The phasing out of plastic shopping bags by the major supermarket chains was a fantastic opportunity to reduce the mountains of plastic waste. It has been successfully done in several European countries. Woolworths bravely stuck to their guns. Coles management says its customers can’t cope and so replaced the grey bags that are more durable as they are made of far more plastic! That they are biodegradable doesn’t lessen my concerns one iota. As well Coles has been giving away ‘gift bags’ – yes – made of plastic and containing gimmicky plastic toys. The money spent on both those things could have been spent on subsidising material bags for pensioners and others who genuinely can’t afford them.
We all create waste, we all need to take personal responsibility for reducing it as much as possible. It’s great to see that so many shoppers have risen to the occasion not only with an assortment of non-plastic bags but by using the durable ‘net bags’ (available for example from the health food shop) for fruit and veg shopping.These washable bags are also excellent for storing fruit and veg in the fridge. Let’s hope Coles eventually comes to the party when people have a little more time to adapt.