Tote bags can be seen anywhere. With the recent years’ banning of single-use plastic shopping bags, alternatives in the form of tote bags have taken over Australia’s shopping bags realm. In 2011, Australian Capital Territory (ACT) reported a significant decrease of plastic bags in the waste landfill with 36% of bags gone. Despite this achievement and the rest that followed, tote bags have been criticized lately. If you’re planning to use tote bags Melbourne stores sell these days, here’s how not to be counterproductive with them:
Knowing where the tote bag came from to where it is now will help consumers figure out the virtue of reusing it. Tote bags entered the mainstream culture in the 50s, but during the 90s, fashion designer Kate Spade revolutionized its use by making them fashion bags. Today, especially in capital cities such as Melbourne, designers are fascinated about having a tangible method for helping the environment—hence the tote bags craze became viral to consumers and companies because of the product placement.
Tote bags in Melbourne invade supermarkets and shops today, from materials like calico to non-woven. The intent behind this trend is virtuous and there are certainly environmental benefits in using Melbourne tote bags. A UK Environmental Agency reports that tote bags, which can be used 173 times, have a lower impact on nature compared to single used plastic bags. However, there’s a looming danger of being counterintuitive with using tote bags because of consumers’ usage habits.
The irony and the usage issue
Ironically, tote bags are famous for what plastic bags became previously known for—reusability. Before, plastic bags were a replacement for paper bags as a move to save the trees, but in the following years, it became counterintuitive because of its detrimental effect on the environment. Plastic bags are reusable, yes, but they will not decompose for 1000 years. Cotton tote bags, on the other hand, decompose in five-six months if left on a compost pile. However, the danger of repeating the plastic bags’ irony is more likely to prevail again with tote bags if consumers won’t change their usage habits.
The bad habit of consumers these days is assuming that tote bags are abundant, hence this encourages them to get more, “collect,” and then dispose of them, defeating its purpose. This is echoed by a study in 2014 about finding owners of reusable tote bags forgetting them on 40% of their grocery shopping. 50% also still prefer plastic bags despite owning tote bags and acknowledging their environmental benefits. Moreover, the banning of plastic bags also led to an increasing demand for biodegradable plastic bags.
Get used to them… and just use them.
Getting used to tote bags is the first and best way to make the best use of them. Primarily developing a habit of reusing them will get you a few steps ahead in the ladder for saving Earth. The best tote bags in Melbourne that you should buy are those you can reuse for a few years. Tote bags, after all, are made to be sustainable. You can definitely reuse a tote when doing these:
- Shopping – The most common type of tote. Most of them are lightweight and flexible, but durable.
- Meetings – You can carry a laptop in totes especially made for them. These totes are usually made of leather.
- Galas / social events – Evening totes come in other materials aside from cotton. The tote bags Melbourne has today also come in nylon, satin, and Polymerizing Vinyl Chloride (PVC).
- Bringing a baby or toddler – Some totes have customized pockets for your baby’s things.
- Custom Totes – The tote bags Melbourne stores sell like Claytons Australia’s can be accustomed to your choice of material, construction, size, handle length and shape.
- Laundry – Laundry totes are usually large and durable for carrying heavy, dirty laundry.
- Going to the Beach – Like laundry totes, Beach Totes are spacious. Some are even made of waterproof materials and can hold heavy items like towels.
Tote bags are a great canvas for creativity in reusing. Being short sighted and not taking advantage of the benefits they bring would be a waste. Pun intended.