Plastic bags are a staple of our shopping experience, but could we live without them? England has just imposed a ban from today on plastic bags, prompting us to consider whether Australia should have a country-wide ban.
Britons wanting to bag their groceries from today will be slapped with a 5p fee to use a plastic bag, although it applies only to shops or chains with 250 or more full-time employees.
Plastic bags at airport shops or on board trains, planes or ships, will not be included, and neither will paper bags, reports the BBC.
Figures collected by UK waste-reduction body Wrap found that 7.64 billion plastic bags were used in the last year in England, so the ban makes sense.
The government hopes to see an 80% reduction in plastic bag use in supermarkets, and a 50% fall on the high street.
There are some exemptions to the plastic bag ban, and you will not be charged if you buy live fish, knives, meat, poultry, fish, medications, flowers or fast food.
Currently, South Australia, Tasmania, The Australian Capital Territory and The Northern Territory all have imposed a ban saving an estimated 400 million plastic bags each year, but is that enough?
It’s an initiative that not only supports the reduction of landfill but also the abundance of wildlife in Australia.
It’s very clear that as Australians we each need to take responsibility for our actions. I know I’m guilty of leaving my green shopping bags in the car when I go to the supermarket and wrongly, I put going out to get them again in the ‘too hard basket’.
So should we see Australia face plastic bag bans right around the country? Can you live without plastic bags? If you’re already somewhere without them, was it a big adjustment or has it been easy? Share your thoughts in the comments below…