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Simon says we all love the plastic bag ban

johnboy 24 January 2013 106

plastic bags

If we really all were enamoured of Simon Corbell’s plastic bag laws one would imagine he wouldn’t need to tell us about it.

A new survey of the use of plastic shopping bags in the ACT has shown that 70% of Canberrans want to see the ban of lightweight plastic bags continue while 66% of people would like the ban to be implemented nationally, Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development, Simon Corbell said today.

“The interim review of the ban shows that 84% of Canberrans now carry a re-usable bag with them when doing their shopping instead of relying on bags at the counter,” Mr Corbell said.

The Government committed to an interim review of the ban on lightweight shopping bags after a 12 month period of the ban in operation.

A telephone survey of primary shoppers in 600 ACT households was conducted as part of the review and highlighted that the majority of shoppers from every age group supported the ban.

The review evaluated community acceptance, reduction in plastic bag use, environmental outcomes and retailer compliance.

Mr Corbell said a more broad ranging review would take place after two years of the operation of the lightweight plastic bag ban.

“This interim review gives us an important snapshot of the views in the ACT community about the ban, but after another 12 months we will be able to look more closely at trends of plastic bag use, and reductions of bags to landfill,” he said.

“I am pleased to see that during the first 12 months there were no infringements issued to retailers breaching the ban, and I encourage this good compliance behaviour to continue.”

Some might see a total absence of found infringements in less glowing terms.


UPDATE 24/01/13 13:40: Mayor Rattenbury has said he’d like the ban to go further:

“Unfortunately one unintended and perverse outcome of the ban, as it is currently legislated, is the provision of non compostable and thicker plastic bags as a replacement to the banned lightweight plastic type.

Mr Rattenbury said the legislation needs to be improved to ensure that fully compostable plastic bags are the only kind allowed in the ACT.

“In the interim report, 94% of people indicated that they would like all plastic bags to be completely biodegradable, and I’ll be pursuing an amendment to the legislation to make sure this happens.

“A current exemption in the legislation means that retailers can currently give customers compostable lightweight plastic bags for free. Rather than providing these bags retailers are getting around the legislation by simply providing, at a cost to the consumer, thicker non-compostable plastic bags.

“Many of the bags that are called ‘degradable’ simply break into a thousand plastic pieces and never actually biodegrade.

“All in all, these substitutes run the risk of defeating the purpose of the plastic bag ban”, said Mr Rattenbury.


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106 Responses to Simon says we all love the plastic bag ban
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DWD56 DWD56 6:15 pm 27 Jan 13
Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 10:41 am 27 Jan 13

DrKoresh said :

Gungahlin Al said :

How fortunate that we had this thing called an election when someone like Pantsman who disagrees vehemently with everything the current government has done was able to put their name forward as potential alternatives, and see how many people agreed with them… You did nominate didn’t you, Pantsman?

lol, nicely done there, Al.

Cheers!

IrishPete IrishPete 10:27 am 27 Jan 13

PantsMan said :

No, I adjusted the percentages of total pop from the ABS to get a total pop over 20. Therefore, they are the correct percentages.

And the Tragic of the Month award goes to…

Good work.

IP

PantsMan PantsMan 9:23 pm 26 Jan 13

IrishPete said :

PantsMan said :

There are numerous problems with the survey.

Firstly, it was really a ‘push poll’. Rather than asking up front “Do you support the Plastic Bag Ban?”, they asked a few softening-up questions to put the participants in a positive frame of mind regarding the ban, before asking if they supported the ban.

Then there is the issue of it being a telephone poll in a city with the highest proportion of households without a landline (remember Noel Towell’s contribution to the ACT Election?)

Finally, the sample was highly skewed to the elderly (maybe everyone else was waiting in the queue at Wollies Dickson when they rang?). The following is a comparison of the actual adult population of Canberra, versus the people surveyed.

Adult Population Surveyed
Under 25 12%

2%
25-30 11%

3%
31-40 20%

15%
41-50 19%

17%
51-60 16%

24%
61-70 12%

23%
Over 71 10%

16%

So, they basically asked oldies and pensioners with landlines who were home at 7pm on a weeknight!

