There’s no doubt most people want to do the right thing and avoid single-use plastics when doing the weekly grocery shop. Taking your own reusable bag when heading to the supermarket or farmers market can help reduce unnecessary plastic waste significantly, however, the stumbling block seems to be remembering to take the reusable bag along when stepping out to do the shopping.


To avoid paying (once again) for a 15c plastic bag at the self-checkout, there are a few simple, fail-safe things you can put into practice to ensure you always have a reusable bag on hand when you need it.


  1. Pack a bag within your handbag or backpack
    A small bag, wrapped tightly and packed away at the bottom of your everyday handbag or backpack will mean you’ll always have a spare reusable bag available. You’ll probably never even notice it’s there until the moment you need it! A hidden bag is an extremely handy thing to have readily accessible as you never know when you’ll need to pop into the store to pick up a few items for dinner.
  2. Keep a bag in the car
    Pack a few reusable bags snuggly in the seat pockets behind the driver and passenger chairs, tuck one or two in the holding cavity in the side doors or keep a few in the back of the car. These bags will be incredibly useful in an array of situations (not only for groceries). Just remember to replenish your stock of bags back into the hidey-holes in the car after each use.
  3. Hang a bag on the key hook at home
    Your keys are the one thing you’d never leave the house without, so it makes sense to also hang your reusable bag next to them or even along with them on a hook by the front door. As you go to leave the house, make it another essential thing to grab when you do your mental checklist of, “Keys, wallet, phone… reusable bag”.
  4. Write it on the top of your shopping list
    Whether it’s a traditional handwritten checklist on paper or listed within the notes section of your phone, make sure the first item on the agenda is ‘Reusable Bag’. This is a visual reminder to take a bag along with you when you go to get those bananas, bread, eggs, etc.
  5. Set a reminder on your phone on shopping days
    This is one for those creatures of habit who tackle the bulk of their grocery shopping on the same day each week. If grocery shopping is something you do every Sunday afternoon, then set a reoccurring reminder in your phone’s calendar to take your reusable bags with you.


There you have it. Five very simple, easy-to-implement actions that will go a long way to stemming your unnecessary consumption of single-use plastic bags. Give them a try and see which approach works best for you.