Reusable bags became more popular when people realised that plastic bags were polluting the environment. Back in 1974, the plastic bag had many uses.
One of them one was to replace the garbage bin. Forty-seven years ago, The Canberra Times reported that the Department of the Capital Territory was to build up a stock of plastic garbage bags in case of complete failure of the city's contract garbage-collection system.
It had called tenders for 100,00 plastic bags, some of which would be used by the department but mostly used as the basis of a stockpile to be issued to houseowners if Canberra's erratic collection service stopped.
Officially, the department had said that the bags bought were to "go into normal stock for use". The 100,000 bags represented more than two bags for every house in Canberra.
The tender documents required that the bags be the same size as normal plastic garbage bags available commercially, but they were to be grey with the Canberra's coat of arms stamped on them in white.
Plastic bags were chosen because they did not require as much storage space as multi-walled paper garbage bags.