In the space of a few weeks, both Coles and Woolworths have banned single use of plastic bags from their stores. Many other stores are heading in the same direction. How are people coping?

Customer ‘bag rage’ is happening more than often than it should as people try and get used to take their own bags. People who shop at Aldi have been taking their own bags since the stores opened in Australia in 2001 – no complaints there because it is what it is.

With a little bit of time and practise, BYO will become routine, so to help you with some alternatives to plastics here are a few ideas:

Fabric Bags

Most households have a few of these lying around. Whether they’re made of cloth, mesh, hessian, canvas, jute or hemp they can carry up to four times the weight of a single use plastic bag and can fold up easily for next time.

Cardboard Boxes

Remember the days when supermarkets had cardboard boxes near the registers? It was easy to grab the size you needed and use it for all of your groceries. Once home you had the choice of flattening the boxes and popping them into recycling. If you do like the idea of cardboard boxes you can either take your own and not even have to use a trolley or you can ask supermarket staff if they have any spares that you can use.

Wheelie Market Trolleys

These bad boys are so hip right now with all the age groups. Usually seen at the farmers markets on weekends, we’ve seen these slowly becoming a staple at supermarkets and shopping centres. The wheelie trolleys make carrying your groceries so easy and light. Just wheel it all the way to the car!

alternatives to plastic bags trolley


If you’re doing a smaller shop, then a good old backpack can come in handy. Load it up, throw it on your back and off you go! As a bonus, backpacks distribute the weight evenly on your back, taking the pressure off your arms.

alternatives to plastic bags backpack

Laundry Baskets

Yes, you read right! A laundry basket can carry a lot of weight and fit easily into the boot of your car. Laundry baskets are cheap to buy and you can use them over and over again.

Reusable Plastic Bags

If you are doing a spur of the moment shop and haven’t prepared, you can invest 10 – 15 cents and buy a thick reusable plastic bag. Being quite sturdy, you can use them for quite a long time.

Car Boot

For those who have forgotten to bring any of the above suggestions and don’t want to buy a reusable bag there is always the car boot. Load your groceries back into the trolley and then load them into the boot of your car. It is time consuming but just think of it as exercise for your arms!

We are naturally creatures of habit and don’t respond to change very well but this single use plastic bag ban is such a positive step forward for the environment.