New World hypocrisy

January 1st saw the end of ‘single use‘ plastic bags at New World supermarkets. Countdown supermarkets had already taken the plunge last October and as we all know, the supermarkets are doing this to save the planet. Plastic bags are the single cause of pollution, climate change and all volcanic eruptions since 1840.

I haven’t shopped in Countdown since October. Well, that is not absolutely true, as I went to Countdown in Taupo when I was on a road trip in November. Reusable bags are not my forte at the best of times, and I hadn’t taken any on the trip anyway but the checkout girl was desperate to sell me some ‘reusable’ plastic bags. Like this one.

In fact, the checkout girls actually asked every customer if they wanted to buy some plastic bags when a month earlier, they had given people looks of sanctimonious disapproval when they admitted to not having brought bags of their own.

I used to enjoy winding up the checkout operators in Countdown, but I can’t do that any more, so I have a new tactic now. You know what they say – ‘Don’t get mad, get even’.

Yesterday, at New World, I was wandering around with my trolley when I overheard a couple discussing the fact that they had forgotten to bring their reusable bags, and so they would have to ‘buy bags’. There was not even the slightest hint of either irony or outrage over this. Huge numbers of people just seem to have bought into the hype that ‘single-use’ plastic bags are destroying the planet but other plastic bags are fine. Later, I saw the same couple at the checkout, buying 4 of the 15 cent bags. Okay – it’s not much money, but it is a double bonus for the supermarket, as instead of providing free bags, they get paid for the privilege. And, like I said, people just buy into the hype like sheep, without thought about how they are being brainwashed by a clever marketing plan.

No wonder we climate change sceptics get nowhere. If people can be persuaded to give up a very convenient and useful item so easily, they can also be convinced that the world will end in 2030. Very few people seem to ever ask the question as to how the calculations for the Doomsday date were done. They just swallow the lies whole.

The man in front of me at the checkout had forgotten his own bags. The checkout girl offered to sell him one. He said no – he had some in the car. The conversation continued. She said how she had seen photos of turtles being suffocated, and it had made her realise how terrible plastic bags really are. I wondered if I should tell her that, in the absence of rogue straws, monk seals snort eels? I could have shown her a picture of that too.

When it was my turn at the checkout, she tried to sell me some plastic bags, and I succumbed but I continued the conversation that she had been having with the previous customer. She said that people had taken to the lack of plastic bags remarkably well. I’m glad she wasn’t encountering abuse over it as it is not her fault but I am disappointed that so many people are so easily herded into compliance. I told her that, fair enough, single-use plastic bags were bad (okay, so I lied) but that these new plastic bags were not the answer. You know what? She agreed. She said we should either do the job properly, and have NO plastic bags, or not at all but she did go on to say that these new bags can be used up to 20 times. If you believe that, you will believe that wind farms are the answer to the planet’s problems as well but then again she probably does believe that.

Of course the new ‘reusable’ bags won’t last for 20 uses. The handles will come off long before that. They will not last any longer than the ‘single use‘ bags and then they will end up in landfills, in the rivers and the ocean, strangling turtles and monk seals just like their ‘single use’ relations. They will take longer to break down, as the plastic is thicker. The whole thing is madness.

Still, that battle has been lost now, and the majority have succumbed to the hype that they are doing the right thing for the planet. The stupidity is strong on this. However, it shows the effectiveness of a good marketing plan. Tell people that you are doing something for a good cause, and they will swallow the lies. The supermarkets have virtue signalled their way to higher profits in 2019, mainly because people are just plain gullible and the planet is going to hell in a handcart… or not… in exactly the same way as it was before.