I thought about posting the ACT’s population distribution, but couldn’t be bothered working it out myself for the adult population. I presume the percentages you’ve quoted are the total population – they’re not going to survey primary school age children, and I don’t know what age their cut off was. Even so, older people were clearly over-represented, although their views were more negative, so including more younger people would probably have change dhe result more in favour of the ban. Remember, of the small number of under-25s they spoke to, 100% supported the ban.

They also phoned on a Saturday.

Perhaps the survey would be better conducted in person at a few randomly selected supermarkets.

IP

No, I adjusted the percentages of total pop from the ABS to get a total pop over 20. Therefore, they are the correct percentages.

IrishPete IrishPete 8:10 pm 26 Jan 13

PantsMan said :

There are numerous problems with the survey.

Firstly, it was really a ‘push poll’. Rather than asking up front “Do you support the Plastic Bag Ban?”, they asked a few softening-up questions to put the participants in a positive frame of mind regarding the ban, before asking if they supported the ban.

Then there is the issue of it being a telephone poll in a city with the highest proportion of households without a landline (remember Noel Towell’s contribution to the ACT Election?)

Finally, the sample was highly skewed to the elderly (maybe everyone else was waiting in the queue at Wollies Dickson when they rang?). The following is a comparison of the actual adult population of Canberra, versus the people surveyed.

Adult Population Surveyed
Under 25 12%

2%
25-30 11%

3%
31-40 20%

15%
41-50 19%

17%
51-60 16%

24%
61-70 12%

23%
Over 71 10%

16%

So, they basically asked oldies and pensioners with landlines who were home at 7pm on a weeknight!

I thought about posting the ACT’s population distribution, but couldn’t be bothered working it out myself for the adult population. I presume the percentages you’ve quoted are the total population – they’re not going to survey primary school age children, and I don’t know what age their cut off was. Even so, older people were clearly over-represented, although their views were more negative, so including more younger people would probably have change dhe result more in favour of the ban. Remember, of the small number of under-25s they spoke to, 100% supported the ban.

They also phoned on a Saturday.

Perhaps the survey would be better conducted in person at a few randomly selected supermarkets.

IP

Harrym Harrym 2:38 pm 26 Jan 13

It would be interesting to see if there has been a increase in gastro cases – spillage is not such an issue in use once bags but in the green ones which are used over and over….. swab tests anyone.

I like many others used the bags as rubbish bags and I can assure you that bags full of cow bones and beer bottles don’t blow around in the wind.

PantsMan PantsMan 10:18 am 26 Jan 13

There are numerous problems with the survey.

Firstly, it was really a ‘push poll’. Rather than asking up front “Do you support the Plastic Bag Ban?”, they asked a few softening-up questions to put the participants in a positive frame of mind regarding the ban, before asking if they supported the ban.

Then there is the issue of it being a telephone poll in a city with the highest proportion of households without a landline (remember Noel Towell’s contribution to the ACT Election?)

Finally, the sample was highly skewed to the elderly (maybe everyone else was waiting in the queue at Wollies Dickson when they rang?). The following is a comparison of the actual adult population of Canberra, versus the people surveyed.

Adult Population Surveyed
Under 25 12% 2%
25-30 11% 3%
31-40 20% 15%
41-50 19% 17%
51-60 16% 24%
61-70 12% 23%
Over 71 10% 16%

So, they basically asked oldies and pensioners with landlines who were home at 7pm on a weeknight!

chewy14 chewy14 8:12 am 26 Jan 13

gooterz said :

Response bias:

If someone identifies as the primary shopper they are more likely to take shopping more seriously and thus spend extra effort using reusable bags.
If a couple split the shopping because its something they don’t like they’d be less likely to bring reusable bags, neither will identify as the primary shopper.

The 4 categories for question 2 are never, some of the time I often forget, most of the time, always.
If you have ever reused a bag you would say most of the time, hardly anyone will say they forget as it implies a mental capacity flaw.

The gender was never asked, meaning those 29 males might just be husky females.

