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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Gershwin Gershwin 1:27 pm 09 Feb 12

Mr Gillespie said :

I kinda don’t like having to pay for my own bags when I forget to walk from the checkout back to my car 5 metres away in the carpark to “BYO” bag!!

It is that kind of apathy…

Look up “cognitive dissonance” and preach to us again about how it’s everyone else that’s lazy, not you.

Chop71 Chop71 1:27 pm 09 Feb 12

I reckon you should get that guy who had the pallet of bricks and build a bridge

EvanJames EvanJames 1:21 pm 09 Feb 12

I live in NSW, but I’ve used my Coles bags since they first invented them, and wish they’d get more active with limiting plastic bag use in NSW. I recycle the bags containing things as my rubbish bags, and the container that holds my various plastic bags is in no danger of getting empty. Any bags will serve… dog biscuit bags, potato bags, pizza bases bags, they all do just fine for rubbish. And in time I imagine we’ll be tipping our rubbish straight into the bin, as we do with recycling, with no bag containing them.

Some businesses have never offered plastic bags… think of Aldi, Costco.. remember Cannons in Fyshwick? You had to grab a few cardboard boxes for your stuff even then.

cyla cyla 1:02 pm 09 Feb 12

Having to remember bags isn’t that bad when I specifically go to a shopping centre, but it is very inconvenient when you go to a major shopping centre (Westfield for example), and then want to do some shopping and either have to go back to the car and get them, or carry around a pile of bags.

They can obviously make bags recyclable so there is no reason why Coles and Woolworths can’t cover the costs (especially when IGA can). Instead they lower the price of fruit and vegetables and destroy independent grocers and our farmers. Pretty soon we will all be sick from eating the crap (literally) from asian countries.

littlevixen littlevixen 1:00 pm 09 Feb 12

your “free” bags were never “free” to start with. There was always a price built into the products you bought from Woolies or Coles to cover the cost of those plastic bags. The only difference now is that you can see how much they’re charging you for a bag.

NoImRight NoImRight 1:00 pm 09 Feb 12

RedDogInCan said :

madamcholet said :

For some reason, you seem to believe that the bags were previously “free”. Of course the cost of their manufacture and “free” distribution was rolled into the overall cost of your purchases.

Just look at how much the price of milk has come down since the bag ban and a major supermarket has recently announced it can now afford to reduce the price of fruit and vegies by up to 50%. Not only that but I’m now getting 8c a litre discount on my fuel since the bag ban.

Coincidence? I think not.

My hairs growing back too.

schmeah schmeah 12:59 pm 09 Feb 12

“Don’t carry green-coloured bags around, or display any bag that bears “save the planet” or other environmental propaganda messages”

What the hell did the environment ever do to you. You have way too much time on your hands, get over it .. re-use the standard plastic bags if it makes you feel better.

Erg0 Erg0 12:58 pm 09 Feb 12

RedDogInCan said :

Just look at how much the price of milk has come down since the bag ban and a major supermarket has recently announced it can now afford to reduce the price of fruit and vegies by up to 50%. Not only that but I’m now getting 8c a litre discount on my fuel since the bag ban.

Coincidence? I think not.

And that’s just from the ACT and SA – just imagine how cheap stuff would be if they instituted the ban Australia-wide!

RedDogInCan RedDogInCan 12:50 pm 09 Feb 12

madamcholet said :

For some reason, you seem to believe that the bags were previously “free”. Of course the cost of their manufacture and “free” distribution was rolled into the overall cost of your purchases.

Just look at how much the price of milk has come down since the bag ban and a major supermarket has recently announced it can now afford to reduce the price of fruit and vegies by up to 50%. Not only that but I’m now getting 8c a litre discount on my fuel since the bag ban.

Coincidence? I think not.

Baldy Baldy 12:45 pm 09 Feb 12

Oh and to stop the myth this is just about stopping rubbish in teh oceans, believe it or not there has been some historical disaster attributed to the humble plastic bag.

http://buddingplanet.com/plastic-bags-causing-flooding-problems

NoImRight NoImRight 12:40 pm 09 Feb 12

Nasb said :

You know, I actually agree with one of your ideas, paper bags would be an awesome idea, they won’t work for anything cold, but hey, maybe the shops would consider giving away free (thicker) plastic bags for cold goods (and possibly fruit and veg) and free paper bags for everything else. I’d be happy to reuse paper bags for my bins.

