Ban the Bag Ban


The great state of Queensland has recently implemented legislation to outlaw ‘single-use’ plastic bags. It is now an offence for a retailer to supply ‘single-use’ plastic bags to their consumers. The rationale for this legislation is based on ‘environmental concerns’. Consumers can now buy plastic bags to use for 15c, or the more sturdy ones for a dollar or so – both made of plastics.  

Queensland has had the ‘big two’ supermarkets forever, that have supplied the ‘single-use’ plastic bags, no doubt the cost had been factored in to their bottom line. Aldi, newish to Queensland have made their shoppers bring their own bags, and pack their shopping themselves. It was a business decision 

How a business decides to pack shopping should be between the business and the consumer. It’s a private transaction. Consumers in our mostly market driven economy should have a choice on where they shop. Aldi customers were prepared to pay less for their shopping and have the inconvenience of bringing their own shopping bags and packing their shopping. Inversely, consumers of the other supermarkets paid more for the convenience of the shop supplying and packing their bags (until the automated checkouts started). It was a private transaction between two private parties.

I could talk about how many times I’ve used single-use plastic bags multiple times – including using them for bin liners, vomit bags, sandwich bags, or even using them as bags again. I could talk about how now there is the single-use plastic bag ban, I still have to buy MORE plastic bags to line my bins, but I won’t. My gripe is simply this:

Why have we, as a society, let ‘the government’ determine how we carry our own shopping home? Why do we have that level of interference by ‘the government’, that we have gotten to a situation where we have allowed them to be involved with such a mundane, routine decision as how we can carry our shopping home? Does anyone else find that obscenely obtrusive?

I was at my local supermarket the other night, griping (again) to the checkout person on why the government feels fit to tell me how I can transport my shopping. The checkout person told me that even if I was to bring my old ‘single-use’ plastic bag to use again, they are not allowed to fill it up.

I recall a few years ago when my children were in day-care, the local council had mandated what lunch wrapping and lunch bags could be used for my kids lunches!

If a retailer or supermarket makes a decision that they will stop supplying bags, good on them. It’s their decision to make, and consumers will act accordingly. For ‘the government’ to tell me (and you!) that they know better than me (and you) on the most appropriate way to take my shopping home – makes my blood boil. 

So who’s with me – let’s ban the bag ban! I’m sick of being told how I can take my shopping home, having ‘the government’ dictating such a non-decision to me. BAN THE BAG BAN!



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