With supermarkets finally removing single use plastic bags, I have rethought my approach to grocery transport.

For years now, I’ve used reusable bags for our grocery shopping with the backup of single use bags if the checkout operator was inefficient in packing our things or if we had a big shop. These bags have been trusty and reliable but are starting to wear, are quite expensive and rely too heavily on the checkout operator to pack them correctly. So time for a re-think.

After some research in to the alternatives, I found some collapsible solid plastic crates that have now become my main transport option. As they pack flat, I store them in the trolley (at the end which has an inbuilt divider) and proceed with my shopping as normal. Once my items are on the conveyor, I unfurl the first crate in the trolley and as items are scanned I pack them directly in to the crate. Once full, the second is quickly unfurled and we repeat. A standard trolley could fit three crates stacked on top of one another but given there are only two of us, two crates is more than sufficient.

It turns out this is faster than my old solution since it reduces double handling and the checkout operator doesn’t need to think as much (or struggle with flexible, loose bags). It also makes loading to/from the car simple as well as stopping the items floating around the boot while driving.

As people begin to adapt to the new world of having to reuse their bags, I hope the crate concept catches on. If for no other reason than trolleys/crates are built to better accommodate each other.