Plastic bag use and restrictions in Australia was implemented at a state and territory level rather than a national role out after the Federal government could not agree on policy.
In 2003 the Tasmanian town of Coles Bay was the first location in Australia to ban plastic bags. Five years later in 2008, South Australia was the first state to ban lightweight bags as part of the "Zero Waste" program. Although this initiative in South Australia was estimated to have saved 400 million bags a year, it wasn't until 2017 that other states started to follow suit.
In 2018, both Coles and Woolworths, voluntarily removed free lightweight plastic bags from their stores and began charging for thicker reusable plastic bags instead. Its hard to believe that this was less than two years ago and now reusable shopping bags are just away of life.
Although the banning of plastic bags was met with a lot of hesitation and media attention, thankfully its been successfully implemented and made a difference to our environment. It is estimated that this approach from big supermarkets leading to 1.5 billion fewer bags entering the environment.
Now that more and more states and other countries have banned plastic grocery bags, reusable, and eco-friendly shopping bags have become the norm. However, they differ among each other on several criteria. Their environmental footprint is just one of the many.
At Cottonbags.com.au we specialise in recycled and organic materials and have loads of options when it comes to eco friendly shopping bags. We'd love to be part to the process and help you decide on the cotton bag that represents your brands values best.