Of course, in the "olden" days before the single-use plastic shopping bag was introduced, it was standard practice to carry bags to the shops and no-one would have thought about being given a bag of any kind, even a paper bag, to carry their shopping home.
But all that changed in the 70's and 80's with the introduction of plastic shopping bags. Many stores even frowned upon customers using their own bags, and soon it became standard practice for all shops to provide bags at their checkouts for everyone to use.
However, by the turn of the century the problems from this were becoming apparent: landfills were filling up with plastic, bags were polluting the waterways and rivers, and animals both on land and in the sea were being injured.
On the next shopping trip I took 3 linen bags with me, but soon became aware of their limitations.
- a) I didn't have enough of them, so needed to carry more,
- b) they are actually quite heavy, so add a fair bit to the weight you need to carry if you are on foot,
- and c) they are fabulous for transporting heavy items but quite hopeless for the bulky and awkwardly-shaped items that make up quite a large part of a regular shopping visit.
I made a number more to give to friends and family, and increased my stock so that I had lots of pretty-coloured bags. Well, why not!!
I have also added a version with long handles, the BYOB Market Bag and then gone on to make a whole collection of knitted bags with fabric liners, including the Sarasota Shopper pictured above from the Southampton Collection.
So especially for today’s celebration of Earth Day, let’s all make some knitted bags ready for our next trip to the supermarket, then we can say with pride: “No plastic bags for me!”
Happy Knitting and Happy Earth Day 2013!