From July 1st all retailers including grocery stores like Coles and Woolworths will be enforcing the single-use lightweight plastic bag ban. The Queensland and Western Australia governments are implementing this ban in an effort to reduce plastic bag waste getting into waterways and the marine environment.
This ban will affect the majority of the population of Queensland and Western Australia, with 84% of shoppers reportedly taking single-use bags always or most of the time.
Here’s a quick guide on what will and will not be banned:
Which bags will be banned?
- Single-use plastic bags
- Degradable and biodegradable lightweight plastic shopping bags
Which bags will not be banned?
- Garbage bags
- Bin liners
- Bags for food such as fruit and vegetables
- Nappy bags
- Dog poo bags
- Department store plastic bags
But if you find yourself at the shops without any reusable bags on hand, here are some DIY bags you can make from everyday clothing items you may have on you.
Method 1: The Scarf
If fashionable scarves are a staple in your wardrobe and you are in need of a shoulder bag, have no fear.
- Place the scarf flat on a surface face up
- Fold the scarf together lengthwise
- Take both ends and tie them together twice
Method 2: The Singlet
If you don’t mind stripping off in public, follow these simple steps to create your quick and easy singlet bag!
- Take the bottom two corners of the singlet and tie them together securely
- Turn the singlet inside out
- Use the sleeves as the handle
Method 3: The Hoodie
For the colder months, a standard hoodie can be repurposed into a satchel (note: how stylish the satchel will look will depend on your taste in hoodies).
- Place the hoodie down on a flat surface face up.
- Gently place your groceries in the centre of the hoodie
- Fold the bottom end of the hoodie over the groceries and tuck in all the loose material
- Pull the hood down over the items and tuck it in underneath
- Turn the hoodie over and tie the sleeves together firmly to create the strap
If arts and crafts are not your forte, maybe try some of these more practical solutions to the plastic ban:
- Purchase gift bags
- Use produce bags
- Find a cardboard box
- Use a basket/trolley and return it once you have loaded your car
- Spend the 15c on a reusable bag for purchase
- Start a petition for drive through grocery shops
Or just invest in some of the more environmentally friendly reusable bags to bring with you when you shop. Keeping one or two spare bags in the boot of your car will ensure you never have to resort to using your singlet as a makeshift bag.
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