I really wish I did not feel compelled to write this post and I apologise in advance to those readers who live in jurisdictions not affected by the impending plastic bag ban in Queensland.
It seems to have generated some of the most ridiculous comments I have heard in a long time.
I offer the following observations.
Lightweight plastic shopping bags have not been around forever. They have been in use in Australia for less than 50 years.
Remembering to take your reuseable bags is as simple as remembering to take your purse and keys when you go shopping.
The ban is about the lightweight carry bags only – not the thicker plastic bags which some supermarkets may choose to sell, nor the flimsy plastic bags for produce. However, you can choose to refuse these too. Bring your own reuseable carry bags – fabric ones are best. They are strong, durable and can be washed as often as required. You can also buy or make lightweight produce bags for fruit and vegetables.
You do not need supermarket carry bags to line your bin. Rather than re-invent the wheel please read this post.
Instead of railing against the fact that supermarkets are profiteering, that the ban will not reduce plastic use, that you will not have a bag to line your bin, that other plastic bags are still available and so on, let us use this as a real opportunity to take a leap forward in moving away from a range of single-use plastics. We do not have wait until change is legislated and forced upon us. Take the lead and make a difference now.
The ban on lightweight carry bags should be just the beginning. Plastic Free July looms on the horizon so tomorrow I will address some of the other single-use plastics that we should be campaigning to eliminate.
Do you have a bag story? Please share in the comments.
I live in Chicago where where a plastic bag ban was instituted in 2015, unfortunately people began buying the thicker multi-use bags without thought and using them in the same manner. In 2017 Chicago repealed the ban and instituted a 7 cent tax on plastice bags. This seems, and according to reports, to have been more effective. Personally, when the bag ban when into effect it made me always remember the bags from my trunk! Every time you check out getting a bag is positioned as a choice and this helps reinforce it.
I think we’ve had this ban in the NT for at least 5 years now. I see most people with the thicker 15 cent plastic bag. I haven’t seen many people reduce their use. However the alternative earth loving crowd do bring their cloth bags from home.