Saving the ocean one plastic bag at a time?


EWAN SARGENT/STUFF

Yeah, right. This is what the greenies and supermarkets want us to think. They are lying. There has been a rise in the purchase of plastic rubbish bin liners now that our supply of ?single use? plastic bags has been cut off.

In our home ?single use? supermarket bags are used to gather home grown garden produce to give away, store seeds in the shed, bring home wet swim gear or dirty boots after hiking and then dried out and used to line the rubbish bin.

Supermarkets are on a revenue roll because we are forced to buy rubbish bin liners, recyclable plastic bags and woven nylon or jute bags. A frequent bonus for them is when we forget to take our bag with us and have to buy another. Very annoying!

How is this better for the environment when plastic bin liners are single use?

How is better for us when we are forced to pay for the wretched things?

The only ?winner, winner chicken dinner? here are the supermarkets. They save on not supplying free bags, sell us reusable fabric and nylon bags, and increase their sales of other plastic bags and liners.

Stuff asked supermarkets if their sales of bin liners are up, but they were coy about identifying a possible increase in sales and refused to supply quantities.  Quote.

Foodstuffs (Pak ‘n Save, New World, Four Square) would not comment when asked if bin liner sales were up.

Countdown says they are higher but won’t give details because that is commercially sensitive information.? End of quote.

We get it. The user always pays, the environment is no better off now than it was before ?single use? plastic bags were banned and supermarkets have increased income streams.   Quote.

A plastics industry businessman, who didn’t want to be named because he said he feared a backlash from anti-plastics campaigners, claims the plastic bag ban is a financial windfall for supermarkets.

He said bin liner sales had risen sharply. “We don’t supply them, but I am in the industry and that’s why I know those sales have gone up by a considerable amount.”

“We don’t supply them, but I am in the industry and that’s why I know those sales have gone up by a considerable amount.” end of quote.

Australians banned ?single use? plastic bags prompting an increase in sales of bin liners and other plastic bags for the many uses noted above. Quote.

But it’s almost certain that bin liner sales are on the rise given the experience of other countries where single use shopping bags have been banned.

When Australian Capital Territories banned single use plastic bags in November 2011, experts predicted bin liner sales would jump a staggering 70 per cent. 

Instead, average monthly bin liner sales increased by 31 per cent. It was thought some people had stockpiled free shopping bags and so bin liner sales were artificially low.? End of quote.

Stuff

Specialist fresh fruit and vege shops, butchers, $2 shops and Farro all still hand out ?single use? plastic bags so I am stock piling them like there is no tomorrow – just like our Australian neighbours.

Something I witnessed first hand at Countdown though, is that the woven bag is a huge asset to the shop lifter.

Waiting at checkout I overhead a woman with a walker apologizing over and over for not paying for the items in the black Countdown bag slung over her arm. The items she paid for were in the walker basket. “I am so sorry” she said, repeatedly. “I don’t usually do this but I have not been myself lately.”

Her repeated apologies were grating and when she ambled off after paying for her “forgotten” items, the checkout operator raised her eyebrows and said “She comes in every day and ‘forgets’ to pay for stuff.”

What a golden opportunity for habitual shop lifter forced to bring their own bag. Supermarkets now have to address this problem of their own making. Serves them right!

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