Thailand's plastic bag ban has people carrying groceries in the weirdest ways


Jan. 7 2020, Updated 5:01 p.m. ET

Every zero-waster has accidentally forgotten their reusable shopping bag at the grocery store at some point and had to make a tough call: either accept the single-use shopping bag, or creatively carrying every item home with no bag at all? Well for people living in Thailand, where a plastic bag ban just went into effect, their only option is to get creative — and people have been getting very creative. Ever since stores stopped offering plastic bags on Jan. 1, the internet has been filling up with photos of Thai shoppers carrying their groceries in hilariously innovative ways.

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Over the weekend, a user named @sihamese tweeted: "Thailand started 2020 with a major plastic bag ban so now Thais have made it a trend to put their shoppings in random things [and I’m] living for it LMFAO." Alongside the tweet are photos of people in grocery shops carrying their groceries in a large urn, a mesh shelving unit, a wheelbarrow, and what looks like an industrial-sized sugar packet turned into a tote bag?

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Many others joined in on the fun, posting photos of other creative ways Thai shoppers have been dealing with the shopping bag ban. 

There's the plastic bucket and the wicker basket:

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Someone used an army backpack — honestly, pretty great for a big grocery haul:

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This genius hung packages of chips from various hanging clothespin racks, and put the rest of his chip purchases inside an upside-down traffic cone.

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I don't know why this dude had an empty bird cage lying around, but it sure came in handy.

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If you walk to your grocery store, bringing a suitcase is actually not a bad idea...

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And finally, this guy proves that rice cooker — especially one with a handle — can be used for so much more than just cooking rice.

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Basically, when it comes to carrying home groceries, the possibilities in Thailand are suddenly endless. And even though this trend is mostly going viral because it's straight-up funny, it also shows how more people are becoming aware of — and understanding of — measures such as plastic bag bans and how they impact our planet. 

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Whether or not there is a plastic bag ban where you live, saying no to single-use bags in favor of a reusable tote bag is one of the easiest zero-waste swaps you can make in your day-to-day life. A tote bag can be folded up to fit into even the smallest purses and pockets, and it's not hard to make packing a tote part of your daily routine. Not only does a reusable tote bag come in handy at the grocery store, but you can also use it for other things you may spontaneously pick up throughout the day, such as library books, takeout food, or purchases from new clothing to household items. 

As reported by The Hill, Thailand's plastic bag ban only applies to "major" stores, and it's a significant step towards Thailand's goal of banning single-use plastic bags nationwide by 2021. A little while before the ban fully went into effect, the government asked citizens to voluntarily refuse plastic bags — which resulted in a whopping 2 billion plastic bags saved, according to The Hill, based off ministry reports. Of course, getting rid of plastic bags alone will not solve the climate crisis — but it's an important step in shifting customer mindset away from relying on single-use items.


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