Australia has a bag issue. Not a crazy bag lady issue, but a crazy plastic bag issue. This year the feat for banning the bag is not over, with five billion lightweight bags given out. Queensland and Western Australia have plans set for banning this year, the Victorian government has announced it is in the midst of building the environmental policy, thus leaving New South Wales a lone state without any decisions announced. But the biggest key factor in the banning of the bags is you.

Consumers have to decide to be consciously aware of their plastic habits. Plastic bags may feel like a necessity, as you think, ‘what will I carry my groceries in?’ But there are many ways around single-use plastic bags.

There has been a growth of  brands creating eco cotton bags to make it easier to be stylish and sustainable. Belle + Frank ticks all the boxes of style, sustainability and eco friendly. The creator Anabelle von Frankenberg was inspired by the ABC’s War on Waste.

“I was shocked to learn how much waste a first world country like Australia produces! It made me reflect on my own habits and I started my plastic free journey.”

“I am the first to admit that reducing your reliance on plastics doesn’t happen overnight, but once you break your bad habits and start new sustainable ones, it becomes easier.”

The journey for Anabelle being environmental responsible began at her roots and continued through her adult life.

“I grew up in a family who were always very passionate about the environment and sustainability. From a young age, I was always encouraged to care for our environment as we only have one Earth.”

“Whilst studying a dual degree in law and international business, my interest in running my own business was sparked. Combining my passion for the environment with my desire of having my own business was really a no-brainer.”

Belle + Frank bags are made from 100% organic cotton and are not only for your groceries, but serve for many purposes.

“I know from experience that if you can use the bags in your everyday life, you are less likely to forget them when you’re out shopping next. I encourage people to not only use the bags for their shopping, but also to use them as a uni bag (our totes are the perfect size to fit a laptop), travel bag or even a beach bag.”

“I wanted a bag that looked good and was sustainable, but was also not made from plastic too. I had a vision to create a sustainable label that was affordable and practical, and encouraged more people to reduce their reliance on single-use bags.”

Anabelle’s vision continues with the power of consumers taking sustainable measures into their own hands.

“Consumers have the power to drive change and determine the direction that supermarkets and other businesses take. By shopping more consciously and buying the ‘greenest’ option, we can encourage companies to switch to more sustainable production practices and sell more environmentally friendly products.”

“We have a long way to go to reduce our reliance on plastics as a community, but I hope this ban will be the starting point of a much bigger conversation to extend the ban on other categories of plastic.”

Belle + Frank hopes to inspire consumers to limit plastic use, from straws to plastic containers. The lifestyle change needs to be a nurtured one to make immediate benefits on the environment.

“Reducing your use of plastics can be as easy as bringing your own reusable coffee cup (there are heaps of cute ones out there!) or even your own reusable water bottle. It’s worth it to invest in reusables rather than disposables!”

The future of sustainability is becoming ever so fashionable with the help of brands like Belle + Frank. B+F also sell cotton produce bags to help minimise your single use plastic addiction.

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