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Wholesale Tote Bags: They're Not Just for Public Broadcasting Supporters Anymore
Wednesday, December 30, 2009

It's true. Alongside cheap items like bumper stickers and the higher end tapes, DVDs, and mugs, the tote bag was once known to the bulk of males, anyway, primarily as premiums used to entice listeners and viewers to pony up the funds needed to support NPR, Minnesota Public Radio, PBS, and the like. Today, however, the tote bag's appeal ranges far beyond fans of A Prairie Home Companion, Sesame Street, and Antiques Road Show. Indeed, the tote bag has become a significant weapon in the battle to conserve dwindling natural resources and preserve the environment -- all while giving a small leg up to the retail fashion business. The news for retailers is that it's time to stock up on more varieties and types of wholesale tote bags as an increasing number of environmentally conscious and active consumers will be seeking out convenient, fun, and fashionable alternatives to plastic grocery bags. Of course, that also means that bargain hunters at both the wholesale and retail level will soon have more bargain close-out deals and discounts from which to choose.

Experts estimate that an astonishing 500 billion to a trillion plastic grocery bags are used annually and that, when discarded, they can have seriously harmful effects on plants and wildlife due to the chemicals that they can leach out of them during the chemical process called photodegradation. When carelessly thrown out, they can often make their way into waterways and even the ocean, where they have been implicated in the deaths of thousands of various sea mammals, including dolphins and whales, who may accidentally consume them. For all of these reasons, it's pretty clear that using various sorts of reusable tote bags are going to become more and more popular as time passes.

Still, groceries are far from the only items that get toted, and there are numerous types of tote bags which have any number of less idealistic uses, from helping us to accomplish mundane but important tasks to useful fashion accessories. Many items can do double duty, such as beach carry totes which can also be used as laundry bags. Others are more specialized, including insulated bags designed for keeping foods cool that make an excellent, and more eco-friendly, alternative to the old fashioned brown bag. Other smaller totes are sometimes used as fun variations on the traditional purse by women of all ages. Meanwhile, messenger bags, back packs, and beach packs are also useful evergreen items.

There's also plenty of variety in tote bags from the angle of design. Tote bags can make a cultural statement. Peace symbols -- sometimes combined with American flags -- are one highly popular motif. Also popular, however, are celebrations of popular cartoon characters ranging from today's best known children's characters to hugely well known corporate icons dating back to Hollywood's golden era. Other popular motifs -- such as flowers at one end of the scale and camouflage on the other -- are also widely available. And more than one such bag has been personalized with buttons and bumper stickers of the owner's choosing, which means a tote bag can be a real conversation piece and sometimes, we're sure, an "argument piece" as well.

For as long as mankind has been developing beyond the most primitive hunter-gatherer lifestyle, we've all required what the late comedian George Carlin referred to ruefully as "a place for my stuff." As mobile creatures and consumers, needing to deal with more of that "stuff" and desiring to move it from place to place in an ecologically friendly and reliable fashion, we're going to want more and better variations on one of the humanity's oldest products For the foreseeable future, retailers are going to need to continue stocking up on wholesale tote bags of all varieties. Cheap or at higher price points, they are going to remain a hugely popular item with a growing base of consumers interested in consuming a bit less of our natural resources while also making life as convenient as possible.