How you can fight the ACT Government’s Bag Ban

Mr Gillespie 9 February 2012 189

Are you sick of having to pay for your own shopping bags these days because of the ACT Government’s Plastic Shopping Bag Ban? I am looking for ideas to send Simon the message that we will not accept decisions about shopping bags being forced down our throats each and every time we go to the corner shop to get the groceries.

Despite what Labor and the Greens say, this ban is not about saving the environment. It is about penalising people financially for using plastic shopping bags, much like how Julia Gillard is penalising people financially, with her Carbon Tax.

I apologise in advance for sounding stupid when offering my own ideas, but I am happy to hear from anyone here on RiotACT who has better ideas on how to fight this menace before we finally get the chance to ‘bag’ the bag banners once and for all, at the October 2012 election.

Here are some of my own ideas:

  • Bring your own “reusable” bags, but display protest messages about how disgusted you are with the ACT Government’s shopping bag ban, and a reminder about the October 20 election
  • If you haven’t brought your own bags, wait for the shop assistant to finish pricing all your groceries and you are ready to pay, before they ask you if you want any bags. Don’t accept the assistant’s question about wanting to “buy” any bags. Instead, refuse to pay for your shopping, and leave all items at the checkout counter.
  • Find a shop that hands out free bags (they can be paper bags, they don’t even have to be plastic). Refuse to accept having to pay for shopping bags.
  • Shop in Queanbeyan (sounds a bit silly, and not cost-effective if you don’t live in that side of Canberra)

I have also tried talking to a (Liberal-voting) high-profile Canberra store manager, and offered a petition, but he didn’t sound very optimistic and said I would need a huge number of signatures if I was to hope to make any difference, because the current Assembly has too many numbers supporting the ban. He suggested going on ABC Radio 666 in the morning when MLAs are likely to be listening on their way to work, and waiting for a related topic to come up.

What NOT to do (apart from the obvious):

  • Don’t carry green-coloured bags around, or display any bag that bears “save the planet” or other environmental propaganda messages
  • Don’t pay the shop assistant for any bags, or allow yourself to be tricked into buying any bags
  • Don’t fall for the ACT Government’s environmental reasoning behind the ban

Remember — this is about our rights not to be bossed around by the ‘Nanny State’ like this. The Green’s agenda is all about trying to control our lives whenever they see a reason that has to do with “saving the environment”. They don’t care about basic facts like the ACT is a small, landlocked state away with very, very little access to the open ocean where the world’s waste collects into gyres like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. They don’t take into account the fact that there are a whole lot of other things made of plastic or something else non-biodegradeable that goes to waste in mass quantities. The Greens can reason all they like, but it doesn’t alter the fact that their policies intrude into our day-to-day lives to unacceptable levels.

Does it worry you what they will do next? The Greens-run Gold Coast City Council banned helium balloons. Do you want the same thing happening here?

[ED – more than usually, the poster’s views are their own]

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189 Responses to How you can fight the ACT Government’s Bag Ban
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legal legal 9:16 pm 05 Mar 12

I wrote this on 4 Nov:

Ban greenies not bags!

Its called green-washing, and all [non govt funded] scientific research on the subject says this type of legislation increases our consumption of energy and resources and adds to the problem of waste. (Previously quoted government research was also grossly innacurate).

This legislation is typical of ideological greenism. Greenies looking for a warm and fuzzy feeling by forcing their flawed narrow-minded beliefs on the rest of society and like any cult refuse to acknowledge the adverse consequences. I guess the government is also too embarrassed to admit its No Waste By 2010 strategy has failed.

There are many factors to consider, but essentially for it to be environmentally better we need to reduce overall energy and resource use, improve recycling and provide best possible outcomes for landfill.

HDPE shopping bag weighs 1.7g (banned)
Polypropelene shopping bag weighs 3.5g (legal)
Biodegradable shopping bag weighs 3.5g (legal)
Woven Polypropelene bag cheap nasty weighs 85g
Woven Polypropelene bag reasonable quality 180g
Cotton/hemp/composite bags vary

So you have to use a ‘green’ PP bag nearly 100 times before you use less resources than a HDPE lightweight bags. Plus, the PP bags breakdown especially the cheap nasty ones, could become unsanitary and are not strong enough to last 100 uses (or 30 uses for cheap nasty ones). Cotton or hemp/jute/cotton composite bags also use a lot of natural resources, so does biodegradable bags sourced from crops.

Allowing boxes to be reused might seem okay but supermarkets have a closed loop recycling process of cardboard so why reduce this 100% recycling system?
Paper bags are a renewable resource if sourced from sustainably managed forests but do require some higher energy use and water use to produce. They are not suited to a typical reuse when compared to a HDPE or PP or true bio bag.
HDPE and Poly bags photo-degrade and need a long time in direct sunlight to breakdown and when in landfill take 1000 years to break down and can contain other harmful chemicals.
Most biodegradable bags are actually HDPE bags mixed with wood fibre, so you use as much HDPE as before plus additional natural resources. The bags appear to biodegrade but you still have the same amount of plastic going into landfill. True bio bags made from starch crops might sound ideal, but it competes with food crops.

