Who Gains from a Plastic-Free Wellington?

Green candidates have said that they want Wellington to become a “plastic-free” city, and like most Green party ideas, it is big on virtue and small on joined together thinking. Retailers are the ones who are going to gain from a so-called plastic-free Wellington.

Let’s just look at the plastic bag saga. I am now getting price gouged 40c a bag for an inferior paper bag at my favourite fresh fruit and veg place. Thick plastic bags have replaced the free ones we used to get given at places like Countdown. Thanks to the government retailers can now turn bags into a profit-making venture. Imagine that! A policy that forces retailers to charge us for something that they used to provide to customers for free.

Wellington, despite what the locals think, is actually a very small, inconsequential pimple on the bottom of nowhere. If they decide to go plastic-free what they are really saying to large producers is that they are special and will require special packaging at an enormous bloody cost, just for them. The producers will happily oblige of course but the virtue signalling will not come cheap.

Do they seriously think that the producers won’t recover the costs of pandering to their virtue signalling? Food producers I know both love and hate regulatory and mandatory packaging changes.
It’s a pain in the butt and expensive to do but on the plus side, the prices go up and more than cover the expense of the new packaging.

It is the consumers who are the ones who suffer through large (and thanks to the repackaging hidden) price changes.

I’ll give you one example. Washing powder like Persil and the like
used to come in 1kg boxes. Overnight and I do literally mean overnight (because this is what they did), they shrank the box size and weight and restocked all the shelves in supermarkets with the new packaging. It was the same price but a new lighter product weight. They took back all the old stock and repackaged it back into new boxes.

Why did they do that? They did it because producers pay for the amount of shelf space that they take up at the supermarket. They got to charge their customers more for less and paid Foodstuffs and Countdown less for their shelf space. They recovered the cost of the repackaging by stiffing the client and that is exactly what they will do if Wellington demands special treatment, guaranteed.