No more plastic shopping bags

28 August 2013
Recently, The Guardian ran an article about single-use plastic bags and the proposal that people will be charged for them in New York City. Ireland started charging in 2002 and have subsequently reduced the use of plastic bags by 90 percent. Here in Australia, we have towns and cities where individual shops and supermarkets charge if you don't bring your own bags and have to use plastic. In my local area, there are a few shops that have been doing this for a few years now.

I congratulate all those who are taking a stand against this destructive use of plastic. Our oceans are filling with plastic garbage that is killing marine life and birds, our land fill dumps are filling with these bags that take hundreds and hundreds of years to decompose. I cringe when I see plastic bags blowing along the streets and on the beaches.  It shames us all.

What is so difficult about taking your own bags with you when you shop? Whether it is a custom made bag or one you make yourself, you need to have those bags with you when you shop, and you need to use them. I have a very small handbag - only one - and in it I have a large shopping bag, an envirosax, that rolls up to almost nothing. I can easily store it in my handbag and on the rare occasion when I need a shopping bag, I always have one with me. It's not difficult.

We also have hessian shopping totes, some homemade bags and those ghastly green shopping bags that I refuse to buy now. We have our collection of shopping bags stored in the boot of the car so when we're out shopping, the bags are already there with us. The main problem now is that many shop assistants are so used to giving out plastic bags, you have you have yours ready so they don't half pack a bag and have to unpack it - with huffing sounds and rolling eyes. :- )

This is one small thing we can all do, quite easily, that will make a difference in our own neighbourhoods.  These bags are often blown away in the wind and some of them end up in the oceans where they are killing turtles, dolphins, sharks, whales and fish. Please do your part in reducing the number of bags in circulation. We don't need them. 

Robyn has a wonderful tutorial with step by step instructions at the forum on how to make a very strong tote bag from an old pair of jeans.  And here is a tutorial for how to make a shopping tote bag in under and hour.  How do you carry your grocery shopping home?