Virtue signallers ban plastic

A dead turtle is surrounded by plastic, including a plastic straw.

Before getting into the post proper, let’s have a quick look at the photo used in the Stuff article: A dead turtle on a beach; not good, and the turtle is surrounded by:

  • One blue plastic milk bottle top, to contrast with the sand colour
  • One blue rubber jandal thong,?to contrast with the sand colour
  • One blue plastic bag, to contrast with the sand colour
  • One blue plastic drink bottle, heart-tuggingly tucked under the turtle’s flipper
  • One blue plastic straw stuck in the sand for artistic effect

Not another piece of plastic, of any colour, to be seen anywhere else on the beach.

Far be it from me to, cynically, suggest that this picture was posed.? (But see here)

The article, which seemed to be more of an advertorial for a supermarket chain waxed lyrical about the fact that ‘Virtuesignals Ltd’ supermarkets are going to remove plastic packaging from hundreds of its in-house products within seven years.

Their intention is to replace plastic packaging with reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging by 2025.

But the big exciting news is that?’Virtuesignals Ltd’ will stop selling plastic straws from October 1. Paper straws will be the only alternative.

The ‘Virtuesignals Ltd’ spokeswoman said the move was part of the company’s sustainability goal of making 20 new commitments by 2020.

Yes well, politicians make commitments too … Quote.

“As part of these commitments, we are actively working to reduce the use of plastic across our entire business starting with single-use plastic bags at checkout, [but] we know we have a lot more to do.” End of quote.

The plastic straws ban would apparently remove 11.6 million plastic straws a year from landfill.? Who counted them??

Why this panic to remove plastic from landfills?? Buried in a landfill it is not going into the ocean to harm the turtles. A landfill is the best place for it.? Quote.

“Seeing images of turtles with straws coming out of their nostrils is confronting, and although straws account for a small part of marine pollution, they cause significant harm.”

Plastic straws were “almost impossible” to recycle, because of their size and lightness, she said.

“They also hold no value post-use, so are not attractive to those companies who are purchasing and re-using used plastic.” End of quote.

‘Virtuesignals Ltd’ claims to be the first New Zealand company to announce it would phase out single-use plastic bags at the checkout and online by the end of 2018.? There seems to be a bit of a mad rush on this at present with all number of companies throwing their proverbial hats in this ring. Quote.

Last week, co-owner of Commonsense Organics Marion Wood said she would make her six stores in Wellington and Auckland plastic free tomorrow ? from bags to packaging ? if she could.

“But, at the moment, it’s just not possible.”

The most difficult part was finding alternatives for packaging, as there were food safety issues to consider, Wood said. End of quote.

Marketing experts, and many consumers have said banning plastic, including plastic bags, was more about driving profits than saving the planet.

However, ‘Virtuesignals Ltd’ spokeswoman said the comments were “unfair”. Quote.

“We are not out to make a cent on this. We are just trying to do the right thing here.” End of quote.