In my youth I worked as a grocery packer. Remember them? WE packed your groceries and then carried them to the car. Yes Im that old. Anyway it was in the days of paper bags and we were actually taught how to pack a bag so that it held its shape etc.One of the things we did was wrap all meat and fridge/frozen products in newspaper for exactly that reason.

Could be done now. Double win for recycling and maybe employing some packers will help us all too. Of course I imagine the wage costs would be passed on.

Otherwise Plan B seems to be stand at the counter and shout at some poor checkout chick. I know which Id choose.

madamcholet madamcholet 12:39 pm 09 Feb 12

For some reason, you seem to believe that the bags were previously “free”. Of courset the cost of their manufacture and “free” distribution was rolled into the overall cost of your purchases.

I might start protesting very loudly against the cost of just about everything until SImon decides to provide us with charity based supermarkets that give us things for free, because I DON”T WANT TO HAVE TO PAY for a product that has been produced and cost the company legitimate dollars to do so.

On the plus side – nice to see those who don’t agree with the ban and those who do finding some common ground and just telling the OP to get over it!

NoImRight NoImRight 12:33 pm 09 Feb 12

davo101 said :

Mr Gillespie said :

Sorry to have to break it to you greenie supporters but I kinda don’t like having to pay for my own bags when I forget to walk from the checkout back to my car 5 metres away in the carpark to “BYO” bag!!

Wow, where do you shop? I can never get a parking spot that close.

Im impressed you got something out of that paragraph.I wasnt quite sure what the particular hysteria was there.

My Dad is probably the most reactionary fascist right wing everythingist I know. When this came in I waited for him to carry on about the doo gooders rooning the country but he just said well it cant hurt to see if this works.. Hes probably right.

G. There are lost of other things made of plastic still out there true. So you would be OK if we banned them all at once instead?

Nasb Nasb 12:30 pm 09 Feb 12

I’m having trouble believing that people still think this is an issue but even more unbelievable is that you think treating a cashier poorly will somehow achieve anything. Here’s a little secret that everyone who’s worked in retail knows, nobody cares about the person standing behind the register, not the store manager, not the customers, no-one.

You know, I actually agree with one of your ideas, paper bags would be an awesome idea, they won’t work for anything cold, but hey, maybe the shops would consider giving away free (thicker) plastic bags for cold goods (and possibly fruit and veg) and free paper bags for everything else. I’d be happy to reuse paper bags for my bins.

I don’t agree with pretty much everything else you said, even ignoring your propensity to accuse everyone who disagree’s with you a “greenie” for a second, the fact is that since the ban, I no longer see plastic bags in every gutter near shopping centres, so your claim that this has nothing to do with saving the environment is at best, speculative, since it has already had a noticeable affect on my immediate environment. I’d say that’s a win for an extra 10/15c everytime I need a bin bag

nsn nsn 12:21 pm 09 Feb 12

colourful sydney racing identity said :

Mr Gillespie said :

I am stupid, I should just move on and get a life.

Wow, for once I completely agree with something you said!

+1

Mr Gillespie, people don’t have to share your concern and support your petty cause. What’s more, abusing people who already disagree with you generally won’t cause them to change their minds.

crackerpants crackerpants 12:20 pm 09 Feb 12

Mr Gillespie said :

Thumper said :

The bag ban is undoubtedly a feelgood, do nothing policy, however, it costs 10-15 cents to buy a bag.

In the whole scheme of things this is nothing.

Just buy them.

What??? Why the fuck should I buy them!!!! Do you like throwing your money away on waste? because I don’t!!! It is MY DECISION ONLY if I want to use a reusable shopping bag or not!!!

It’s not the money, it’s the principle. It is bad form to just take people’s money when they don’t consent to supporting a cause they don’t believe in.

