8 Solutions for Replacing Supermarket Plastic Bags

4 min read
8 Solutions for Replacing Supermarket Plastic Bags

All the big supermarkets are phasing out single-use plastic bags..

This is good news for the environment. But now a solution needs to be found on how to get the groceries from the supermarket, to the Cupboard at home. I must admit that I find the shopping bags very handy. I use them as small garbage bags, and they are easy to store and re-use if needed. But I also know they aren’t great for the environment.

At the current usage rate, we as a planet are discarding over 1 TRILLION plastic bags every year. These bags take over 1000 years to degrade and are releasing chemicals, polluting the environment. And after cigarette butts, plastic bags are the most common waste found in Oceans with an estimated 40,000 pieces of plastic floating in each square mile of the ocean.

The supermarket’s “solution” is a ‘heavier’ style plastic bag that will sting us 15c per use. But what other, more sustainable alternatives to supermarket plastic bags are available? We’ll take you through them:

1. Storage Baskets or Fruit Baskets

Storage baskets are awesome alternatives tbh since they are super handy and can carry a lot. If I have some old storage boxes from my home office and I want to replace them with new ones, I put the old ones in the back of the car and place my shopping directly into those storage baskets. They are hardy and really easy to clean.

bigstock Mid section of woman holding f 208649935 | Stay at Home

2. Cardboard Boxes

cardboard boxes with groceries | Stay at Home Mum

Bunnings and IGA have provided the left-over cardboard boxes from products available for customers to use to take their purchases home.  And this is a great idea – however, grocery shopping will require far more cardboard boxes than are available. Make sure you check out the front of the Supermarket to see if they have a cardboard box stash – ready for you to help yourself.

So if you can grab them, fantastic. Re-using cardboard boxes is a great idea but note that they don’t have a long life.

3. Picnic Hamper

1527244534 shutterstock 433997617 resized | Stay at Home

Another personal favourite of mine is the Picnic Hamper. I’ve converted mine into a shopping container! They’re the best because they can be cleaned easily, are durable and mines come with handles – so make sure to buy a hamper with a handle so you can easily lift it up.

4. Take Your Own Containers to the Supermarket

plastic containers | Stay at Home Mum

It is perfectly acceptable to take your own reusable containers from home.  The Deli sections at most supermarkets are only too happy to seal your goods in your containers and place their stickers on the top to be processed at the checkout. This can be time-consuming and cumbersome, though and you still need to somehow carry all of those containers from the supermarket to the car. If you have these and an old storage basket omg game changer!

5. Reuseable Shopping Bag

These are currently the most popular option as a replacement for the old fashioned plastic bag. They come in canvas, hemp, jute, or polypropylene. These bags are relatively cheap, lightweight and heavy duty.  They are recyclable but are often not biodegradable. These bags are good to carry multiple items and can handle heavy items. Make sure to clean it up well since when these aren’t washed often, they can be carriers of bacteria.

canvas shopping bag | Stay at Home Mum


6. Paper Grocery Bags

paper grocery bags | Stay at Home Mum

Paper Grocery Bags are the old fashioned way we carried shopping home – and if you can find them, they are extremely handy and surprisingly strong. Paper bags decompose faster and more efficiently than plastic and are quite often recycled far more than plastic.

7. Mesh Drawstring Bags

mesh shopping bags | Stay at Home Mum


Mesh Drawstring Bags are cheap to buy and very handy to carry around groceries, particularly fruit and vegetables.  They also don’t take up a lot of room, so you can cram quite a few drawstring bags into a handbag so they are on hand as needed.

BUT if you have wet items, they can leak right through the bag so keep that in mind.

8. DIY Tote Bag (made from old jeans)

Now, I’m adding this here because some of my mum friends swear to use DIY denim bags when going grocery shopping and it has lasted them for months. It’s a really great option if you think about it. Sturdy, stylish ans easy to wash! This one’s for those of you who love doing things DIY. Try it out and let us know how it went for you.

Whatever option you decide to use, finding an alternative to the single-use plastic bag is a good one. Just be mindful of the environment and uses – and remember to take them with you to the supermarket!

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8 Solutions for Replacing Supermarket Plastic Bags

About Author

Jody Allen

Jody is the founder and essence of Stay at Home Mum. An insatiable appetite for reading from a very young age had Jody harbouring dreams of being a pu...Read Moreblished author since primary school. That deep-seeded need to write found its way to the public eye in 2011 with the launch of SAHM. Fast forward 4 years and a few thousand articles Jody has fulfilled her dream of being published in print. With the 2014 launch of Once a Month Cooking and 2015's Live Well on Less, thanks to Penguin Random House, Jody shows no signs of slowing down. The master of true native content, Jody lives and experiences first hand every word of advertorial she pens. Mum to two magnificent boys and wife to her beloved Brendan; Jody's voice is a sure fire winner when you need to talk to Mums. Read Less

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