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Garbage Queen says

Plastic Bags

No doubt we will be hearing a bit more about looming ban on free single use plastic bags in most of our supermarkets in the coming weeks.

Woolworths have brought forward the date to 20 June while I understand that Coles & IGA is still going with the 1 July date. Does this mean the end of single use plastic shopping bags? Not at all! Like Aldi, most will be providing a heavier duty alternative that will cost the customer.  Sure, you will be able to use it more than once but it is still going to have a relatively short life.

I was reminded the other day when I was shopping in a local supermarket that there are, or at least should be other alternatives for people. Some supermarkets will be providing boxes that much of the supermarket’s produce is delivered in to be used by customers

Of course, we have been pushing, prodding and nudging people to BYO bags for more than a decade now. We have been promoting Boomerang Bags groups – where local people get together to sew bags for use at local shops and can be returned when not required.

Whatever alternative – people will be encouraged to BYO a bit more now. Some tips for remembering those bags:

  • Always start your shopping list with ‘bags’ so you remember to bring them with you when you shop.
  • Put your reusable bags back in your car or bag after you unpack your shopping so they are ready for next time.
  • Hang them somewhere convenient, like your key hook or near your front door.

Free plastic bags have been phased out in some notable retailers in recent years – one of the large hardware stores has not had plastic bags for a long while and does allow for customers to use their boxes.

Finally the really big question – what do people do about bin liners? We know a lot of people use the plastic shopping bags put their rubbish into – and unfortunately their recycling as well in some cases – making it one of the main contaminants in our recycling bins.

The simple fact is you don’t actually need to have a plastic bin liner in order to put your rubbish out. The first thing you should do is look at what shouldn’t be in your bin. Any food or compostable items should go in the compost, and recyclables should go in the recycling. If you do that, you find the bin smell is significantly reduced.