How to remember your reusable shopping bags

While lugging your own bags around might seem a bit overwhelming at first, with a little planning you'll be rocking the BYO bag thing in no time

The single-use plastic bag ban is here and it's now illegal for retailers in Queensland to supply customers with singlet-style plastic bags for purchases.

Although many retailers will sell heavy duty shopping bags at the point of sale, the intention of the ban is to encourage us to seek reusable alternatives for carrying our purchases. (For full details about the ban, check out Plastic bag ban: what it means for you).

While lugging your own bags around might seem a bit overwhelming at first, with a little planning you'll be rocking the BYO bag thing in no time.

The ban covers all retail outlets including supermarkets, restaurants, take-away stores, pharmacies, butchers, bakeries and convenience stores, so it's an opportunity to get creative about how you carry purchases, regardless of where you shop.

If you're worried about forgetting your bags, we get it. That's why we've asked some seasoned reusable bag shoppers to share their tips on how to remember to BYO bags. Find some compact reusable bags that work for you and team those up with some of these simple reminders and you'll never be caught bag-less.

Here's how to remember to bring your own shopping bags:

  • Place a small sign or post-it note at the exit locations of your home such as the front door or garage to trigger your memory before leaving the house. Search for "remember your bags" on Google Images for some fun ideas.
  • Leave several bags where you keep your keys or buy a reusable folding bag with keyring attachment.
  • Most of us have a checking system when we leave home that might go something like: wallet - check, phone - check, keys - check. Try adding shopping bags to that routine: wallet, check, phone, check, keys - check, bags - check. This is also a great way to remember other BYO items such as your reusable water bottle or keep cup.
  • Find a funky, strong, folding bag to keep in your handbag. Despite their compact size when stashed, you might be surprised by how much you can stuff into one of these!
  • If you don't carry a handbag, try a folding bag that can clip to your belt or pants.
  • Leave a stash of bags suitable for weekly shopping in the boot of the car. If you';re concerned about forgetting them, put a reminder note on the dash. Don’t panic if you get to the checkout and realise you've left them in the car…just place all the items back in the trolley after scanning and pack into bags at the car. This method has worked for many Aldi shoppers for decades!
  • It's handy to include a couple of insulated bags in the boot. That way, if youâ're heading to a butcher or buying take-away lunches or salads, you';ll have somewhere cool to store them until use.
  • Keep a couple of reusable bags in the back of the ute for those last-minute missions to pick up groceries on the way home
  • Add "shopping bags" to your handwritten or electronic shopping list.
  • Always return your bags to their usual location after use so you're not caught short when out and about.
  • Finally, it helps to have more bags on hand than you think you need to cover unexpected purchases.

Keen to take your mission to reduce plastic one step further? Take the #BYO Sunshine Coast pledge to Bring Your Own bags.

Or check out our 14 tips for reducing plastic use in the kitchen.

What are your tips for remembering your shopping bags? Share your ideas below.

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