Last October the UK Government decided to bring in a charge for carrier bags, the current charge is 5p for a standard carrier bag with some retailers charging slightly more. If you imagine that you use on average 10 bags per food shop, sometimes more than that cost soon adds up. I can see the reasoning behind the charge, with the following benefits proposed over the next 10 years:
- an expected overall benefit of over £780 million to the UK economy
- up to £730 million raised for good causes
- £60 million savings in litter clean-up costs
- carbon savings of £13 million
Since the charge has been brought in we as a family has tried a number of different solutions from a big bag full of carrier bags that we had stockpiled at home to plastic crates kept in the boot that we would load up after a shop. None of these solutions worked for us, the plastic bags ripped and gained holes, and the plastic crates took up too much room in the boot when not in use and with a pushchair in there too it was a logistical nightmare.
A few weeks ago I was kindly contacted by Trolley Bags to see whether their 4-piece reusable shopping bags would work for us a growing family and many different shopping trips completed throughout the month.
- 4-piece set of reusable shopping bags – 80, 55, 42 and 31 litre
- Graduated sizes fit neatly into large supermarket trolleys
- Easy to sort shopping as you pack
- Strong handles
- Roll together when empty for storage
Designed by an Irishman who encountered these exact problems when shopping for his family, this four-piece set rolls into a neat Velcro-fastened package that hooks onto the trolley to be out-of-the-way while you shop. Specially created to fit perfectly into any large supermarket trolley when they’re unrolled, in one simple action the system spreads out and rests on the trolley sides, giving you a series of open and upright bags into which you can pack and sort shopping with both hands.
Arriving rolled up and ready to go it was simply a case of popping them in the boot ready for my next shopping trip. Depending on the type of supermarket I was using the trolley bags either simply hung on the back of the trolley ready for filling at the checkout or in the case of scan as you shop supermarkets the bags were used inside the trolley from the moment I entered the store.
How to use trolley bags:
- Store them rolled up in your boot ready for when you next go shopping so that they are never forgotten
- Unless you are doing a self-scan shop then simply hang the trolley bags on the back of the trolley. If doing a self-scan shop then unroll the trolley bags and pull open to fill your trolley with the four bags.
- When packing your trolley bags add heavier items into the smaller bags and bulkier, lighter items into the larger bags
- Once you have finished your shopping, separate the bags (they are attached by hook n loop fastenings) and ensure that you lift the bags using both handles and not the plastic bar
- Once you have unpacked your shopping at home lay the largest bag on a flat surface and rejoin the other bags in number order, roll and fasten the hook n loop fastening before placing back in the boot of your car.
Boo Roo and Tigger Too’s thoughts…
I tend to use self-scan shopping so for me this is when the trolley bags come into their own as they allow me to sort my shopping as I go. I was initially concerned that the lower half of the bags are mesh rather than fabric but they have proved to withstand several family food shops, although I do think I would feel more confident if they were all fabric. Personally, I’d love to see the addition of a fifth smaller bag for fruit and vegetables as I tend to use the blue (smallest) bag for milk and bottles as to not make it too heavy to carry.
Price and Availability
Trolley Bags are available in both original size and express size, priced at £17.99 – available from www.packingsorted.co.uk
Disclosure: We received a set of Trolley Bags FOC for the purpose of review