Thailand’s Plastic Bag Ban Has Created a Viral Sensation of Unexpected Shopping Bag Alternatives

As of January 1st, Thais have made grocery shopping a creative exercise, using the quirkiest alternatives to plastic shopping bags. It is pretty hilarious to see what people have started using, but we are just happy about the drop in single-use plastic.

Thailand’s Plastic Bag Ban Has Created a Viral Sensation of Unexpected Shopping Bag Alternatives 6
Image: Mothership.SG

When we picture Thailand, aside from the beautiful beach views and full moon parties, we picture cheap stalls and markets. The once widely-found colorful plastic bags that draped the street markets and stores have officially been banned, much like some major cities in America. At the moment, the bags have only been banned in major stores but the plan is to have a country-wide ban by 2021.

Extreme Overuse

Thailand’s plastic use may have been worse than a lot of other countries with fruits covered in plastic, wrapped in foam plastic, put into a plastic bag, and maybe even into another bigger plastic bag. Now that’s a lot of plastic.

We know there is a lot of plastic in the oceans but the Ocean Conservatory has explained that it mainly comes from five countries, and you guessed it, Thailand is one of the five. In case you were plain old curious… the others are China, Indonesia, The Philippines, and Vietnam.

Thailand’s Plastic Bag Ban Has Created a Viral Sensation of Unexpected Shopping Bag Alternatives 2
Image: Reuters

It gets even better! This is only one of the steps in Thailand’s grand plastic-free plan. Thailand has actually created a 20-year plan which includes getting rid of cap seals, microbeads, single-use plastic bags, polystyrene food containers, plastic cups and straws, and Oxo-degradable plastic. Why aren’t all countries doing this?

Things Get Weird

Anyway, all of this is great, we’re happy Thailand is taking a stand. And we are also happy to see the creativity of Thai shoppers. From baskets to what we can only imagine to be a birdcage, this plastic bag ban has brought in unexpected carry items.

A viral Facebook album and Twitter thread have turned this bag alternative into a national game – what is the weirdest thing you can carry your groceries home with? The Facebook album includes photos of wheelbarrows, laundry hampers, traffic cones, and t-shirts. We’re not sure which is our favorite – they’re all pretty hilarious!

Thailand’s Plastic Bag Ban Has Created a Viral Sensation of Unexpected Shopping Bag Alternatives 3
Image: Reuters

Re-using these weird items as bags is even more environmentally friendly than purchasing a reusable shopping bag. This weird sensation has just turned into extremely bizarre upcycling. So we’re on board!

Thailand’s Plastic Bag Ban Has Created a Viral Sensation of Unexpected Shopping Bag Alternatives 5
Image: Reuters

We wonder how long it will take for the rest of the world to catch on. Maybe it can be the next ‘Ice Bucket Challenge”, but instead the “Creative Bag Challenge.” We would love to see what other people come up with all over the world. We can only imagine there would be some absolute winners.