & Bulk Bags

The easiest switch to avoid unnecessary plastic is to use reusable mesh produce bags. These bags are great for buying fruit, veges and bulk bin items in.

Bags: Rethink small, homemade, Rethink large, Mighty Ape.

Where to buy mesh bags in NZ:

  1. Remateralise: 3 pack $20 these mesh bags are sold package free and are made in Auckland. Perfect for produce or bulk bins. 
  2. Rethink: 3 large bags for $12.50  these bags organic cotton bags are only suitable for produce and larger items (not bulk bins). Rethink also sell multi-packs with other sizes and various other options. Some of the other bags, such as the bread bags, come plastic wrapped.
  3. Biome Eco stores: There’s a huge selection of bags available from this online Australian shop. I’ve heard the Onya ones are good.
  4. Mighty Ape: 5 large bags for $14.99 While these are the cheapest option, I ordered some from Mighty Ape back in June and was highly disappointed with the amount of packaging I received. The bags themselves come plastic wrapped as well as the extra plastic for packaging. The bags are versatile for produce and bulk bins, and are large enough for bread loaves.

You order these brands online (click the prices for websites). Remateralise can be found at local markets around Auckland. The Rethink bags are stocked at some New World & PaknSave supermarkets and various other ‘eco-conscious’ stores. 

Alternatively you can make your own! I was lucky to find the ideal mesh fabric for sale at my local op shop for $2 and was large enough to make 10 medium sized bags. I used my flatmate’s sewing machine (with a bit of trial and error) and secured them with some cord that I was given. They were super easy to make, all you need to know is how to sew a straight line. The bags make excellent gifts, with an ulterior motive of reducing plastic bags!

My homemade bags from secondhand fabric.

Check out my blog post on bulk shops in Auckland to see some of the places you can use these bags. I use these bags for all sorts of things as well as produce and bulk shopping, they are really handy for traveling.


  1. Lindsay Miles   •  

    I cannot believe it took me 20+ years to cotton on (pun not intended, honest!) to these. They are such a staple! : )

  2. Amanda Chapman   •  

    I know right! I never leave without one of these bags now

  3. Patrice Grant   •  

    I have the Onya ones. There’s 8 in a small pouch that fit in my handbag. I also have the onya shopping bags which also stuff into a tiny pouch. All are in my handbag and take up very little room.

    • Amanda Chapman   •     Author

      Hi Patrice, The onya bags look very handy. There are so many options now, I’ve been meaning to update this list!

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