Are Canvas Bags Helpful or Harmful to the Environment

People today are more environmentally conscious than ever. More consumers are always looking for eco-friendly alternatives for the products they purchase or services they acquire. For this reason, more companies are also putting more effort into meeting its growing demand. One of the most popular eco-friendly moves is using canvas bags as an alternative to plastic bags. 

Bags made from canvas fabric were once hailed to be the solution to reduce the trash and pollution caused by single-use plastic bags. However, like any other eco-friendly alternatives presented to the world, people still see this as a form of greenwashing. Are canvas bags really the non-polluting and eco-friendly alternative? This article will look closely into that.

Why Is a Canvas Bag Considered Eco-Friendly?

Canvas bags are considered eco-friendly because they are made from natural materials like cotton and linen. They are also a more sustainable option because they can be used multiple times, much more than the usual plastic bag’s capacity. 

When the bags get dirty or have holes, people can rewash or patch them up to look new again. Once they are too worn out and thrown out, they would eventually decompose. However, it will take a long while because of the material's intense durability. 

Given this information, why are people still calling it not environmentally friendly?

The Downsides of Canvas Bags

Some experts believe that the whole process of producing the canvas fabric is what makes it a not-so environmentally friendly option. They are green in principle, but how they are produced and how people use them do not fit many people’s definition of “eco-friendly.” 

An eco-friendly product should be an ecologically sound solution in all aspects. Meanwhile, canvas bags require a significant amount of resources during production and distribution. With that being said, are canvas bags still considered good for the environment?

The Answer

There is only one answer to the question that has been bothering the world for many years now: it depends on the person producing, using, and consuming them.

A canvas bag indeed has imperfections, just like how people see the downsides of using bamboo straws or metal straws instead of plastic straws. Still, canvas bags also have their good points that the world can benefit from. The good news is that manufacturers and producers are not stopping until they find the most desirable way to create a better choice than what the world currently has. 

As of writing, there are already some existing initiatives that aim to turn cotton into an actual eco-friendly canvas fabric. One example is how the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) partnered with retailers to help cotton farmers make their crops more eco-friendly while reducing their resources in production. More initiatives are expected to take place until the world comes up with the most reasonable, green, and friendly solution. 


Single-use plastic is the real perpetrator that needs a better alternative. Plastic waste is what greatly affects marine life and the status of other natural resources. While canvas bags may not be perfect, they are an alternative that’s steps above the traditional plastic bag. 

Many different products made from canvas cotton are still being produced today. There are canvas backpacks and canvas handbags of various kinds for people to choose from. If you can commit to using them until they are worn out, then you make the most out of the resources made to produce them. They served their purpose, and you did not put their creation to waste. 

Only purchase canvas bags in quality workmanship. That ensures that you get to use them for a long time. At Troop London, we create exclusive, organic, and understated bags that can withstand the elements of today's busy, changing environment. Start browsing our collection and find the right canvas handbag or backpack in London that you will be using for a long time.