Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Plastic Bag Obsession

Is it just me or are shops obsessed with trying to give customers plastic bags?

Hubby's pet hate is being offered a plastic bag for one or two items and he often comments that when he refuses a bag people look at him like he is a freak.  But what other people think does not stop us from refusing plastic bags.

The other day I was getting some groceries and the check out girl started packing them into plastic bags even though my green bags were sitting on top of my groceries.  Then when I pointed them out to her she asked me if I just wanted to take the ones she had already packed.  I told her that no I did not want them left in the plastic bags as we do not use plastic shopping bags.
She looked at me in a confused manner and asked "what never?"
I then simply said to her that I always carry green bags or cotton bags with me because I do not believe in using plastic bags.
She then said to me "oh yeah I keep green bags in my car boot, but I never remember to take them into the shops when I get my groceries so I end up with heaps of plastic bags from that.  I said to her that if I ever forget mine I just pack all my groceries back in the trolley and load them into bags when I get to the car.
Then she tells me she would be embarrassed to ask shop assistants to put things other than groceries in those bags.
I think she was pretty shocked when I replied saying "I think you should be more embarrassed accepting a plastic bag in this day and age when we know how much environmental damage they do and they are so easy to replace with re-usables".
She was not very talkative after that.
When I looked up the lady in the next checkout over, who was having her groceries packed into plastic bags, had obviously been listening because when she caught my eye she glanced down at all of her shopping packed in plastic bags and blushed badly then looked away.
There were other shoppers at the checkouts waiting so I have no doubt they all heard what I said as well and I am sure I gave them something to talk about.  And hopefully they do talk.

Perhaps this is a tactic we should use...

We are not 100% successful in keeping plastic bags out of our house and rubbish bags pose a big challenge but we really try and lately I have been looking at what to do with the ones we are left to deal with.

I know plastic bags are only a recent invention and humanity got by without them in the past so there is no doubt in my mind it can be done.

What tactics do you have for avoiding plastic bags?
Do you find that you are bombarded with plastic bags even when they are not really needed?


  1. Hi Fiona, Keeping our own bags in the boot of the car makes it easy and shopping at Aldi makes it impossible to be tempted into laziness.

  2. Oh fee you had me laughing out loud on the bus, I can just picture this exchange! We have been using newspaper to line our bin since last plastic free july, it works fine, especially as its mostly paper and plastic in there, all food scraps dealt with by worm farm or dogs.

  3. Lol...I love the cartoon... I lined my bins with newspapers too, but I got so many complaints from the grown up kids about how hard it was to empty the the moment we have to drive over a kilometre to put our rubbish bags in the wheelie bins so it does make it hard to not use bin bags...I think the green bag push has definitely died off in mainstream media, so plastic bags seem to be everywhere again..

  4. I wish I could find an alternative to lining my kitchen bin, that is the only thing we use them for...

  5. the kitchen bin does seem to be a problem. When I finally ran out of the accumulated plastic bags around the house for the bin liner I simply stopped using one. Our kitchen bin has a removable inner plastic bucket. We empty the bucket into the outside bin then wash the bucket if needed. It rarely needs a wash as not a lot of wet yukky stuff goes in the bin. Food scraps go to the dogs, chooks or worms. Sometimes if there is something yukky I just put it in the outside bin rather than the kitchen bin. It works.


I'd love to hear your thoughts...
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