Reusable shopping bags


An observation.

When the whole ‘ban the bag’ campaign came into effect in NSW last July I didn’t really give it much thought.

A minor nuisance if anything – since we re-used the plastic bags from supermarkets as garbage bags and would no longer have that easy option – but overall not something I really cared about.

I was probably cynical if anything – it seemed a little silly, and I found the new re-usable ones to be cumbersome. They weren’t something I was going to lug back to the store each time.

Or so I thought.

Turns out I carry one in my work backpack every day, just in case I need to do some shopping at Coles or Woolies on the way home.

But I don’t carry it because I want to save 15c.

Rather, and here’s the surprising thing for me and why I’m writing this post, it was because it was too much of a hassle to throw out the re-usable bags at home after unloading the shopping.

At first we’d keep the bags – we didn’t feel right about throwing them – but they just piled up. Totally useless.

But then the thought of throwing them out each time became a hassle – mentally.

And so I started folding it up and putting it back in my backpack to use next time.

Here’s my point – my behaviour was shaped by avoiding inconvenience. It wasn’t to save money, and it definitely wasn’t (I’m sad to say) to save the environment. It was simply to avoid hassle.

Perhaps there’s a learning in here. Somewhere.

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By Craig Bailey