Barely six months after Coles and Woolworths, the two biggest supermarket chains in Australia, started carrying out the government’s ban on single-use plastic bags in late July, usage of plastic bags has dropped by 1.5 billion plastic bags or 80% in the country.
According to David Stout, the manager of industry policy at the National Retail Association of Australia, despite the initial anger of some shoppers, the drastic drop in usage has fully justified the enactment of the policy. As Woolworths Limited and Wesfarmers, the two parent companies behind Woolsworth and Coles, are Australia’s two biggest companies by revenue, the success of this policy will also serve as a strong example for smaller business to follow.
Stout pointed out that these small businesses should “engineer out” the plastic bag completely or advise shoppers to bring their own reusable bags. If customers do not have reusable bags, they could make them purchase one instead.
With the exception of New South Wales, the most populous state in Australia, the Australian government has passed legislation to phase out the usage of single-use plastic bags.
Helpful Tips To Curb Single-Use Plastic Usage
Besides single-use plastic bags, here are some helpful tips that’ll enable you to move away from single-use plastics and switch to smarter, cheaper, greener alternatives.
Cone, Not Cup. Instead of choosing a plastic spoon with a cup for a scoop of ice-cream, opting for an edible ice cream cone would be a much tastier and greener option.
Reusable Containers Over Plastic Bags. Use a neat looking, reusable sandwich container instead of using plastic bags to pack sandwiches.
Replace disposable straws and cutlery with reusable ones. Get yourself a snazzy, reusable cutlery set container and pack in your favourite chopsticks, fork, spoon and reusable straw. That’ll eliminate your need for single-use straws and cutlery in one fell swoop.
Buy in bulk. Instead of buying individual bottles of washing detergent or single packets of pasta, buy in bulk sizes to cut down on plastic packaging and cost!