Plastic Bag Ban – The Lowdown

It has come for many places, and it will come to others very soon, but this week, starting on Sunday the first of July (which just happens to be my birthday – happy birthday me!) it’s our turn for the plastic bag ban.

We all know how it works – single-use soft plastic bags are out, and the major supermarkets will offer a thicker plastic bag, in our case for 15 cents a bag, and they will offer more durable fabric bags for 99 cents.

One of the major chains started their ban a week early, and let me tell you – this has really brought out the worst in people in our area. On behalf of humanity, I would like to truly apologize to everyone working in retail during this time. While this is a big win for the Zero Waste community, this is a hard time for those on the front line of this change. People are worried about how they will line their bins (You can check out my post “How I sort my Waste“) and how they will pick up their dog poo. They are worried about remembering to put their bags back in the car, although you have to put them somewhere, why not straight back in the car? They are mostly scared of this change impacting their life, but the truth is, plastic bags have only been a part of the shopping experience for 50 years – and we will move on from them. Hopefully, in a few years, we will look back on this like we look at other major changes in history, asking why we didn’t do it earlier.

For those who have been asking – What does this mean for those who order their shopping online? Well, I’ve heard the outcry from our community that with Woolworths, one of the major supermarkets will charge you $1 to put your order in thick plastic bags, or $3 to put your bags in nothing – it costs 3 times more to do NOTHING EXTRA with your shopping. I mean, $3 isn’t a whole lot, BUT, this ban is supposed to be about helping the environment and making a change – not about the bottom line for a major corporation that doesn’t need the help. Fortunately, what I’ve heard about their competitor Coles, they are not charging extra to NOT bag your groceries. I would encourage you to look at your smaller, local food outlets, that might be offering a better alternative, both in-store and online. My local bulk store has many new bags on offer to cater for the ban.

But today, I want to challenge you to not only remember your bags when you go to the grocery store (i know, I’m preaching to the converted) but to be EXTRA nice to the person serving you at the checkout – I guarantee they have had a hard day.

I would love to hear about your zero waste tips and tricks, and how you have seen the bag ban implemented in your area – so comment below. Plus, if you would like to subscribe – click here to receive email updates every time we post a blog.

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