Bring Your Own Shopping Bag
Plastic bags are one of the largest contributors to our earth’s plastic problem. While regulations have ensured that thinner plastic bags are used and must be levied, it still doesn’t solve the problem of these bags ending up in trees, gardens, fields, rivers and oceans. In several states of the US and areas of Europe have put bans on plastic bags. It’s a start, but it’s small, and it’d be great to continue the trend by making a conscious choice to not use plastic bags! Using reusable shopping bags means a small change in our shopping habits, but it’s a big step in the fight against plastic bags!
Many cities around the world have implemented a plastic bag fee – but some have gone as far as banning them completely. Los Angeles is the largest city in the US to have a complete ban on the bags, making paper bags available at a fee instead. In 2003, South Africa decided to charge for all plastic bags, but after an initial drop in use, bags continued to be sold, and it made very little impact. It’s up to shoppers to make a bigger change by refusing plastic bags altogether and bringing our own bags.
Bringing your own shopping bag starts off with buying a few fabric or recycled bags. They’re available in a range of sizes, materials and designs, and you can get them almost anywhere! Buying a few means you can replace all the plastic shopping bags you’ll no longer be using. Also, many bags are being made and sold to raise awareness and funds for organisations that protect our environment, so you’ll be donating to a worthy cause too. Fabric bags are great because they can be washed regularly without breaking. Buying different sizes means you’ll be able to use them for small or big loads too.
If it initially sounds like a lot of work, here are some simple tips to help you remember to take your bags with you:
Keep a few in the car so they’re always with you when you go to the store
Keep a small one in your bag just in case as a backup
Hang bags up by the front door so you’ll remember to take them as you’re leaving
If you have children, find some fun and interesting bags and get them involved in bringing the bags to the shops
When you’re done unpacking all the groceries, put the bags back in the car – that way you won’t forget them at home and they’ll always be with you
Try bringing your own bag to the shops for a week and see how easy it actually is and know you’ll be helping your environment!