The single-use plastic bag ban began rolling out across different states and territories in Australia in 2018.
A third of Australia’s litter we see in our day-to-day is an accumulation of single-use plastic items. While these bans are helpful, using and selling thicker plastic bags is still an option for retailers and consumers.
Businesses and retailers had to prepare for the ban by phasing out old plastic bag stock and planning for their replacements. Environmental options like paper bags, biodegradable bags and non-woven green bags were all great options that many businesses pivoted to.
The trusty tote bag is one of the best replacements for a single-use plastic bag.
Many materials are used to make tote bags, but most popularly are created from cotton, calico, bamboo and a non-woven polyurethane (think a green woollies bag!)
Making the switch to tote bags is highly beneficial not only for our environment but from a business and marketing perspective.
When talk started about the plastic bag ban in 2018, many people thought it would be too difficult to change people’s minds and behaviours. We, humans, are creatures of habit! The slow rollout has allowed shifts in thinking to happen, and now – it’s commonplace to see shoppers with their tote bags on their trolleys – ready to be filled with milo, veggies and muesli bars.
Recently my mum visited me from Brisbane, and we went shopping together. Queensland was one of the first states to declare their ban on plastic bags – and I was surprised to see my mum shocked at shoppers of my local IGA using the thicker “reusable” shopping bags that are still permitted. Despite being marginally better than lightweight plastic bags, these are still a part of the problem.
She whipped out a little nylon square from her purse and unravelled a shopper tote bag with a flick of her wrist.
It was an encouraging moment, especially with the common conception that older Australians are hesitant about some change, one being environmentalist change.
I noticed her fold-up tote bag had a printed logo on it, it was from her local library in Brisbane, and I asked her when she received it.
“Oh, they had some free at the library’s check-out desk; I took a handful and some for my work friends as well.”
I beamed with pride at this, one – because my mother had somehow become an eco-warrior in the years since I had lived in Melbourne, and – as someone who works in the promotional products industry, seeing the way a product and logo can be utilised, travel across the country, and whipped out for a good reason, was seeing my work and words in action!
There are so many environmental benefits of switching to tote bags that somebody can use repeatedly. And having your logo on one of these means your business or brand gets exposure where ever it’s carried.
We have all seen people walking home from the grocery shops carrying a branded tote brimming with goodies. And that same tote can be used by you to carry work gear on the train, gym gear to Pilates or a bunch of library books from your local library.