This Sunday (July 1) marks the date when all Coles, Woolworths and IGA stores have pledged to phase out single-use plastic bags if they haven’t done so already.
It’s estimated Australians currently use 20 million plastic checkout bags a day, adding up to an ugly total of 7 - 8 billion bags per year. Just 3% are recycled and around 180 million bags enter the Australian environment every year.
This makes the plastic bag phase out a fantastic win for the Australian environment, but we understand it might take some time to adapt when plastic bags are something we’ve all grown used to.
Here are some tips to help you adjust:
- Keep a set of reusable bags in your car.
- Keep your bags by the front door as a reminder to take them with you.
- Always start your shopping list with ‘reusable bags’.
- Keep reusable bags in your backpack or handbag for spontaneous shopping.
- Remind friends and family to take their reusable bag if they are off to the shops.
- Keep the notepad where you write your shopping list inside reusable bags as a reminder to take them to the shops.
- Leave a bag or two at work for when you need to pick up lunch or do some lunch-time shopping.
- Use an old cardboard box or crate instead of a bag to transport your shopping.
Some Australians are concerned they might use extra plastic in the form of bin liners and pet poop bags where they previously reused shopping bags.
Here are some tips to reduce consumption of these products:
- Simply avoid using bin liners. Put your rubbish straight into the bin and wash the bin out every few weeks or when you feel the need.
- Purchase a home composter or make your own to dispose of food waste.
- Use newspaper or other scrap paper to line bathroom bins.
- Use empty bread bags to clean up dog droppings.