How do I go shopping without using any plastic bag?

Updated: Nov 2, 2021

It is not easy at all to go shopping without any plastic bags, especially in a developing country like Vietnam where plastic bag is dead cheap and there is no policy yet to encourage people to bring reusable bags. So how do I do it?


So much plastic bag in supermarkets in Vietnam
Plastic bag in Hanoi, Vietnam

The picture above is a typical image that you can meet in any supermarket like Lotte, Vinmart, BigC in Vietnam, plastic plastic plastic everywhere. They used not to wrap every item in plastic bag, however, I have no idea why in the last few months, 99% of items are either wrapped in plastic bags or cling film, probably as a way to force customers to buy more rather than just a small quantity.


Plastic pen in plastic covers!

This evil act of supermarkets make my shopping a bit more time-consuming and requires more effort, however, with my commitment to no plastic, I still find my own way.

  1. I always ask cashiers whether I can take the veg only and return the bags, most of the time they say Yes. Some people could find it uncomfortable and hesitate at first, however, at the end they always say Yes.

  2. Try to find alternatives for items that are packed in plastic bags. After asking around or looking carefully, I can always find an alternative option that is packed in paper bags. The price might be a bit higher, if the difference is too obvious, I will just simply not buy that item that day and look for them on the Internet later.

  3. Buy meat at the open counter to avoid plastic box. If there is no available counter, and I have to buy meat on that day, I always wash the meat containers and recycle them for other purposes.

  4. Shop for big quantity if possible, avoid small package!

  5. Shop locally when possible, even though it could be more inconvenient but oh well, for the love of Earth, we can do anything right?


How I go shopping without single use plastic!

Please share any of your tips on shopping without plastic waste! I would definitely love to learn more from you all! You can check out my Complete guide for beginners to Sustainable lifestyle here!



Love,

Tram Anh

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