by jessica bahr
SHOPPING smart just got a whole lot easier.
With single use plastic bags a drain on resources and extremely harmful to the environment, Coolum and North Shore Coast Care last week officially launched their new reusable 'smartbags'.
The compact polyester bags can be folded up to keep in a bag or purse, and have been designed to be carried around at all times.
Project co-ordinator Steph Phillips said with many major supermarkets set to cease providing single use plastic bags, the smartbags were a convenient replacement.
"Single use plastic is getting into the ocean, poisoning the ocean and killing coral reefs which are already under pressure and also something we see is our marine animals being killed by plastic," she said.
"Apart from all those reasons, most major supermarkets are going to stop selling them so you're going to be forced to make a change anyway.
"(The smartbags) are designed to be used over and over again... what we were fundamentally after is getting people to change habits.
"We also needed them to be really tough and long lasting, and I have some from this company that I have had for about eight years and they're still going strong."
The bags have been created by the company Envirosax, which also encourages users to send back the bags at the end of their lifespan to be recycled.
Ms Phillips said the Coast Care group received funding for the project from Sunshine Coast Council.
"Reusable shopping bags are something we had tossed around for a few months, then I saw the major grants come up and we decided we'd give it a spin," she said.
"So we had to look into what bags we would get, what we'd do with them and justify our choices.
"With some consultation with the other Coast Care people I got the info together and was so excited and surprised to get it."
To purchase your bags, visit the Coolum Community Native Nursery or visit the Coolum and North Shore Coast Care group on Facebook.