Understanding and using reusable snack bags - a deep dive

Finding a waste-free alternative to cart your snacks around in (like a reusable snack bag) isn’t always as straightforward as we might like. As the move towards a more sustainable future picks up speed, it seems so have the options.

To make it easy to see how reusable snack bags can make your life easier and greener, we’ve done a deep dive into fabric snack pouches so you can feel completely across your purchases.  

What is a reusable snack bag?

Reusable snack bags are an environmentally-friendly alternative to plastic, single-use ziplock bags and cling film, made from a combination of materials and fabrics.

This specific combination of materials ensures pouch durability, food safety, and a water-resistant, fully machine-washable product. The terms ‘snack bag’ and ‘snack pouch’ are used interchangeably here, but what these terms mean to individual manufacturers may vary.

Choosing the right reusable snack pouch manufacturer

Every manufacturer has created their own unique reusable snack bags, with varying results in terms of sewing quality, fabrics, and the choice of lining.

Many snack pouches on the market suffer quality and aesthetic issues - thoughtless design, use of improper sewing techniques, thin or low-quality lining, and cheap outer fabrics.

Rinse and Repeat’s high-quality snack bags have a durable, easy-open zipper or velcro at the top, a beautiful cotton fabric outer, and each snack pouch is lined with sturdy, washable, food-safe polyurethane laminate (PUL) fabric lining.

PUL fabric lining in snack bags

Our PUL fabric is completely food-safe, machine-washable, water resistant and breathable. PUL fabric is incredibly easy to wipe clean with a damp cloth, which is a great way to keep your snack bags clean during the work and school week, when time can be short.

BPA-free PUL fabric lining

The PUL fabric we use in our snack pouches is bisphenol-A (BPA) free. BPA is a chemical used during the manufacture of plastics and resins, for example in plastic water bottles and the lining of tin cans. BPA is known to leach into food and drinks, with controversy and fear lingering as to BPA’s possible impact on our health.

The latest scientific opinion from global health regulators is that BPA is not harmful to our health at the levels we tend to ingest. While BPA is thought to be safe in low levels, it’s important to know what you are putting your food in. We don’t like leaching of any kind, safe or not, so we have a 100 per cent chemical-free manufacturing process.

But isn’t PUL fabric plastic too?

Yes, PUL fabric is plastic too. Reducing our reliance on single-use plastics is an important step that we can all take while we figure out how to eliminate plastic waste from our lives altogether. This is a good place for reusable snack bags to make an entry, where we use just one piece of plastic in place of many.

It’s not a perfect solution, but at the moment using food-safe PUL fabric is one of just a few of our practical and available options, all of which tend to contain some form of plastic anyway. You get 500+ uses out of a washable snack pouch - that could mean 499 less plastic ziplock bags in landfill.

What sizes do reusable snack bags come in?

Rinse and Repeat has two machine-washable snack bag sizes available:

  1. Small (10 x 13 cm | 4" x 5")
  2. Medium (12 x 19 cm | 4 3/4 " x 7 1/2")

The small snack bag is ideal for more petite snacks, like crackers, mandarin segments, or a handful of popcorn. The medium snack bags are great for larger snacks, such as carrot sticks, cut apples, long crackers, sandwiches, or just extra room for more smaller snacks.

The many uses for snack bags

The uses for a reusable snack bag are almost endless for both food and non-food items. Snack pouches are ideal for most snack foods:

  • Crackers
  • Cut or whole fruit
  • Pretzels
  • Biscuits/cookies
  • Carrot sticks
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Popcorn
  • Chips/crisps
  • Chocolate or treats
  • Cut sandwiches
  • Muffins

A reusable snack bag is an excellent addition to a zero-waste lunchbox and can be used anywhere, including road trips, the movies, beach, hiking, work, or school.

Once their useful food-bearing lives are done, snack bags can be added to the family picnic set, turned into storage bags for makeup, coins, rubber bands, marbles, loose game pieces, or other small items that you want to stay together. Perfect junk drawer organisers! If the PUL lining is past its use-by date, just pull it out for a cute, zippable cotton pouch.

Why use fabric snack bags?

There are so many advantages to using reusable fabric snack bags. Let’s start with convenience, and move on to cost savings over time, your enjoyment, and importantly, the impact on the environment. All of this single-use plastic use adds up in more ways than one.

One of our zero-waste-living heroes Bea Johnson said in one of her TED Talks: ‘Every time you spend your money buying something that is disposable - you use it, then throw it away - it’s literally throwing your money away.’ Right she is.

Fabric snack bags are convenient

Having a handful of snack bags in your drawer to use anytime means you’re always in control. No worrying about shopping for ziplock bags or running out of cling film at the wrong moment.

Also notable is that snack bags don’t always have to be washed after a single use, since many snacks are dry and don’t leave residue, like crackers. You can simply wipe the PUL fabric lining with a damp cloth, leave to air-dry for a minute or two or wipe out with a dry cloth.

Snack pouches are cost-effective over the long run

If you are a cost-conscious person, you’ll be well aware of just how much you spend on cling film, ziplock bags, and plastic containers (which always seem to eventually disappear or lose a lid).

Investing in a high-quality set of snack bags, sandwich bags, and cheese wraps, for example, can save you money over the several years’ use you will get out of them. If you run a family on a tight budget, these costs can quickly turn into a burden. Consider your beautiful snack pouches as a money-saver.

