Time was when the sign of a successful shopping trip was a carrier bag for every finger... arms straining under the pressure of a credit card well flexed.
We took for granted that for every shop we popped into, we could leave with yet another hold-all to distinguish said latest purchase from the last!
In hindsight, the free-for-all bag policy was ludicrous to say the least. So many bags, in so little time, equalled disaster on an environmental front, the extent of which we are only now just about coming to realise.
In a bid to make good some of the damage of bygone shopping habits, fashion retailers are gradually realising they need to adapt how they ‘package’ their transactions, both online and instore.
Online shopping has, until recently, partly perpetuated the problem, since orders were typically wrapped in layers of plastic and paper. Gradually, and thankfully, more retailers are taking an environmental stance on packaging. For example, Pink Boutique recently switched from polythene mailing bags to a greener alternative made from sugarcane.
Many other fashion retailers are also following suit by taking steps to cut down on packaging waste and pollution, and this trend only looks set to snowball as the topic of sustainability hots up within the masses.
One of these brands is H&M , who is the latest major retailer to announce plans to drop plastic bags all together. They’ve made paper bags the new norm, and also introduced reusable totes at the point of sale.
All of these small but significant changes have helped spark a wider national conversation about plastic pollution, and as shoppers, we now expect no less than to bundle our shopping purchases collectively into an oversized tote rather than start a vast under-sink carrier bag collection (the likes of which we might all have been guilty of) for a mere handful of purchases.
Expectations are shifting, and habits are changing, with the modern leave-the-house checklist having rapidly evolved from ‘phone, wallet, keys’ to the new and improved ‘REUSABLE BAG, phone, wallet, keys.’
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