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Packaging and Shopping Bags


Find out some simple ways to cut down on the amount of packaging waste you produce.

Reducing packaging waste 

There are lots of ways you can use less packaging, such as:

  • Buying concentrated products and refill packs instead of fully  packaged products – this can save you money too. Examples of this include concentrated juices and washing up liquids.
  • Buying non-perishables in bulk – items like toilet rolls and soap  powder are often available in larger sizes which use less packaging
  • Buying items with a ‘best before’ date in bulk – but only if you can  consume them before they go off
  • Buying fruit and vegetables loose rather than in packaging trays or  boxes – buying only what you need means you tend to waste less  food
  • Avoiding highly packaged items with uncessecary packaging.
  • Looking for packs marked as light-weighted that use less packaging.

Shopping Bags 

Using a ‘bag for life’ instead of single use shopping bags is one of the easiest ways to reject excess packaging. Around 45 per cent of shoppers claim to have bought a bag for life but only 12 per cent regularly use one. Keep your reusable bags with the shopping list to make them easier to remember.
You could also consider an ultra compact reusable shopping bag. These fold down to a very small size, making them convenient to carry around with you.
If you do use plastic bags, get a plastic bag dispenser for your kitchen so that you can reuse them – for example, for lining bins.



How do I recycle shopping bags?  

Most supermarkets now offer in-store recycling banks for carrier bags, or the option to hand carrier bags back to the driver if you choose to have your shopping delivered.There are lots more top packaging tips to help you reduce your packaging.  You can also visit the recycle now website to find out more on what packaging does and what is being done to reduce it.


It is important that we cut down on unecessary packaging waste as much as possible, however remember that small amounts of packaging can be beneficial to the shelf life of a product and help to reduce food waste. More info can be found here.