The government takes a heap of my money to support causes I don’t believe in…

There are a lot of flaws with the plastic bag ban, and I agree with you that a focus on reduce other plastic packaging would arguably have greater environmental benefit. But on the whole I don’t have a problem with it. We’ve been using “green bags” for the weekly shop for years and years, my biggest problem now is lack of bin liners (although it’s amazing what can be used as a bin liner with a little thought), and the added strain on my handbag when I forget a green bag for those few items grabbed from the supermarket in my lunchbreak.

My biggest problem with shopping is actually getting to the checkout, with supermarkets seemingly unaware of the queues extending back into the fruit&veg…a hissy fit at the checkout isn’t going to help anyone, and will make no lasting impact beyond annoying everyone around you for 5 minutes.

MissChief MissChief 12:17 pm 09 Feb 12

I can see the benefits but there’s still some big flaws that need ironing out.

Aside from the fact that people can still buy thick non-biodegradable bags (more plastic than the old thin bags), I recently heard that there has been more than a 20% increase in the amount of bin liners being purchased. I also expect shopping centres will start finding more of their shopping baskets ending up at the tip or in recycling centres.

If the Government really wants to do it properly, they need to stop plastic bags entirely and look at other plastic wrapping being used by businesses, i.e. the silly legislative loophole that means some businesses can use as many thin plastic bags as they like because its classified as a food barrier.

They could offer incentives (rather than penalties) for people doing the right thing, make boxes more accessible to customers and offer paper bags at the checkout (as has been suggested here).

I would love to see us get it right and be a shining example for other places in Australia. There’s something very odd now about going to the coast and having plastic bags offered even for the smallest of purchases. Perhaps if nothing else, our improved awareness of the issue is one achievement (so far) that the Government can be proud of…. but there’s still a way to go on this issue.

Kayellar Kayellar 12:09 pm 09 Feb 12

Even in the most remote chances that you were successful in this crusade of yours, I doubt the supermarkets are going to scramble to start handing out free bags again. Some of us are prepared to pay for them, some have gotten used to bringing reusables, and some learn to carry more than two things at a time. Whatever the case may be, if there is one less thing the retailers have to pay for (and indeed, can now MAKE money on – albeit a pittance!), they probably won’t want to start paying for it again!

Jim Jones Jim Jones 11:59 am 09 Feb 12

Mr Gillespie said :

AnimosiTy said :

at first it was a bit frustrating but when it comes to the bottom line it’s good to not have heaps of plastic bags… well non bio degradable ones.
suck it up.. it’s not that much if you NEED to buy a bag. or be more onto of your life and remember to bring them with you!
and remember to have a good laugh at people juggling their piles of groceries to the car! lol!
everything is over priced now adays any way… just be grateful that we are doing good for the environment in the long run! 🙂

Sorry Animosity, but that’s the sort of “feel-good” greenie reasoning that is used to justify this unnecessary annoyance. As I said, there are a lot more things made of plastic than just bags, that go to waste into landfill.

For God sake, there is enough stress in our lives, how many more unnecessary problems are people prepared to let lunatics like the Greens impose on us all, while we just sit back and make a mockery of all the “little things” without thought to the fact that these little things have a habit of adding up to a day’s worth of stress, annoyance and inconvenience!!!

Face it, Mr G., when the inevitable day comes when you completely freak out and start picking off random shoppers at Woolworths with an assault rifle, it won’t be the plastic bag ban that is to blame.

You’ve got ‘issues’ that go way beyond that.

KB1971 KB1971 11:56 am 09 Feb 12

Mr Gillespie said :

Sorry Animosity, but that’s the sort of “feel-good” greenie reasoning that is used to justify this unnecessary annoyance. As I said, there are a lot more things made of plastic than just bags, that go to waste into landfill.

For God sake, there is enough stress in our lives, how many more unnecessary problems are people prepared to let lunatics like the Greens impose on us all, while we just sit back and make a mockery of all the “little things” without thought to the fact that these little things have a habit of adding up to a day’s worth of stress, annoyance and inconvenience!!!

You know, Mr Gillespe, life is full of inconveniences but that is all it is, an inconvenience. 99% of people cope quite well taking their own bags to the shop. Its not that hard.

If day to day stuff makes you stressed then maybe you need to take up meditation.

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