Plastic bag ban: Shoppers adapting easily to using their own bags

In with the new: A shopper unloads her reusable plastic bags provided by Woolworths. Photo: AAP Image/Ben Rushton
In with the new: A shopper unloads her reusable plastic bags provided by Woolworths. Photo: AAP Image/Ben Rushton

WHETHER you’re for or against the ban of single-use plastic bags, the message is clear: get use to it.

Woolworths and Coles banned the bags on June 20 and June 30 respectively. This includes department store Big W and liquor store BWS. 

Many shoppers have embraced the ban, including Port Macquarie's Linda Leddiman and Lake Cathie's Shinnai Lorant.

"For the last few years I've used my own bags. I have extras in my car (so) the ban is no problem to me," Mrs Leddiman said. 

"I don't think anybody should have a problem. Of course there will be people whinging, but those people should get their act together. 

"Put some bags in the car and you won't forget them. People will get use to it."

Reusable plastic bags cost 15 cents each. Woolworths has made them available for free until July 8.

"But if people get them for free all the time they'll probably throw them out or store them up like the old plastic bags," Mrs Leddiman said. 

"If they pay for them they're more likely to bring their own instead of wasting them."

Hopefully the bag ban is a small step on a big ladder.

Shinnai Lorant

Ms Lorant said she very much supported the ban, but wants to see progression by supermarkets to ban other plastic packaging. 

"There is plastic everywhere. The veggies, the meat and pretty much everything else (is wrapped in plastic)," she said. 

"Hopefully the bag ban is a small step on a big ladder. I've been bringing my own bags for ages and the criticism is ridiculous. 

"(I say) stiff to those people whinging. It's a habit people need to get use to. They have been warning people about the ban for weeks."

In an analysis published by Queensland University of Technology Associate Professor Gary Mortimer on July 17, the decision by Woolworths and Coles to stop providing free plastic bags could earn them a hefty profit.

"With each bag costing almost three cents, retailers stand to save more than A$170 million a year in direct costs," he said.

"Selling these new bags at 15 cents each effectively creates another revenue stream potentially adding up to A$71 million in gross profit (6 cents x 1.18 billion units)."

If that is to be the case, Mrs Leddiman would like to see some of the reusable bag profits given to charity.

"I think the supermarkets could give some of that money towards helping the environment," she said. 

"That will get them onside with the public and should encourage more people to bring their own bags."

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