It is so fascinating to observe and evaluate your own environment-friendly practices when a forced change is on its way. I am talking about the imminent plastic shopping bag ban on all single use plastic and even biodegradable single use plastic shopping bags taking place on 1st July in Queensland. Now is the time to transition (if you haven’t already done so) to going more eco-friendly choices at the supermarket, in your kitchen and even on your coffee run. Just start with a few eco-friendly changes and grow from there. Every small change someone makes, will make a difference to waste and the environment.
Single use plastics are plastics that are used only once before they are thrown away or recycled. Common items include plastic shopping bags, plastic wrap, snap-lock bags, water bottles, disposable cutlery, straws and coffee cups. Over 900 million single-use plastic shopping bags are being used in Queensland, (8 billion across the nation) every year. It is estimated that up to 16 million single use plastic shopping bags end up as litter and endanger marine and wildlife. Starting to make some eco-friendly changes at your shop and in your kitchen will make a difference to the environment and even your budget.
Reusable grocery bags are many and varied to suit all purposes and sizes, including woven polypropylene bags, tote bags, hessian bags and ‘cold/freezer’ bags. There are new trolley bags that are colour-coded and hang within your trolley, making it easy to pack your groceries by type at the checkout and then simply load into your car. There are even reusable produce bags (that are actually recycled from plastic bottles) and bread bags available for your market and fresh produce items.
Re-usable water bottles and food containers are an absolute must for every member of your household, with new insulated stainless steel varieties being something of a game-changer for on-the-go family members. Stainless steel lunchboxes, bento boxes and snack boxes with dividers mean there is no need for plastic wrap.
On trend are beeswax food wraps that are infused cotton food wraps used to wrap cheese or cut vegetables, and act as a seal over a bowl or dish. Whilst a little expensive, they are re-usable, washable and very versatile in the kitchen. Greaseproof paper, eco-friendly snack and sandwich bags are also available.
For the café scene, hop on the coffee cart with your barista standard reusable cup (eg Keep Cup) or if you are after a schmancy ceramic takeaway coffee cup – check these gorgeous creations by Kim Wallace Ceramics. Many cafes offer a discount on your coffee if you bring your own reusable coffee cup. Take- your-own (TYO) smoothie cups, stainless steel straws, cutlery sets and bamboo cutlery are becoming increasingly popular at cafés, juice bars or takeaway food outlets.
Try some eco-friendly alternatives from shop to home to kitchen