The Pencil Guy: Hourann's illogical blog

Plastic bags, eh?

Torn plastic bag stuck on a tree
photo by z e n

Broadly speaking, I’m impressed that our rock-star minister has a clear intent to ban these crazy bags.

Naturally, supermarket owners are saying that legislation isn’t needed and that they can self-regulate the use of plastic bags down. Um, isn’t that what’s been going on since 2004? It’s been a good first step, but I’d laugh at anyone claiming the retailers have given us a full solution.

On that note, I’m not sure I’m convinced by the Chinese government’s plan to ban the bags. While there’s no doubting the communist leadership’s ability to put their foot down when they want to, there’s also the fact that everyone in China uses plastic bags all the time. (Buy a lone chocolate bar from a mini-mart, and lo! it’s given to you in a bag). There’s going to be some severe cultural change required to make a ban work, whereas in Australia the “bags + environment = bad!” message has been around for long enough that people should be able to adapt.

But that said, it is actually true that there are plenty of other environmental issues more deserving of everyone’s attention …

  1. You’re definitely right that there are issues more pressing than plastic bag use, but since it’s an easy change for people to make that will definitely make a difference, I think it’s important to talk about it. Agree?

  2. I don’t think that it should be as big a deal as they’re making it out to be. There are so many things that it would be better to spend the time working on.

    How about biodegradable plastic bags?

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