Do you still use the plastic carrier bags given out at the supermarket check out? I'm amazed they're still free in this country when the drive to recycle and reuse as much as possible is as militant as it is - at least it is in my little part of the UK.
You pay a flat rate for them in South Africa and Italy have different prices depending on the type of bag:
- 15 cents for a biodegradable bag
- 10 cents for a paper carrier bag and
- Between 80 cents and 1.50 Euro for a normal plastic carrier bag
My mum moved over to using canvas and string bags to transport the weekly shopping in years ago and discovered that the bottle bags (bags divided into six sections) were also VERY handy for packing tins in.
You can stack 12 tins in a bag and they stay nice and upright, rather than balancing them nicely on top of each other whilst you pack only for them to tumble like tin can jenga the moment you pick the bag up and put it in your trolley.
You can pack all sorts of other things in these rather fab' bottle bags too - I've discovered they're particularly good for packing shoes and slippers in! Simply pop pairs into each compartment, they stay neat and tidy in your bag or case and they don't get everything else dirty; you don't just have to use them for travelling, they make rather excellent wardrobe shoe tidies for little person shoes too.
They also make for rather handy picnic bags too - little lunchboxes can go in one division, crisps in the one next to that (they won't get crushed then and end up like crumbs), bottles of drink in a couple of the others and a packet of wipes can slide into the remaining one.
Teddy transporters for little ones who simply cannot choose just one teddy to take with them somewhere - they can carry their own teddies-in-a-bag and you don't have to have soft toys taking up all the space in your hand bag or changing bag.
All of the major supermarkets sell these bottle bags or you can buy them online from various places too - THESE particular ones are on sale for £2 (although they only have four compartments, my Tesco and Asda ones have six).