If you’re like me, you probably have a draw or bag full of them: the humble plastic bag. They waste space and are bad for the environment…so why haven’t Australian stores ditched them yet? We have green bags but they aren’t really enforced, instead they are gently nudged onto us but checkout staff don’t offer them as an alternative, instead just packing your stuff into plastic bags (if you forget or don’t have green bags).
California is about to be the first US state to ban plastic bags after the governor Jerry Brown said that he would approve a ban on single-us plastic bags. He says he is doing it because there are about 50 cities in California with individual plastic bag bans and he wants to get rid of the confusion. Brown also is considering the environment and the needs of the economy.
When passed, plastic bags will disappear from 1 July 2015 across the state. But if it was introduced here, would it cause problems for our economy and a loss of jobs? Or would the environmental benefits outweigh those negatives?
Australians use over 4 billion lightweight plastic bags and most end up in landfill.
So should we ban the plastic bag and bring our own bags, following the lead of a handful of businesses? Or should it stay for convenience and costs reasons?