When I first moved to Melbourne I remember shopping in Brunswick feeling like a criminal walking out of the supermarket carrying my loot in plastic bags. Looking back, I was the only one judging myself at the checkout, but that feeling of knowing that I was contributing to the plastic problem has stuck with me.
Since then, I have done pretty well at remembering bags and refusing to put tomatoes/potatoes/etc in a plastic bag (much to the cashiers frustrations, I am sure). Even if we ‘ban the bag‘, the majority of food items come packaged in plastic anyway! We use Fregie sacks for fruit and veg and moving forward we’d like to purchase as many of our pantry staples (rice, legumes, nuts and seeds) in bulk to reduce our plastic wastage further.
There are a few great bulk food stores a short drive away (Source & Ceres), as well as a food co-op at Brunswick Uniting Church which we plan to check out in a few weeks time. To supplement the Fregie sacks we already have, I decided to make some fabric bags to add to the rotation.
I found a metre of so length of cotton drill in my fabric stash (which I used in a styling photoshoot I did a few years earlier featuring a cabbage as a model) and got sewing. In total, I made nine bags of varying sizes, used some cotton string we had on hand for the drawstring and all in all am happy with the results (apart from the pattern ending up sideways on a few!).
They should be hard wearing and have already proved handy on a trip to stock up on a few staples. Next step is to find a way to note the item codes on the bags to assist the check out person!