You will enjoy your beautiful snack bags!

Our snack bags are extremely functional, but beautiful too. Each time you enjoy the convenience, savings and feeling of contributing to a better world, your snack bag becomes a value-add in your life.

Feeling pleasure and enjoyment out of the items in your home contributes to your well-being across a day, so instead of feeling guilty about using cling film, you can feel smug about using your snack bags.

And, last but not least, you are helping protect our environment

Not adding more plastic waste to landfill is an easy, practical step that each of us can take to care for the future of our planet. When you consider what a child’s life looks like when they’re adults, where using a single-use plastic product could be seen as a faux pas, you can see the impact we are all having right now.

Imagine if using a piece of plastic once, then throwing it in the trash, was thought of now like throwing a cigarette butt out a car window is now. Leading by example is a way to make a difference, as small as it may be right now. This might mean giving a friend a set of cheese and food wraps as a gift, to help them on their way. These food wraps come in a very elegant range - and who doesn’t want a more stylish fridge?

Now schools and whole communities are taking steps to reduce non-biodegradable plastics in landfill. Our reusable products are a small, genuine step to changing the way we do things for the better. Pat yourself on the back! This is how meaningful change happens.

Why kids love snack bags

Our reusable snack bags have a handy, easy-to-use zipper or velcro, making these cute bags perfect for little hands to open and close. Kids love choosing their own prints and parents often get in touch just to say how much their kids love having their own snack bags.

Our kids’ range is full of fun prints that are always changing. Feel free to make suggestions for future prints or to request an older print!

Why parents love snack bags

Our reusable snack pouches are a stylish, convenient, money-saving way to pack for picnics, school lunches and sports days. Our well-designed snack pouches are very practical, providing a way to safely and efficiently transport food around without a mess, fuss, or extra expense.

However you do food, you’re avoiding adding unnecessary packaging to the environment while making your life easier: win-win.

Why stylish people love our snack bags

Snack bags are not just for kids. Having classy snack bags is a statement in two major ways: you are doing your bit for the environment, but you will do so stylishly. You can be sure that your snack bags will be noticed. Having a statement piece for your blood-sugar-stabilising snacks in the day has never been easier, and you can be sure they will be talked about.

Why people with dietary disabilities love our snack bags

If you have to prepare special food every day or week due to your dietary disabilities, you know just how much effort goes into not going hungry or causing yourself pain. Part of successfully managing a dietary disability is having edible snacks at the ready.

Having snack bags for your special supplies can make your life much easier, since you can jam-pack a few snack bags to last you the work or uni week, and keep them in your desk, handbag or backpack.

Knowing you have safe snacks handy is reassuring for those of us who can’t just eat any old thing, and enjoying not eating these foods out of a plastic bag doesn’t go astray either. It’s all about keeping up morale!

Cleaning a snack pouch is super easy

Our snack pouches are ridiculously easy to clean - the crumbs just fall off. The inside layer pulls inside-out which makes giving your snack pouch a quick wipedown effortless. Wiping out the lining also halves drying time.

When they need a more thorough clean, pop your snack bags into a delicates bag to avoid snags and velcro sticking to other items, and throw them in the washing machine. Our snack pouches are completely washing-machine safe.

How long will my snack bags last?

Our entire reusable lunch range is designed to last five years plus. It’s important to follow the care instructions properly to get the longest use out of your snack pouches, since improper care can degrade the fabrics and PUL fabric.

For example, you cannot tumble dry your snack pouch, because the lining will degrade, or if it is really hot, melt. You can, however, gently iron the bags through another layer of cloth to smooth out any wrinkles in the outer layer.

We also offer a guarantee on all of our products. Your happiness is our happiness, so in the unlikely event that you have any problems with your products, simply tell us and we’ll sort it immediately.

Fresh prints of Bel-Air

We offer an ever-changing selection of fabric in the lunchware range. The outer fabric of our reusable snack bags is always 100 per cent cotton, with a high-quality PUL fabric lining. If you don’t love a print in our current series, make a request! We’re flexible and open to suggestion. Lead us astray.

Zippers or velcro for snack bags - pros and cons

Why we love snack bags with zippers

  • Easy for big and small hands to open
  • Good for quiet locations (libraries, classrooms, quiet offices)
  • Holds all types of snacks
  • Good for keeping crumbs contained when loose in a larger bag

Why we love snack bags with velcro

  • Easy for big and small hands to open
  • Great for people who lack dexterity in their hands
  • Useful for larger snacks
  • Nice and loud!
Why Rinse and Repeat snack pouches are superior

After a rigorous design process that takes the practical and aesthetic aspects of using a snack pouch into mind, all of the individual components of our washable snack bags are thoughtfully selected and carefully assembled.

Each reusable snack bag is designed to not only look gorgeous and last a long time, but be highly functional for whoever may be using it - the old, the young, the able or challenged, at work, at home, at school. We pride ourselves on our innovative, beautiful, durable products. 

If for some reason you are not loving your snack pouches or other products, we will quickly remedy the problem. You, our customer, are constantly on our minds, so if there is any way we can make your experience with Rinse and Repeat better, let us know. We are here to help you and to give you our best!