12 Tips For Remembering to Bring Reusable Bags

I’m sure by now you’ve heard that Queensland is ditching plastic bags from July 1st.  We’re finally joining places like Canberra, Tasmania and Darwin who have been doing this for a long time, but I can’t help but feel a little lost! I’ve been repurposing the grocery plastic bags as small bin liners for as long as I can remember, however, I am completely supportive of the changes and the positive impact it will have on our environment!

Plastic Bag Ban – What You Need To Know

Here’s everything you need to know about the plastic bag ban, and how to prepare for it.

The plastic bag ban applies to lightweight plastic shopping bags, such as the grey or white ones you find at supermarkets. Retailers will still be able to supply “heavyweight” plastic bags, such as the thick yellow ones from JB Hi-Fi or Aldi, free or at an additional charge.

COLES & LIQUORLAND – While the ban isn’t in place in Queensland until the 1st of July, some selected Coles supermarkets have already removed plastic bags. All other Coles supermarkets and members of Coles Group, including Coles Express and Liquorland, will phase out plastic bags on July 1st. You will be able to purchase reusable plastic bags for 15c at the checkout, or reusable cooler or cotton bags for multi-purpose use. Liquorland will provide free brown kraft bottle bags, along with 6-bottle wine bags. These will be free if you are purchasing more than 5 bottles or $1.00 for less than 5 bottles.

WOOLWORTHS, BWS & BIG W – From 20th June, Woolworths is phasing out plastic bags in all Woolworths Supermarkets, along with BWS and Big W. Instead, 15c re-usable plastic bags will be available for purchase, or reusable cotton bags will be available for 99c. Woolworths is planning on reducing plastic usage overall, including the removal of plastic straws from sale and also limiting the amount of plastic packaging for fruits and vegetables.

It may sound like retailers are just being money-hungry by charging for plastic bags, but it’s not that way at all! The Queensland Government has warned that “A retailer who is found to be supplying the banned bags after 1 July 2018 may be fined up to $6,300 per offence.”

Where to buy reusable bags

You can purchase bags directly from the supermarket, I have been using these Market Bags from Jack+Jules for some time now, usually when I visit the local farmers market as they too are bag free.  I like them because they store really well in my handbag, and keeping them in there means I always have one with me!

MARKET BAGS – These reusable bags are strong, sustainable and washable. Available in a pack of 3 or 6  in a variety of colours, they come in a convenient pouch (6 pack is enough for a whole shopping trolley of groceries). The bags expand at the base for easy packing and can easily be stuffed back into their pouch for storage. These bags are extremely durable and washable, are are even able to contain minor spills (handy when that jar of olives opens before you get home).  Being eco-friendly has never been so easy or so fashionable!

  Market Bags are available online here- up to 40% off select products until 30th June!  Follow Jack+Jules on Facebook and Instagram.

PRODUCE BAGS – Perfect to use in place of disposable plastic bags when shopping for fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs and bulk goods at the supermarket and markets. The set contains 2 muslin bags and 2 net bags with drawstring closures, perfect for mixed produce.

  View this range of product and shopping bags available online here.

CANVAS BAGS – These sturdy canvas bags are constructed to fit your groceries inside without the need to use any plastic bags. The bags are roomy inside and will carry an average of 3 standard bag loads. The large tote’s have 6 internal pockets to keep things organised. A real life saver for things like milk, drinks, tubs, celery, baguettes, bottles, flowers. Thin plastic produce bags will be a thing of the past with the gorgeous organic cotton produce bags which are great for herbs, fruits, veggies, nuts, breads.

  View our range of eco-friendly products and shopping bags available online here.

12 Tips for an Easy Transition to using Reusable Bags

My local grocery store started trialling the bag free process back in April.  I have forgotten my bags on a few occasions, but I’ve now managed to train myself to remember my bags. I’ve recently learnt the last tip listed – technology is getting so clever!

  • Always start your shopping list with ‘bags’ so you remember to bring them with you when you shop.
  • Put your reusable bags back in your car or bag after you unpack your shopping so they are ready for next time. If you own two cars, keep bags in both cars.
  • Hang them somewhere convenient, like your key hook or near your front door.
  • Always keep one in your handbag for the quick duck into the supermarket.
  • Make it personal – Try sewing or knitting your own bags. Then you’ll be so eager to show them off that you won’t forget them!
  • If you remember you’ve forgotten your bags while your shopping, put your trolley aside and duck out to the car. After losing your place in line a few times you will start to remember those bags!
  • Go Aldi style, pack everything back into your trolley (bagless) and load into the bags when your back at the car. I’ve seen people do this!
  • Forget the reusable bags altogether and keep/take a wicker or laundry basket in your car boot to transfer the groceries into from the shopping trolley.
  • If you pop in at a relative or friends place on the way home and have a small amount of shopping with you that needs to be kept in the fridge or freezer, put your keys in the fridge or freezer with the goods. Great if you stay longer than expected! (From reader Chris)
  • Have different coloured bags for particular products, ie a green bag for produce, red bag for meat and another colour for household items.
  • Put a note on your dashboard, “don’t forget bags!”
  • Get ready for this one….. if you have an iPhone you have “reminders” which you can set to alert you when you “arrive” at a location. ie say “Hey Siri, remind me when I get to Woolworths (and say your suburb) to remember my shopping bags”. Go into location settings in the reminder to check that it’s the correct location.

