Thursday, August 1, 2013

1 Simple Step to Say No to Plastic Shopping Bags (and still take out the rubbish)

We all know how bad plastic bags are for our earth.

Watch an orca calf and a dolphin experiencing the wonder of a plastic bag that could have been yours, for all you know. We all know that we should be taking reusable bags or boxes to the stores, and sometimes we even remember.

(For more motivation, check out the free film Addicted to Plastic.)

But it can be hard to turn down a free bag, and lots of us still find those plastic shopping bags useful around the house, especially as liners for messy kitchen rubbish bins. Even though I work hard to reduce my waste, so did I - until now.

One Simple Step - Attitude Adjustment

"Nom, nom....nom?"
Many foods already come in plastic packages. So now, your empty bags are not rubbish, they are rubbish bags.

In other words, don't use bags to throw away more bags.


I buy several products in bulk, so this is simple for our house. When a bag of rice, pretzels or chips is empty, I trim off the top and put it under the sink near the kitchen bin.
  • They aren't 100% clean, but they won't stay there for too long anyway.
  • They aren't the perfect size, but remember the orcas and dolphins?
Even if you don't buy in bulk, you will probably have other moderate-size grocery items you can use. Regular cereal and chip bags can hold a good amount of messy mess.

Use your imagination; it is worth it. Orcas and dolphins and turtles and seals. I even use the bags that hold toilet paper - they're not very strong but they can still hold their share for long enough to get to the big bins.
"Does this scarf look good on me?"

It Really Works

I now really really hate to see new plastic shopping bags come into the house. "What am I going to do with that? My bag holder is totally full!"

And I still have several food bags waiting under the sink to hold the kitchen mess.

Another plastic reduction tip

Never put a half-empty plastic bag in the rubbish. When you're throwing stuff away in a plastic bag, and if you're not late for a visit to the Dalai Lama, take a few extra steps around your house and find other rubbish to fill up that bag.

No Such Thing as a Free Plastic Bag

Three cheers for those stores who now charge a small fee to help you think twice about getting a plastic bag!

"Squawk! Thank You!"


  1. Great idea for folks with bins. We still have to use rubbish sacks, so my only option is to use and re-use and remember to take my shopping bags INTO the store not admire them in the back of my car. I also have a large bag of bags that can be used for transport, storage, Trade Me auctions, garden cover, etc etc. And to remember not to put the veggies into those thin small bags in the produce section. Thanks for good article!

  2. The name and code of the item can be written on the side in the usual way. This bag contains pumpkin seeds, safely secured by those few simple folds: eco friendly carrier bags

  3. Excellent post and topic. We can all do our part so easily by carrying foldable reusable bags.