The report fails to account for lies made by the respondents too. You could probably check with the number of uni graduates.

Why were only primary shoppers wanted? You can’t make a claim of total population wants this when the only people targeted are the ones that have to shop the most and thus make more sense to always carry bags.

Does anyone know how many of the old bags are equal to the new ones?

The new ones all have printing and dyes on them. I’m sure that’s eco friendly.

Why was a survey done at all, why not just ask the supermarkets how many bags they’ve sold and how many they used to use. That would cover 1000’s of us in a less biased way.

I agree with you about the shortcomings of the survey and method but you did read how this is an interim report? A full analysis of the bag ban is due 2 years after implementation. I’m assuming it will contain all of the hard data on bag usage rates direct from the supermarkets.

rosscoact rosscoact 6:51 am 26 Jan 13

First up, reducing the amount of waste we each produce is an important issue for us all.

Secondly, don’t shoot the messenger (or the survey)

However, I find it interesting in the report that the thicker plastic bags had to be used 4-5 times to have less environmental effect overall and the woven material bags up to 14. There’s a lower volume of plastic in landfill because of the ban but consumer behaviour has to change before there’s a lesser nett damage to the planet.

But I think consumer behaviour is changing. A Canberran’s natural behaviour is to shove something in their pocket or just grab a couple of things without a bag rather than put a, for example, can of deodorant in a single use bag as used to happen.

Overall, this is a good thing and a decade from now, it probably will be national and people will have forgotten the profligate waste that used to happen, except for those of us on the porch reminiscing about the good old days.

gooterz gooterz 12:35 am 26 Jan 13

Response bias:

If someone identifies as the primary shopper they are more likely to take shopping more seriously and thus spend extra effort using reusable bags.
If a couple split the shopping because its something they don’t like they’d be less likely to bring reusable bags, neither will identify as the primary shopper.

The 4 categories for question 2 are never, some of the time I often forget, most of the time, always.
If you have ever reused a bag you would say most of the time, hardly anyone will say they forget as it implies a mental capacity flaw.

The gender was never asked, meaning those 29 males might just be husky females.

The report fails to account for lies made by the respondents too. You could probably check with the number of uni graduates.

Why were only primary shoppers wanted? You can’t make a claim of total population wants this when the only people targeted are the ones that have to shop the most and thus make more sense to always carry bags.

Does anyone know how many of the old bags are equal to the new ones?

The new ones all have printing and dyes on them. I’m sure that’s eco friendly.

Why was a survey done at all, why not just ask the supermarkets how many bags they’ve sold and how many they used to use. That would cover 1000’s of us in a less biased way.

wildturkeycanoe wildturkeycanoe 11:04 pm 25 Jan 13

I find that the re-usable fabric shopping bags are just as biodegradable as plastic. After a while they get a rip or tear, eventually to thew point they just give up. What then, throw them in the bin to end up in landfill? How long does it take for that black rectangular plastic thing at the bottom to decompose? I’d guess a bit longer than the old bin liners we got for free.

IrishPete IrishPete 3:24 pm 25 Jan 13

Reprobate said :

So… survey says…

63% of respondents were aged 51 or over. Not sure 63% of shoppers I see, or even the population of Canberra, are over 51.

Nearly half of all surveyed already took their own bags before the ban anyway. Or, based on the above, maybe their vinyl nanna wheelie trolleys.

Didn’t notice that, well done.

A few possible causes I can think of:

“primary shoppers” again – the youngesters in the household (including those young adult chilldren) don’t do the shopping; so the survey remains valid;

or, they used landline numbers for the survey, and youngsters are much less likely to have them these days, or they’re out partying all the time and don’t answer, or (like the above answer) mum or dad or gradnma/grandad living in the same house answered the phone. This would probably undermine the survey a bit.

Another possibility is that because they were using landlines, the oldies tended to be home, and the youngsters and slightly less-young were out doing evening and weekend activities – taking the kids to sport, violin lessons etc (unless the servants were doing that for them).

(The report says they phoned on weekday evenings and a saturday.)

