I have been visiting South Australia for quite a while yet I always forget they don’t offer bags with your shopping. From memory it costs 20 cents for a heavy duty shopping bag so I purchase one of those. I have never liked the canvas style bags as they are harder to clean. Plastic bags are a hot issue. Don’t think so – then take a drive to Port Fairy and ask for one there. I did but won’t again. So what next?
I have always reused my shopping bags as rubbish bags for my bins under the sink. Soon that will be no more. I don’t use the canvas looking bags as I read some time ago that they need to be washed each time or they are a high risk for bacteria. I know I won’t wash them each time and storing them in the boot is hardly sanitary so they are out.
The heavy duty plastic bags seem good but I rarely remember to reuse them. Maybe I will when bags are completely gone or maybe I will be one of the people who is just happy to pay 20 cents for the convenience.
I few facts I gleaned mostly from an article in the conversation titled “The Conversation – In banning plastic bags we need to make sure we’re not creating new problems”
Plastic bags only represent around 2% of landfill
In South Australia (that banned bags in 2009) it was found only around 30% of people reuse their heavier bags
The ACT found an increase in heavier plastic bags for rubbish (as I will be)
According to a UK Environmental Agency report, a paper bag would need to be re-used at least four times, and cotton bags at least 173 times, to have a lower environmental impact than single-use plastic bags in terms of resource use, energy and greenhouse outcomes.
I am against the banning of plastic bags but then I am a responsible user. There is information that supermarkets will now make money on bags rather than lose money, heavier plastic bags in rubbish bins and heavier bags for shopping may not reduce environmental damage. Are you going to clean and reuse the bags as illustrated above. It doesn’t really matter what I think as I will have to change but I would have preferred this much energy going into stopping cigarette sales where butts and boxes are thrown everywhere.