EARTH FIRST | Bagfuls of commitment required to stop single-use plastic bags

ON THE GOOD SIDE: Supermarkets have adopted different policies in regards to banning single-use plastic bags. Photo: FILE PHOTO
ON THE GOOD SIDE: Supermarkets have adopted different policies in regards to banning single-use plastic bags. Photo: FILE PHOTO

The media has given a lot of space recently to the current ban on single-use plastic bags.

We know that one supermarket, which was planning to ban single-use plastic bags, has almost given up because of buyer resistance. 

Another supermarket is trying harder and is offering bonus points to shoppers who bring their own bags.

A third supermarket has not been using these plastic bags for years, so doesn’t have to change anything and seems to be doing very well, while a fourth chain has deferred its promise to ban these bags from July 1 to “when we run out of our existing stocks”.

If you have been watching the ABC series The War on Waste you will have seen the impact of the bags on the environment.

Can we win this battle? Heaven help Australia if we don’t. We will be submerged under a thick tide of plastic bags and other litter.

Every plastic bag is a threat to the airways and intestines of marine animals such as turtles, fish and seabirds.

All Australians should be part of the battle to keep these bags out of the environment.

What can we do to join those battle lines? Supermarkets are reluctant to ban bags while there is a public demand for them.

Certainly it is a brave decision to fly in the face of public opinion but isn’t that opinion biased toward selfishness based on sentiments like “I find it more convenient to use shop-supplied bags”?

What we should be saying is, “these bags are bad for the environment, so how hard would it be to bring my own multi-use bags and keep a supply in the car”.

It comes down to the critical question: do I want to help in this battle? If I do, I need to adopt an attitude of support for those already fighting it and help them in their efforts.

Can we win this battle? Heaven help Australia if we don’t. We will be submerged under a thick tide of plastic bags and other litter.

We are not coping with what we already have, especially as China is no longer buying substantial amounts of our waste.

If you have already made the mental decision to help with the reduction of waste, well done. If you haven’t, why not start today with a new positive attitude to the problem.

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