Monday, 11 February 2013

The Slim Your Bin, Onya Weigh bag, fab giveaway!

In week 2 of participating in Wiltshire Wildlife Trust's Slim Your Bin project, I noted that one way in which we could reduce the excess packaging going into our bin would be to make or get hold of some reusable produce bags.


Wiltshire Wiltshire Trust provided a link to the company Onya, for just such a thing. I have already used their neat little foldaway shopping bags, but didn't know about all the other things they produce, including the 'Onya Weigh' bags. I got in touch with Onya and the generous Dan has kindly provided me with a set to review and a set to give away, as well as also providing a discount code for any of you who want to shop at the Onya website (see below for details). Thank you Dan!

Onya have been making plastic bag alternatives since 2004, and if you read the Onya story on their webiste, you'll see that they try to minimise the company's carbon footprint as much as possible, from the packaging and postal service that they use to sustainable working practices such as home offices (no pollution from driving to work!)

One of the tulle 'Weigh' bags. 

The reviewing part of the deal is really a no-brainer. I wouldn't choose to review something that wasn't in keeping with the ethos of this blog, or that I thought was not going to be useful to you,  and I thope you'll agree that there's nothing not to like about these bags! There are 5 strong tulle bags in a tiny pouch, which are so light that they won't affect the scales when you come to weigh your produce. All Onya bags are made from rPET material (recycled bottles).

Pouch attached to my keys!

They have a handy clippy thing to clip to your bag or keys so that they are 'always handy, always Onya' !

As well as using them when you're out shopping, the leaflet that comes with the bags says they can be used to wash your veg in, or to store it in the fridge (the tulle bags let your produce breathe so it lasts longer). And I think I read somewhere that you could even use them in place of a jam muslin. I can't substantiate those claims because having the bags is a bit like having a new toy - at the moment I want to keep them all nice and white and shiny! 

When the bags arrived, I was like Eeyore on his birthday with his burst balloon from Piglet, and his empty honey jar from Pooh. I got the bags out of the pouch. I put them in again. I got them out. I put them in again. I thought it might be like putting a sleeping bag back in its stuff sack; there's always a bit of the sleeping bag that doesn't want to squish back in, but I can happily report that all five Onya weigh bags scrunch back in their pouch easily.

After a lot of Onya bag admiring in the comfort of my own dining room, the next test was to take them shopping.

Onya bagged broccoli commands
the respect of Coop checkout staff!

The lady at the checkout in our Coop was bemused for a moment, "Are those your own bags?" quickly followed by, "I'm well impressed!". In fact the two checkout staff on the tills and the customer in front of me were all in awe of the Onya Weigh bags. So many people use reusable shopping bags and 'bags for life' that surely it's only a small cognitive leap to see the sense in using alternatives to thin plastic bags.

I hope that in using the Onya bags, I, and the lucky winner of the giveaway set can help others to think about making the switch.

If you would like to be in with a chance to win a set of Onya Weigh bags (in a red pouch), just leave a comment below by Friday 7pm GMT when I will draw a winner at random. They are so dinky and light that I'm happy to post the bags anywhere!

Please do check out the Onya website, where you can see the full range of their products which include both the original plastic bag alternative and its big sister, (which is the size of a pillowcase), the handy backpack in a pouch, the pram bag, a sandwich wrap, biodegradable dog poo bags, and the H2Onya - a stainless steel, bisphenol A free bottle with a range of tops. If you want to buy anything then stick the code 'eco1' into the shopping cart, and you will get a 15% discount.


  1. I was bought a small Onya shopping bag as a leaving present many years ago. It, too, packs up into it's own little carry bag with a carabiner so I can keep it onya. It's been in the washing machine many times and is still going strong!

  2. I'd love to win the bags...the plastic weigh bags at supermarkets do make me wish someone would find an alternative...and now someone has!

  3. When I'm buying loose fruit & veg at the supermarket I try and use the paper mushroom bags for everything.

  4. These look very much like some of the bags I have to wash dedicates in. Maybe I should repurpose them as I don't have many dedicates.

  5. These look brilliant! A simple answer to a weekly problem

  6. These look great - I avoid getting plastic bags for big things like tomatoes, potatoes etc and just buy them loose, but some things (like salad greens) you do need to get a bag for. I wonder if anything like this is available in Australia.

  7. Wow these bags look fantastic! What a great prize thank you xx

  8. When I was a student in London in the 1970's, plastic bags cost a few 'p' so I used a reusable bag and liked it a lot so when I came back to New Brunswick, Canada I continued using reusable bags - I was alone in a world of plastic. They called me the 'bag lady'. Cashiers hated to see me coming as I always handed them my bags to fill. They couldn't use their handy plastic bags at the ready in their stands and they moaned and sighed. Some ignored my bags and put stuff in the plastic ones. I repacked the items in my bags in front of them - slowing down the line. Others told me my bags were unhygienic but I told them they were well washed. In department stores, security would sometimes even check my reusable bags when I left their stores - just in case I popped something in them. I continued my fight against plastics nonetheless. Finally about 10 years ago, grocery stores finally introduced reusable bags - but attempts by one chain to charge for plastic bags failed. Perhaps 50% of us now use reusable bags so I am no longer alone. I did, as everyone else, however, use the small veggie plastic bags in stores for small bulk produce and I am 'over the moon' to see small tulle bags available for this purpose now as well! Brilliant!

  9. What a good idea - is it too early to think of stocking fillers??

  10. What a fabulous idea - always up for items like this - too much waste in this world! X

  11. I have an Onya shopping bag. It's great! I'm not going to wait to win your generous give-away - I'm going to visit the Onya website now!

  12. I converted the mother in law to onya 'carrier bags'. She keeps one in her handbag. I am rarely seen without my onya water bottle either. In fact i have 'a few', my 2 year old even has her own! She calls it her baby bottle because it is just the right size for her and great because theres no plastic to leach nasties into the water. Would love to give these a go. I try not to bag fruit and veg up unless i really have to (say mushrooms or cherries) and a set of these would mean i could pretty much not use any plastic bags! Plus happy to support onya. Their products last forever and there service is quick and easy.

  13. A very interesting post. I've not heard of onya but sounds like a good idea so will visit their web site.
    Thank you.

  14. They are really good arn't they :-)

    Our co op has compostable ( green) carrier bags now - am so please and when they first got them in the lovely checkout staff were all telling me about them because they know I am "the composting lady"

    They are really very strong and make great caddy liners after re use a few times.

    I would love the chance to win an Onya bag though please - I lost my last one - someone borrowed it and it never came back :-)

  15. The best thing about them are their colours! Their lovely and bright which makes people notice them and asked questions. And one I saw has a clip to attach the onya bag, when packed up, to another bag. Which is perfect for someone as forgetful as me. I so often leave the house to go shopping forgetting a reusable bag. What then tends to happen is I try and stuff all the shopping in my handbag / hands and look slightly silly walking down the road ;) Do hope I am in with a chance with this draw - I'd love a set!

  16. Lovely! Thanks for the chance.

    lovelydomesticdiva (at) gmail (dot) com

  17. Only just found you... and them! Hope my entry isn't too late?!!!

    1. This giveaway ran in February but I will be running it again soon!

  18. I have already used their neat little foldaway shopping bags, but didn't know about all the other things they produce, including the 'Onya Weigh' bags. customized carrier bags

  19. Great post and really nice information, thanks for sharing this one.

  20. Nice blog, really happy to visit your blog. Thanks for sharing.

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