13 July 2023

Probing the polls: New stadium dreams and the great plastic bag dilemma

| Genevieve Jacobs
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reusable bags sitting on top of lemons and limes

Do you reuse your plastic bags? Supermarket produce bags are safe for the moment from a bag ban. Photo: File.

Not everyone is convinced by the plan to renew Bruce stadium within a decade, despite exciting promises about a new precinct that would make attending major sports events more attractive for locals.

Declining attendance at the footy has been blamed on everything from the parking to food prices at Bruce. Advocates want a brand new stadium in the city centre as a replacement and they’ve joined forces with the campaign for a convention centre.

But the ACT Government is not keen, preferring to refurbish Bruce after signing an MoU with the Australian Institute of Sport.

But while there was plenty of hoopla about the announcement, nothing is due to happen for up to 10 years, raising the question of whether the stadium is a reality or a pipe dream.

We asked, Do you believe we’ll have a new stadium in Bruce by 2033? 749 readers voted.

Your choices to vote were: No, wrong site, wrong plans, pie in the sky. This received 63 per cent of the total, or 466 votes. Alternatively, you could choose Yes, it’s a workable solution that solves our problem. This received 37 per cent of the total, or 273 votes.

READ ALSO Plans for new 30,000 seat stadium in AIS precinct; combined entertainment, convention centre in city

This week, we’re wondering how you feel about the plastic bag bans.

The third phase of Canberra’s plastic bag bans has come into effect, and with it, several more single-use plastic items have disappeared from our retail outlets and hospitality venues.

The sale, supply and distribution of plastic plates and bowls, plastic microbeads in rinse-off personal care and cleaning products, expanded polystyrene loose-fill packaging and expanded polystyrene trays became illegal in the Territory as of 1 July.

The ACT Government has also announced heavyweight plastic and boutique shopping bags greater than 35 microns thick will be banned from the start of 2024.

Heavyweight plastic bags became more popular when the thinner options were banned in Canberra in 2010, however they weren’t reused as much as had been hoped.

READ ALSO Paper is the future with heavyweight plastic shopping bags set to be banned in the AC

Major supermarket chains have led the way on paper: Coles and Woolworths have both introduced heavy paper bags and businesses that continuously ignore the ban have been warned they’ll face significant fines.

For the moment, single-use plastic takeaway containers and single-use barrier bags for fruit and vegetables in supermarkets will still be allowed until suitable alternatives can be found.

Not everyone is a fan: “In the dim, distant days when many Australians transported their groceries from shop to home in string bags (so gentle on the hands, particularly in hot weather…..), baskets and two-wheeled trolleys, “cardboard paper” bags were exotic items seen only in American films and TV series – most often in sitcoms as sight gags when the bottom would fall out of the bag,” one reader said.

But Steve Whan pointed out “As if someone’s great grandchildren really want to have the world covered in the plastic bag you bought 6 bananas in, or the garbage from a sea of plastic packaging decision makers fill supermarkets with”.

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