Misguided, untimely ban on supermarket thin plastic shopping bags.


Misguided, untimely ban on supermarket thin plastic shopping bags.

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).

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(Blog No. 152 ).

With electricity price running out of control, now Australians in Victoria are also hit with a ban on free thin plastic shopping bags from supermarkets. This ban has unfolded itself to be nothing more than a free-ride on the good intention of conservation movement but for the practical aims of making more money for supermarkets, plastic makers and making disruption on behalf of Green Movements. This ban has brought forward a number of counter-arguments against it.

Misguided, untimely ban on supermarket thin plastic shopping bags.

#single use, #plastic shopping bag, #ban, #Victoria Australia, #garbage lining bag, #color coded bag, #pollution, #floating bag,

1. The rational behind the ban

a/ Plastic takes a very, very long time to disintegrate.

b/ Thin plastic shopping bags are floating in the open seas killing wild life.

c/ As plastic shopping bags are free, people may use them more than it is necessary.

2. The rational for using plastic bags.

a/- Thin plastic bags are convenient to shoppers. They can spontaneously drop into supermarkets any time they want.

b/- New plastic bags keep food out of contamination.

c/- Thin plastic bags replace paper and cloth bags, they save the forests.

d/- The cost of a new thin plastic shopping bag is less than the cost of the detergent used to clean a thick plastic bag or to wash a cloth based bag.

f/- After a number of varied uses, a thin plastic shopping bag can be used to wrap domestic wastes to keep clean the inside of domestic garbage bins. This improves the sanity for garbage workers but does not require the production of single use plastic garbage bags.

3. Current authoritarian banning of supermarket plastic shopping bags.

a/- Punitive pricing for thicker plastic shopping bags is enforced. These thicker plastic shopping bags are not as simple as the ones they are meant to replaced and cost more to manufacture.

b/- The use of cloth based shopping bags is promoted. Some food handlers complain that cloth based shopping bags may carry more bacteria causing food contamination.

4. Falsity of the current banning of supermarket plastic shopping bags.

a/- Plastic shopping bags floating in the seas come from somewhere else, not Australia [14-16].

b/- The production of alternative types of shopping bags may harm the environment more as it may require more energy, material (for thicker bags or for disinfectants) and land (for planting trees for paper and cloth based bags).

c/- Reusing bags to contain and carry food is not quite hygienic for shoppers.

d/- Not using thin plastic shopping bags requires more production of garbage bags whose production may cause additional harms to the environment.

e/- Biodegradable plastic shopping bags have been used in Vietnam even prior to 2010. Why cannot they be used in Australia, a more advanced nation?

5. More rational solution to the same problem.

Saving the ocean is an international task and should be done with international cooperation. I think that there should be an International body such as Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN to ask all nations to:

a/- Solve the pollution problems in order of priority: More plastic has been produced for excessive and unnecessary packaging of bottled water, take away food, take-away drink, fruits, vegetable, eggs, and for making single-use drinking straws and cutlery. Those plastic items may cause far more harmful pollution problem than that caused by the banned thin plastic shopping bags.

Currently garlic bulbs are sold in transparent thin flexible plastic boxes in Woolworth (in Melbourne, Australia) while sauces are served in plastic cups at take-away food shops (in Melbourne, Australia)!

Figure: Bottled water priced at $3.50 are in top of refrigerator.

Figure: An aluminium can of drink, a plastic straw and a red plastic lid for hot chips.

b/- Use only biodegradable plastic for shopping and garbage lining bags.

c/- Redesign garbage lining bags for dual use as shopping bags and for eventual role of garbage lining. This ensures that there is no wastage of material and energy for the manufacturing of bags.

d/- Require supermarkets to replace free of charge used shopping bags for new ones. This ensures that surplus used shopping bags are recycled and not wasted.

e/- Require thin supermarket shopping bags to be color coded to the national colors of the shoppers. For examples requiring Australian supermarkets to use bags with green lower half and yellow upper half (Australian Olympic color), Indonesian supermarkets to use plastic bag with white lower half and red upper half (Indonesian flag color), etc… This helps identifying the sources of those thin plastic bags that are currently floating in the oceans.

f/- Banning the use of non-biodegradable food wrappings on ships and boats. All plastic items on ships and boats must have incorporated identification markers traceable to the carrying vessels.

6. Conclusions.

The public will certainly support conservation measures. However the current ban on thin plastic shopping bags may be misguided and untimely. Many people may have to suspect that the ban is only a well camouflaged move for supermarkets to make more money on their sale of garbage liner bags.


[1]. http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-12/sydney-harbour-hidden-plastics-threatening-endangered-turtles/8263368

[2]. https://ocean.org/stories/plastic-invasion/#plastic-ocean-video

[3]. http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/topics/science-environment/2016/04/pulling-the-plug-on-plastic

[4]. https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/great-pacific-garbage-patch/

[5]. https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/banning-single-use-plastic-shopping-bags/

[6]. https://www.sbs.com.au/news/woolworths-brings-forward-plastic-bag-ban

[7]. https://www.insideretail.com.au/news/victoria-to-ban-plastic-bags-next-year-201806

[8]. https://www.smh.com.au/business/consumer-affairs/bringing-reusable-bags-has-been-a-challenge-woolworths-backflip-on-plastic-bags-20180629-p4zogb.html

[9]. https://www.smh.com.au/business/consumer-affairs/coles-backs-down-on-giving-out-reusable-bags-for-free-20180705-p4zprs.html

[10]. https://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/conservation/big-australian-retailers-are-refusing-to-axe-plastic-bags/news-story/7445f8b2e213cec79fc331fd0ec4a022

[11]. https://www.news.com.au/finance/business/retail/furious-shoppers-attack-supermarket-giant-as-plastic-bag-ban-comes-into-effect-today/news-story/d0effa1cf6cea481493aa6266a217303

[12]. https://www.cnet.com/au/news/woolworths-backflip-on-the-plastic-bag-ban-is-a-national-embarrassment/

[13]. http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s4865151.htm

[14]. https://www.inquisitr.com/1840962/ocean-plastic-trash-china-is-the-worlds-leading-contributor/

[15]. http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/elist/eListRead/9_million_tons_of_plastic_waste_will_end_up_in_our_oceans_in_2015/

[16]. https://qz.com/342922/china-is-responsible-for-a-quarter-of-the-plastic-clogging-our-oceans/

[17]. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/may/23/biodegradable-plastic-false-solution-for-ocean-waste-problem

[18]. https://www.wired.com/2016/06/banning-plastic-bags-great-world-right-not-fast/

[19]. https://www.sbs.com.au/news/why-australia-may-not-be-ready-to-ban-plastic-bags

[20]. https://us-issues.com/2018/08/09/twelve-invisible-eco-catastrophes-and-threats-of-doom-that-are-actually-fake/

Added after 2018 September 20:

[21]. https://superforest.blog/2018/09/20/magical-plastic/

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