But the report shows that support for the ban was strongest amongst the young age groups – 100% of under 25s (though there were very few of them), 67% of 25-40s, 65% of 41-50s, then dropping substantially. So by including too many older people in the survey, the results may have been biased AGAINST the ban.

IP

DrKoresh DrKoresh 2:06 pm 25 Jan 13

Antagonist said :

IrishPete said :

Wondering about the survey everyone? As I suspected and suggested in an earlier post, the survey sample was 71% female. It was “primary shoppers” in each household.

IP

Not even close to a representative sample. Abject failure.

So you think if they’d asked people who don’t do the grocery shopping that the results of a survey about grocery shopper’s habits would have been more accurate? Interesting logic there….

DrKoresh DrKoresh 2:03 pm 25 Jan 13

Gungahlin Al said :

How fortunate that we had this thing called an election when someone like Pantsman who disagrees vehemently with everything the current government has done was able to put their name forward as potential alternatives, and see how many people agreed with them… You did nominate didn’t you, Pantsman?

lol, nicely done there, Al.

poetix poetix 1:53 pm 25 Jan 13

Postalgeek said :

…Personally I’m always thrilled when Dizzy shows up. He has a wonderful knack for animating threads.

When Dizzy Gillespie blew his own trumpet, it was worth listening to. He was a genius.

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 1:50 pm 25 Jan 13

PantsMan said :

Maybe this Government could grow the f&^k up and start focusing on real issues like:

* we are further $380m in debt EACH YEAR;
* they have just sacked the Under Treasurer and now there is none;
* the health system is the worst in the country and has senior officials illegally fabricating data;
* they are proposing to undertake the largest infrastructure build in ACT Government history, despite having stuffed up everything else they’ve ever attempted.

If Katy and the other f*^ktards want to be in power so much, maybe they should GROW UP and start making some grown up decisions like what real adults make, not waste their time and our money having the 24,000 ACT Public Servants faffing around with sh#it like this.

How fortunate that we had this thing called an election when someone like Pantsman who disagrees vehemently with everything the current government has done was able to put their name forward as potential alternatives, and see how many people agreed with them… You did nominate didn’t you, Pantsman?

Jim Jones Jim Jones 12:28 pm 25 Jan 13

wildturkeycanoe said :

I’m not too fussed about the content of the discussion but how can a government justify it’s policy with results that say 66% of 0.16% of Canberrans surveyed want plastic bags banned nationally. So, 0.1 of a percent of the population represents a “majority of shoppers from every age group”???? I hope they didn’t waste too much taxpayer money on this, especially when the government has a department dedicated to doing surveys and the like – ABS!!

Yep, the survey would only be representative if they surveyed every person in Canberra and they all agreed with whatever you reckon.

Jim Jones Jim Jones 12:26 pm 25 Jan 13

chewy14 said :

gooterz said :

600 of the 600 surveyed also wanted flying cars.

One has to wonder how the questions were worded and if people would admit to wanting something that the government sees as bad.

I’m sure if police pulled people over and asked them if they were speeding instead of using a speed gun, a good number would say they weren’t.

I’ve linked the survey previously in this thread and Pantsman has done so again. Can people at least read it before commenting anymore?

No.

Any survey whose results differ from my personal beliefs is obviously indication of some sort of nefarious IMMORAL conspiracy with the GUMMINT and the PLASTIC BAG MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY and quite likely the ILLUMINATI.

chewy14 chewy14 12:15 pm 25 Jan 13

gooterz said :

600 of the 600 surveyed also wanted flying cars.

One has to wonder how the questions were worded and if people would admit to wanting something that the government sees as bad.

I’m sure if police pulled people over and asked them if they were speeding instead of using a speed gun, a good number would say they weren’t.

I’ve linked the survey previously in this thread and Pantsman has done so again. Can people at least read it before commenting anymore?

Reprobate Reprobate 11:52 am 25 Jan 13

So… survey says…

63% of respondents were aged 51 or over. Not sure 63% of shoppers I see, or even the population of Canberra, are over 51.

Nearly half of all surveyed already took their own bags before the ban anyway. Or, based on the above, maybe their vinyl nanna wheelie trolleys.

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