  My Shopping List notepad is available in my shop here.

Do you have a top tip to remember to take your shopping bags with you?

Help save our planet one plastic bag at a time!

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Sally June 19, 2018 - 5:46 AM

That IPhone reminder is fantastic. Thanks Kat

Roz June 19, 2018 - 7:57 AM

Clip your shopping list to the shopping bags or attach your phone to the bags – no-one forgets their phone!

Katrina - The Organised Housewife June 20, 2018 - 8:58 AM

thats a great point! Good idea, thanks for sharing 🙂

Jenny Croxton June 19, 2018 - 1:12 PM

This Taswegian and hubby have fold-up-into-a-little-pocket bags in our cars/handbag, and have a stash of ‘green bags’ to take for the big grocery shop. I assure you, folks, it not difficult and Kat’s tips are all good ideas.
BUT: Nice of Woolies to proudly proclaim that they’ll be reducing plastic fruit and vege packaging, when they didn’t need to have introduced it in the first place!
And how does that chemist chain “in the middle of our street” get away with those useless little plastic bags they still pull out for more than one item of medication, etc? (no thanks, I already have several car-garbage bags to use up.)
GOOD IDEA: the Boomerang Bag movement, and its variations. Volunteers upcycle donated fabric pieces into simple bags which are kept at the checkout, and may be borrowed by customers who have forgotten their own.

Renee June 22, 2018 - 12:53 PM

It’s not woolies fault that things are packaged in plastic. Look around you. In all aisles of the supermarket you will find something in plastic I work for a large food distributor and everything they have is covered in plastic. Granted the food
items cannot be in anything but plastic but I got a little annoyed at people raising their fists in anger about the plastic bag. Yes it’s great. I’m by no means against it but that’s the end result. We should be getting angry at food manufacturers at the way they package their food. Single use bags? What about all the yogurt containers, straws, bottles, frozen food bags. Etc etc. aren’t they one single use? The other day the girl at the checkout gave me four plastic bags for the four items I bought. I condensed it down to one – perhaps the people at the registers should have been more educated on how many things can fit into bags. I don’t throw away my plastic bags. I reuse them over and over. I’m not having a shot at anyone or about the bags. I’m simply making a point about where the onus lies to start with.

Mavis June 20, 2018 - 8:13 AM

I have started to put my handbag in the boot when I’m going to the shops. I always remember the bags now!

Chris Ann June 23, 2018 - 5:16 PM

How about putting your car keys in your shopping bags when you have unpacked them, then put the bags away. Also, if I Pop in at a relative or friends place on the way home and have a small amount of shopping with me that needs to be kept in the fridge or freezer, I will put my keys in the fridge or freezer with the goods. Great if you stay longer than expected!

Katrina - The Organised Housewife June 25, 2018 - 10:51 AM

That is a great idea! Thank you for sharing

Farah June 29, 2018 - 5:45 PM

I think we will get used to it, humans are pretty adaptable. Dog walkers have had to learn to take some “poo bags” when them when they grab up the leash, this is no different. I keep 2 small folded up (Woolworths) bags in my handbag and have a stack more in the back of the car, inside the big portable freezer bag (Coles). As you say, losing your place in the queue a few times should speed things up after a while lol

Rebecca Graham June 30, 2018 - 9:51 PM

I rarely use bags anyway. I’m fortunate enough and still young enough to be able to carry a very large full esky from the car boot to my kitchen. I buy a lot in bulk like toilet paper, wipes and nappies, etc. Other products I use an old milk crate which won’t slide around in the back either, or large rectangular containers or boxes. However, as I get older I’ll need to revisit this, I won’t be strong forever 🙂

Robyn March 8, 2019 - 7:56 AM

I have been using reuse bags for over 10 years now
I have a silk bag for down the street shopping
At the end of the day I unpack everything and put bags back into car. We have 2 cars so some in each
I have a gripe about the 15 cent bags used by woolies – they are plastic!!! Defeats the ideal.
Any plastic bags that we have had or find around I take to the local kindy and they reuse.
All my bin liners are degradeable.
Paper straws are a must if drinking from cans
Never put your mouth near a can top unless you have sterilised it…. think video of mice in storage units….
As far as possible I don’t buy prepackaged fruit or Vegetables (usually find a bad bit in the bottom)
All containers ( bottles etc) ho to recycling depot
We don’t buy newspapers or magazines (too much trash violence and bad news and we have the internet)
Just saying

Katrina - The Organised Housewife March 8, 2019 - 10:13 AM

Sounds like you are doing wonderful things Robyn! when you really think about it, its not that hard to make the changes and in the long run it will help our earth… good on you 🙂

Josey February 11, 2021 - 12:48 PM

I also seen a man on TicTok does not use bags at all.
He has 2 clothes baskets in his car boot where he puts all his food and it is easier to bring them in when he gets home.
I just started this and it is great, makes shopping easier and less time in the shop packing (especailly at Aldi)

Katrina - The Organised Housewife February 19, 2021 - 2:54 PM

I have started using washing baskets too Josey! I love using these, as I find the fold out legs so handy. Kat x


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