If plastic bag legislation were prepared by scientists and not by the green cult, we would have the following key factors.

Expansion of the issue to include ALL mass produced products so that all products have optimal environmental impact.
Fine tune biodegradable bags standard to exclude plastic mix bags, and ensure entire life cycle of bio bags (from starch crops) is sustainable.
Prevent use of cardboard boxes by shoppers.
No limit of bag weight or thickness for HDPE or any material
Compulsory recycling facility at shopping centres for all typical materials
No woven polypropelene bags or other green-washing products.
no bag ban, but require biobags as a alternative at no extra cost.

The current best practice for shoppers is to use a nylon bag or a good quality cotton/composite HDPE or PP bag. Or, use a truly recyclable starch based plastic bag and require retailers to pay any profits from the sale of such bags to local governments exclusively for waste management.

Essentially what was in use before is far more environmentally sound than anything called an ‘environmental’ solution. Whats in now is heavier bags with more plastic and wood consumption, plus so called green bags with heavy resource use.

Mr Gillespie Mr Gillespie 8:10 pm 05 Mar 12

Mr Evil said :

poetix said :

johnboy said :

his youtube channel isn’t enough for you?

Link, *please*…(insert begging emoticon).

Let Post #41 be your guide to ‘enlightenment’! 🙂

Isn’t that joke dead yet? It’s been over a year now and you’re *still* harping on about it!!

Brucer Brucer 6:18 pm 05 Mar 12

I too hate the bag ban. It’s stupid. I’m all for saving the environment but here we have a law that simply replaces one plastic bag with another, inconveniencing people for a supposed environmental benefit which is highly debatable. Did you know the ACT Govt has inspectors employed to go out actually measuring the thickness of bags provided by shopkeepers? I find the new thick bags less useful in reuse than the old thin ones that easily stored, so ironically I’m reusing bags less now than before. I think a law requiring all bags are biodegradable (which I thought they were anyway) would make more sense. Cheers!

Mr Evil Mr Evil 6:11 pm 05 Mar 12

poetix said :

johnboy said :

his youtube channel isn’t enough for you?

Link, *please*…(insert begging emoticon).

Let Post #41 be your guide to ‘enlightenment’! 🙂

rhino rhino 4:02 pm 05 Mar 12

kakosi said :

A few shops still provide free plastic bags – but I don’t mind paying for the nice thick green plastic bags as they are only a few cents more per bag than the bin liners I normally buy and they have stronger handles. Not sure if the ban is actually saving the environment as there are still lots of plastic bags (and thicker ones) being produced. Guess it’s a gesture in a society where plastic coats and covers almost every item we buy.

Yeah that’s the thing, the plastic bags stll exist, they are just 3 times thicker now. So if they aren’t reused, there is now 3 times more plasic out there. Some is reused I suspect, but a lot of those who do so probably used the green bags before the ban. Then those who do reuse them, now have to purchase extra bags for garbage that they wouldn’t have before, which often means more plastic again.

On the whole, I do not see how it is reducing overall plastic. I’m sure they have some government fudged statistic about the number of reused bags increasing and the overall shopping bags being reduced. But this doesn’t take into account the plastic garbage bags bought or the thickness of the bags or the inconvenience and annoyance caused to society. If you weigh all of those up legitimately, you would find that plastic is not being used any less, but annoyance is at an all time high.

rhino rhino 3:56 pm 05 Mar 12

Ben_Dover said :

An idiotic idea. Why p!ss off the checkout girl,, create more work for them, p!ss off other customers would would have to wait, and create antipathy to your, “campaign?”

Oh, and why not get a life instead?

I think this is a valid argument against the bag ban itself. It annoys the checkout people a lot, slows down the shopping process, annoys customers and creates antipathy for the greeny campaign. They should get a life instead.

That being said, I also agree with your point about not being inconsiderate to checkout staff or other customers also. It isn’t their fault, I’m sure 100% of them all hate the bag ban. It’s the ACT government who we should be retaliating against. That’s the annoying thing, they can do anything and not care because they are a safe seat.

poetix poetix 8:52 am 05 Mar 12

johnboy said :

his youtube channel isn’t enough for you?

Link, *please*…(insert begging emoticon).

lexyliz lexyliz 11:39 pm 04 Mar 12

I fully support the ban and keep a collection of reusable bags next to the front door to take with me when I head to the shop. This reminder is not foolproof and since I refuse to pay for more reusable bags as I already have a plentiful supply at home, I simply take the hard plastic shopping basket telling the shop assistant I’ll bring it back after loading the groceries in my car (the slack jawed teenagers at my local couldn’t care less). Anyway I actually walk to the shop – the dogga prefers it that way – so I take the basket home with me and leave it by the front door as a reminder to take it back with me on my next visit. It turns out this is also not foolproof and it sometimes takes a collection of up to ten before they catch my eye on the way out. I find it a little embarrassing to return more than two at a time, as well as a little cumbersome on the walk, and so the collection grows…although I usually remember to take bags when returning baskets so the number remains static on those days. There are some days when the shop is near empty and there are no baskets available. I get so angry when that happens.

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