The days of plastic are going, going, and soon will be GONE! It will be a thing of the past if THIS generation has anything to say about it and I can imagine the generations after us will be scoffing at how silly we were to use it with almost everything we use and worse still, chuck it out after a single use, leaving it for our planet to almost never decompose. Plastic actually takes approximately 400 years or more to decompose, so that means, every bit of plastic that ever has been created, still exists today! They do eventually degrade into small pieces of plastic – microplastics – but that affects marine life of all shapes and sizes including plankton, and consequently can affect the whole marine food web, the consequences of this are still not 100% understood.
Coles and Woolworths in Australia have made drastic changes to reduce plastic by banning their single-use plastic bags used to carry consumer’s groceries. Instead, they have replaced them with reusable grocery bags which have made a MASSIVE impact to Australia’s plastic bag waste.
Australia cut a WHOPPING 80% of their plastic bag use in 3 short months, the Australian Associated Press reported, citing the National Retail Association.
This amazing change shows the power consumers can have when we all work together to make a difference. At first there was a bit of resistance from some of the public when this change was implemented, as every drastic change has, but once time had gone on and people got use to it, it has now almost become normal to bring your own reusable bag. By slowly incorporate changes like this and introducing new ideas, people catch on fast especially when they are educated about the significant impacts they are being a part of.
A lot of what consumers were confused and frustrated with about the ban on single use plastic bags was because there were so many other ways such as food packaging that were still using plastic, so it felt pointless to ditch plastic bags especially because they have been very convenient for many years to consumers.
This is a very good point, and that will need to be addressed as well in time. When companies are pushed enough from consumers via us leaving comments on their websites, or leaving reviews and feedback, then companies will adjust their practices to adhere to what we desire.
Ditching plastic bags however is a great first step in the right direction, and any change makes a difference, in fact the Australian Associated Press reported that an estimate of 1.5 billion bags have been saved from landing in landfill or our oceans, in the 3 short months that Australia has made this change.
How Can We Do More?
Another way supermarkets still use plastic is the single use plastic bags used for our fruit and veggies. There is a way we as consumers can avoid using them; and that is with Reusable Produce Bags!
When I bought them, I was so excited to share them with my family, because my mum uses a lot of those single use plastic bags, so she was excited to use them too!
Reusable Produce Bags have numerous advantages over the average plastic bag such as its mesh fabric helps your fruit and vegetables to breathe better when they are kept in your fridge, whereas plastic reduces the ability for air to pass through.
Additionally, the mesh fabric is handy if you want to wash your fruit or vegetables under the sink, as the water is able to pass through easily. What is also very exciting is that the mesh fabric itself is made from 100% Recycled Plastic Bottles! This means that, not only are you reducing your plastic usage but you are also reusing more recycled plastic bottles instead of them ending up in our oceans or in landfill. Two eco advantages in one!
Here is a video of me explaining the benefits of the Reusable Produce bags and using them in the supermarket!
I hope you enjoyed the video and are intrigued about how else you can reduce your plastic use! If you liked the produce bags or have some other ideas about how to reduce plastic in the supermarket, or heck, in LIFE, please comment below! I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic 🙂
The Earth Co.