Going Green – January: ditching plastic bags?

So, I haven’t set myself any New Year’s Resolutions, as such, but I have got some thoughts in my head, for how this year, we as a family can be a bit kinder to the environment and look after our world a bit better. 
One of the things on my hit list that we can improve is our use of plastic bags, mainly the ones we use for shopping. 
I actually hate plastic bags, and was delighted when England finally caught up with many other countries and introduced a charge per plastic bag when you are shopping at major retailers. It’s a very sensible way of reducing plastic bag usage, because as useful as they are for some things, they really are bad for the environment, a danger to wildlife and we could do with less of them on the planet and for people to not use them as much. 
But I have been lazy about ditching my plastic bag usage. I forget to take re usable bags with me, often, and will end up buying plastic bags when I am shopping for groceries, or in other shops. 
They are handy, for a very few things, so I plan to keep a few around for now, unless I can think of better ways to replace them.
The husband hates using a cloth bag for carrying his lunch inside his work bag, to work everyday, just in case anything leaks. Lunch all over his laptop and paperwork would not make him happy, so he uses one plastic bag a week to store and carry his lunch inside his bag. He faithfully reuses the same one, so I can’t really complain.
We also use them for when the cat does what we call “very bad things” (if you have read any of the Mog Cat books, you will know what I mean) and we need to clear it up, a sturdy plastic bag to scoop and dispose of mess is handy. We also have a little boy still in pull ups at night, and I collect them all in one plastic bag, so they don’t make the bathroom bin smell awful, and they go out to be collected weekly. He’s too big for cloth pull ups, and we are working on him not wearing them at all, slowly, so this will be a habit we will be stopping soon! 
But, I could do better. I NEED to take re usable bags with me, and use them, and not buy any more plastic bags. I need to use them for shopping at work, and for grocery shopping. 
So, starting today, I am challenging myself that no more plastic bags will be added to the stash we have in our pantry cupboard. We will use re usable bags for when we need to carry items, even today, when I take my big girl clothes shopping, we will take bags we can use, and not spend money on plastic ones. I need to get a bigger day bag to cart them around in, as I shop for work daily, and need bags to carry things. 
So, can I manage a month of no more plastic bags? Can you think of any ideas for the things we use them for, to replace them? I will update how I get on at the end of the month. 
In February, I will be sharing our Going Green for the month, and will be talking about re usable sanitary items, a topic that some may find challenging… πŸ˜‰
Linking up with the lovely Rosie over at A Green & Rosie Life…
A Green and Rosie Life
Posted in Family Life and Parenting and tagged Going Green, plastic bags, reducing waste.


  1. I wholeheartedly support this resolution! Skip all the bags! πŸ™‚ I keep a reusable bag that folds up in my purse for when I just pop into a store. Also have you considered buying a lunch bag/box for hubby? They can be wiped down and reused “forever” also getting one from a thrift store gives bonus life to an item. Either way best wishes for eliminating plastic bags and happy 2017!

    • He has a lunch box but he’s a bit paranoid about it leaking, which I think happened once before so he’s fussy now. I will work on persuading him! ?

  2. Good luck with the challenge – I get my shopping in a trolley and keep my cloth bags inside it for smaller things so easy to remember. If you shop by car can you keep your bags ready in the boot?

  3. I’ve read loads about people trying to cut back on plastic recently. I rarely use carrier bags as I have used reuaable ones for about 10 years now. I can’t believe though just how much plastic our food comes in – there needs to be a major shift by retailars I think too x

  4. What a lovely way to start the new year, I try to be as green as I possibly can be but I also need to try a little bit more than usual. Good luck on going green this year

  5. Great resolution! When we moved recently, it was ridiculous how many plastic bags we’d accumulated. And that’s when we’d been making a fairly conscious effort not to. I generally use them for lining the bin or nappies. But, I do try to take a non-plastic bag when I got shopping and leaving them in the boot really helps, too! x

  6. What a fab resolution, I have been using reusable canvas bags for years, and I never buy plastic now that there is a charge (it’s a great incentive isn’t it!) I can’t wait to hear about February – it’s something I have been looking in to!

  7. Your husband needs a nice little lunch box πŸ™‚ There are lots of options out there that are easy to rinse out, and won’t spill on his desk. Of course quitting plastic bags are a great eco-resolution! Good luck with it (it’ll be so easy once you start!) #Gogreenlinky

  8. Being smug I haven’t been caught out at all since the charge came in. I keep a fold up bag in my coat pocket and each handbag I have has a selection of cotton bags in them. I do find shop assistants (except for supermarkets) get really snotty when you say you don’t want a bag!

  9. I want to do this this year. We live in France where they don’t give you plastic bags for shopping you have to take your own which is great. You do still use plastic bags for fruit and veg however though I think they’re phasing that out this year. Not using plastic bags is a pretty easy thing to do as long as you remember to have a stash of reusables in the car!

  10. I love the new plastic bag charge. I have a lot of cloth bags, but very occasionally I get caught out, which annoys me more than it used to. I keep my bags in the car. We used cloth nappies and had a lidded bucket for them. Easy to wash and disinfect it. Is a lidded bucket a possibility for the pull ups? Would save another plastic bag a week. Once you no longer need the pull ups, the bucket can be given a second life. Good luck with your January challenge.

  11. This is a great way to start your green year and a subject I will be visiting on the blog soon too. Like Becky, I am in France and they have not had supermarket shopping bags for years and even in places like clothes shops you often just get handed your purchases after paying, “sans bag”. I had not heard that they were phasing out plastic fruit and veg bags but it would be great if they did. I saw bags made from biodegradable materials in a supermarket recently but I would still prefer to have something you can use time again so I have bought some reusable light net bags to use when I buy loose produce. Thank you for joining in with the #GoingGreenLinky and here’s to a plastic free life!

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