Shopping centre's 'genius' plastic bag initiative to help forgetful shoppers

A plastic bag trading station has won community praise for its “genius” initiative that helps shoppers carry their items without having to fork out for new bags.

Bags were pictured hung on a large wall inside a shopping centre in Canberra with the message, “take a bag, leave a bag”, in a post shared to a Facebook group.

The woman who shared the initiative online said the effort was to combat the likely accumulation many households had of plastic bags since the single-use bag ban.

“The banning of single use plastic bags and commercialisation of the legalised ‘approved plastic’ reusable carrier means that we all have accumulated way too many grocery bags and can’t even gift them away fast enough,” she wrote.

Wall of plastic reusable bags shown inside Westfield Woden mall in Canberra as part of new initiative.
The bag wall was erected in between Coles and Woolworths. Source: Facebook

The wall pictured had been erected in between a Coles and Woolworths supermarket at Westfield Woden, about 11 kilometres from Canberra’s city centre.

Many expressed their support of the action, with some vowing to pitch it to their local shopping centres too.

“This is the best ever! I have been thinking of a way to do this! I’m going to pinch this picture and put it to my local community group,” a social media user wrote.

“Such a great idea, should be adopted by all shopping centres,” another said.

“I love this. Would have helped so much yesterday when I had to stack all the individual items back into the trolley and into my boot because I forgot my bags,” someone else wrote.

Westfield Woden shown after introducing a plastic bag trading wall inside its centre in Canberra.
The initiative was spearheaded at Woden Westfield, in Canberra. Source: Google Maps/Westfield Woden

The woman who shared the picture said while cloth bags were better for the environment, they weren’t always a practical option for busy adults.

“While people’s intentions may be great, very often fabric bags/baskets are forgotten in the car back in the car park, or rushing for the bus you’ve left them at the front door,” she wrote.

The initiative was spearheaded by centre management at Westfield Woden.

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