Recently we looked at the affect banning single use plastic bags in Queensland will have on a large scale. Specifically we look at what was actually getting banned and what some of the alternative options were.

In this analysis we’re delving deeper, looking at the best replacement options for…
 
  1. Shop Owners: Which bags are best to give to customers for carrying out the products they've just purchased
  2. Customers: For consumers who are wanting to buy their own reusable bags, we break down which bagging alternatives would be best for them to use
Criteria (each one will be given a star rating out of 5)
 
  • Price: Each of the products we'll talk about you can buy in 50 packs, so there is no price X quantity discrepancy. So we'll rate them on how much value a consumer and shop owner would get from them.
  • Sturdiness: Quality and strength of the bag, compared to a normal grocery bag how much will it be able to hold.
  • Usability: For shop owners how easy are the bags to store and use around your shop. For customers how easy are the bags to carry around while shopping/ transporting goods to and from the house & car.


Shop Owners: ★★★★
Price: ★★★★★
Sturdiness: ★★★★☆
Usability: ★★★☆☆

Paper bags are a solid choice; price wise they're very economical and quite strong so they won't break when customers are putting items in them, and are easy to use even in small shop settings. There is also a very large range of sizes and colours giving you good variety to suit your business.

Customer: ★★★★
Price: ★★★★★
Sturdiness: ★★★★☆
Usability: ★★☆☆☆

A decent option, you can buy 50 bags at a time for a very low cost, however if using them for a standard grocery shop may not be as easy to get around the shop with than some of the options below. Although a positive is they would be easy to re-use in situations outside of just shopping, i.e. giving gifts, storing items in the house etc.
   
Shop Owners: ★★★★★
Price: ★★★★☆
Sturdiness: ★★★★★
Usability: ★★★★★

One of the best options for shop owners, calico bags give shops a genuine environmentally friendly feel, and give customers a bag that they can continue to reuse time and time again. As the bags are 100% cotton and sewn together there isn’t much that can actually break them (unless you overfill them). Cost wise, these calico bags are some of the most economical you’ll find in Australia as they’re imported directly from overseas.

Customer: ★★★★★
Price: ★★★★☆
Sturdiness: ★★★★★
Usability: ★★★★☆

The only difference between customers and shop owners when it comes to calico bags would be the usability factor. Usability of calico bags can come down to which style you choose to get, 2 handle bags would provide the highest usability over drawstring and shoulder strap bags.

One of the key usability benefits is you can keep a bunch of them stuffed into 1 bag and just take with you what you need when you go shopping, and pull one out at a time as you need it.
 
Shop Owners: ★★★★
Price: ★★★☆☆
Sturdiness: ★★★★★
Usability: ★★★★★

If you're a tad unsure about what type of bag this is, think of the reusable green Woollies or Coles bags. These bags are slightly more costly per pack of 50, but that is due to the excellent quality they have in terms of sturdiness and usability. Packed neatly in packs of 50 they're easy to store and distribute to customers.

Instead of giving them to customers another option could be to buy a pack and then sell them to customers at a low cost, that way they have their own reusable bags to use every time. Or if you wanted to get even craftier, you could print your logo on the side of the bag to help build the brand with your customers, and also get more exposure when your customers use them elsewhere as well.

Customer: ★★★★
Price: ★★☆☆☆
Sturdiness: ★★★★★
Usability: ★★★★★

These bags are great for customers wanting sturdy and reliable solutions in almost all shopping scenarios. We dropped a star on the price for customers due to the fact it might be harder for individuals to re-sell the bags if they feel like they have too many (although a nifty idea could be to sell some on eBay in smaller amounts for a profit).

They have similar advantages to calico bags, in that you can stuff a few of them into 1 bag for easy transportation. One benefit they have over calico bags though is that they are bigger so therefore can hold more products in them, so would need fewer of them when moving your groceries and shopping in general.
 
Customer Breakdown Paper Bags Calico Bags NWPP Bags
Price 5 Stars 4 Stars 2 Stars
Sturdiness 4 stars 5 Stars 5 Stars
Usability 2 stars 4 Stars 5 Stars
Total 4 Stars 5 Stars 4 Stars
 
Shop Owners Breakdown Paper Bags Calico Bags NWPP Bags
Price 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars
Sturdiness 4 stars 5 Stars 5 Stars
Usability 2 stars 5 Stars 5 Stars
Total 4 Stars 5 Stars 4 Stars