Woman's 'genius' plastic bag alternative for carrying groceries

As consumers get used to the idea of transporting their groceries without single-use plastic bags, one Western Australian woman has taken to Facebook to share what has been described as a “genius” hack.

Ashleigh Hair posted a picture on the Kmart Mums Australia Facebook group showing how she now moves her shopping. 

“With the plastic ban looming here in WA I now keep one of the $5 Kmart flexible tubs in my boot,” she wrote.

“I find it a lot quicker and easier for my shopping!”

Ms Hair told Yahoo7 this was about finding a solution that was hygienic and simple. 

“Having worked in hospitals previously, I have a slight phobia of fabric bags and the bacteria they can breed. I know my limitations, and one of them is remembering to wash my reusable bags!” she said.

“The plastic tub, while I understand that it isn’t as environmentally friendly as say a cardboard box- it is easier for me to clean, and to remember to put into the car!”

Social media users have applauded the woman’s plastic bag alternative. Source: Kmart Mums Australia/ Facebook

Ms Hair explained to another Facebook user she leaves the tub in the trolley and puts her groceries inside as she’s shopping. 

Plenty of people were quick to applaud her idea.

“Um.. you’re my new hero!!” one woman wrote.

“Great idea!!! I love this post so much!! I was thinking cardboard boxes but this is way better,” said another. 

One woman even suggested shopping with more than one.

“Maybe take a second one stacked up so you can have an empty one ready to go at the packing end,” she said.

Ms Hair’s post has inspired others to share their own creative solutions.

“Washing basket works well too , just got to remember to put the damn things back in the car lol,” said one woman.

“I do exactly the same thing. Except I reuse a large cardboard fruit box (it’s free and 100% biodegradable – not plastic! and a couple of large hessian bags,” said another.

However, not everyone was a fan. A few people said it wouldn’t be big enough for their shops or too heavy once loaded.

“I wouldn’t be able to lift it with all the shopping in!” said one person. 

“Using these isn’t saving on plastic either though, in fact it’s contributing even worse to the problem,” another person argued. “The amount of times you’d have to use those tubs to actually make them better than using a plastic bag would be far more than the life of that tub would provide.”

How will you be transporting your groceries from now on? Source: AAP

Woolworths phased out single-use bags last week and Coles stores will follow suit on July 1. 

“It may take a while for shoppers to form new habits, but now is the time to put the post-it note on the fridge or leave your green bags in the car boot,” a Woolworths spokesperson said earlier this month. 

It might be a case of trial and error for some shoppers, but Ms Hair’s post has certainly got people starting to think outside the box – or plastic bag.