20 February 2014

It's Time to Ban the Bag

I was chatting to the lady on the door at my local Target last week. Hannah and I were just taking a shortcut through the store so we stopped to let her check our trolley. She commented on our green bags and that led the conversation to this: do you remember a couple of years ago Target took a stand and started charging 10 cents per bag if you didn't bring your own? The bags are made of a compostable, sustainable and environmentally friendly corn starch and the profits from their sale go to the Alannah and Madeleine Foundation charity.

It was commendable. The plan was to stop around 100 million plastic bags going to landfill each year.  In Australia we actually send around 4 billion plastic shopping bags to landfill every year, and they do not break down - they stay in the ground for just about ever!). And that number just boggles my mind - I know it exists, I just can't imagine anything that huge.

Well it seems Target have given in to the whingers. They have reintroduced plastic bags for shoppers to use. They still have the 10 cent bags and do ask shoppers if they want them. I'm pretty sure sales have slumped.

This saddens me in so many ways. Yes, it can be annoying to realise you have to pay for a shopping bag or carry your items. The solution to that though is simple: carry a small, foldable shopping bag in your handbag and you won't have to.

Aldi have never offered free plastic bags and have always charged for any shopping bags in-store. No one complained. Everyone knows when you go to Aldi you take your own shopping bag/s or collect empty boxes on your way around the store.

Bunnings don't offer you a plastic bag. No one complains, they grab a box if they need it or take their own bags.

So why is that so hard with Target? And why can't Big W and Kmart and Myer and David Jones and every other store do the same thing?

Why won't our government do something that is actually useful and ban plastic shopping bags?

I wish Target had stuck to their original idea and ditched the plastic bags altogether. How lazy and selfish must we as a society be to whine like spoiled brats just to get a "free" shopping bag (of course they're not free, the cost is covered by the price of the goods you are buying)?

Perhaps if Target had toughed it out and let the whiners suck it up (and learn to bring their own bags) then other stores would have taken a stand too.

I can get my head around my stash of 11 fabric grocery bags but I can't get my head around how we can continue to add 4 billion plastic bags to landfill Every. Single. Year.

Do you take your own bags to the shops with you? Do you say "no" to plastic bags? 

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  1. Cath, I had a problem with the Target cornstrach bags. They ripped so quickly that I'd end up throwing them out even when I was still in the shopping centre. I reuse every plastic bag that comes into this house. Sometimes many times over. I especially use them to line my kitchen rubbish bin. IGA had biodegradable plastic bags a few years ago. They were strong, reusable and they didn't charge extra for them. I really wish all supermarkets would offer them.

  2. I keep all my plastic bags from shopping and use them to pick up my dogs droppings :)
    Not too sure if this makes it any better, but I feel at least the plastic bags are getting another use.

  3. Here in Tasmania the government introduced no plastic bags unless they were 'green" and shops like kmart and target are charging for bags


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