This is no shocker – plastic disposable shopping bags are not cool. They’re terrible for the environment, choking up waterways and destroying sea life (just google “plastic bags in the ocean” for some imagery) or simply going to landfill.
When the “green bags” became popular at Coles and Woolworths I took the challenge seriously, bought a stash and after a few failed attempts finally got into the habit of taking them every time I went shopping (it just naturally comes with the shopping list now).
But. Those “green bags” are so named for their colour more than their environmental prowess, as it turns out they’re still made from plastic (and many people throw them out once they’re broken). If you still have these bags don’t throw them out, just make them last and try to repair any damage!
The canvas or jute style bags or totes are best (not the kind lined with plastic though!) and are pretty easy to find these days. If forking out money to buy a stash of fabric bags is not in your budget then maybe try sewing your own? Boomerang Bags is a concept where people use a simple bag pattern to make bags using (typically) scrap/rejected fabric (think old curtains, table cloths, bed covers, sheets etc) as well as scrap fabric from your sewing projects (small pieces can make excellent straps!) and then supplying them to a local shopping centre for the community to borrow (and return) when they forget to bring their own bags.
With the Western Australian Woolworths and Coles now announcing they’ll be removing the free disposable lightweight plastic shopping bags from their stores by 2018, this is the perfect time to create a new habit and start bringing your bags with you everywhere you go!