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Aizuke
October 31st, 2011, 03:54 PM
In December 2010, the A.C.T Legislative Assembly passed legislation to ban lightweight plastic bags in the A.C.T (Australian Capital Territory for those of you that don't know). As of the 1st of November, which is today, that plastic bag ban has come into effect. This implies that all retails in the A.C.T will not be supplying lightweight plastic bags to customers with their purchases and are instead to use canvas bags or reusable plastic bags, which are sort of the same as lightweight plastic bags but they have a different design, similar to canvas bags and they're more studier and can be reused more over than a lightweight plastic bag. Although not all of the plastic bags will be banned. The following list are plastic bags that are not banned.



Barrier bags – the type dispensed from a roll to hold items such as loose fruit and vegetables
Heavier style retail bags – the type usually used by clothing and department stores
Sturdy bags designed for multiple use such as ‘green’ bags
Biodegradable compostable bags that meet the Australian Standard
Bin liners for purchase


The awareness of the plastic bag ban has been featured over time since it passed legislation, but today when I went grocery shopping, there were some people who didn't realise there was a bag ban. Which is rather difficult when you have a whole trolley/shopping cart full of groceries. Although it's hard to understand why people wouldn't realise about the ban, because there were a lot of signs about, it was on TV, the radio. Unless you live under a rock or moved in from another state, then you wouldn't know about it.

Why is there a plastic bag ban you ask? It's to reduce litter, since lightweight plastic bags are the most common rubbish seen around. I'm not too sure when or if the other states in Australia will have the lightweight plastic bag ban put into effect for their states.

So, for people around the world, is or will there be a plastic bag ban in your state or country? If not, do you think there should be? And do you think this is a good idea or do you think it won't make difference in helping the environment?

Kura
October 31st, 2011, 04:15 PM
There already is this sort of implemented in Toronto. We need to pay for plastic bags. It's strange though because we only need to pay 5 cents. I personally think that's silly. If they wanted to make an active effort to get people to remember to use material/reusable bags.. then they should raise the price to being like $1 or 50 cents. That way it becomes less of a "hassle" of getting bags (lol 5 cents meh) and more of an active eco-decision (better remember to bring my tote!)

That's my opinion.

Hoenn
October 31st, 2011, 04:18 PM
Reusable bags are a good idea, this reduces the amount of plastic bags... in a way.

marz
November 1st, 2011, 09:33 AM
This has been passed in Ontario, I'm not sure about all of Canada but definitely in Ontario. They haven't outright banned them, so as to cater to those who happened to have forgotten their canvas/fabric bag and not force them to buy a whole other one for the one purchase. You've got to pay 5 cents for the bag. Which I think is perfectly reasonable. Everybody wins - it gives people an incentive to start carrying reusable bags, which obviously in turn reduces waste and litter, as well as oil consumption, and brings in a slight profit for the store as you can definitely expect some people to just put up with the fee. Some might not like it because it's not an outright ban but you have to look at the statistics: I think Toronto's use of plastic bags alone went down by something like 70% after one year of the legislation being passed. That's quite an improvement.

I'm very happy things like these are being implemented - it's about time we stop wasting so much and reusing. All we do is litter. We litter the planet and we even manage to litter the Earth's orbit. No other living creature has been capable of doing that. We're a virus to our planet. >>;

Esper
November 1st, 2011, 09:39 AM
In San Francisco (where I don't live, but visit often) there's a ban on those more wasteful types of cheap plastic bags that all seem to end up in parks and landfills. I think it's a good idea and encourage people I know to use reusable bags. All it takes is a little bit of forethought and a few tries and it'll seem normal.

I agree with Kura, too, about how it's just an annoyance if they still let you get plastic bags (mixed message, anyone?) but charge you for it (not gonna win anyone over with that tactic).

Oryx
November 1st, 2011, 10:09 AM
I personally even re-use the cheap grocery bags. I save every one for future use :x

But I wouldn't be upset that much if they got rid of the bags. In a bulk store I like to visit they don't have bags anyway, and their stuff comes in huge quantities so I'm used to it and wouldn't be affected too much.

FreakyLocz14
November 1st, 2011, 10:22 AM
This is such and overreach of government authority and an attack on the liberty of the individual. Plastic bags can be reused for all sorts of purposes. I use them as laundry bags and trash bags when the load is light.

San Francisco is the only place around here that has an active ban on plastic bags, but they're all crazy there.

Shiny Celebi
November 1st, 2011, 10:26 AM
I actually agree with this. I know some people reuse the bags, but many people just throw them away, they just add to endless landfill waste or worse, get dumped on the side of the road and stuff and become an eyesore and arent picked up. I hate seeing those plastic bags everywhere.

Sydian
November 1st, 2011, 10:29 AM
This is such and overreach of government authority and an attack on the liberty of the individual. Plastic bags can be reused for all sorts of purposes. I use them as laundry bags and trash bags when they load is light.


I reuse them too. Great for cleaning out litter boxes! However, I still agree with this:

I'm very happy things like these are being implemented - it's about time we stop wasting so much and reusing. All we do is litter. We litter the planet and we even manage to litter the Earth's orbit. No other living creature has been capable of doing that. We're a virus to our planet. >>;

Because it's true. We're terrible to our home. Seeing that I live in Alabama though, I don't see this being passed. At least not any time soon. While plastic bags remain though, I'll keep reusing them around the house and such. But if this does get implemented here, then that's fine too. I'm basically alright with this either way, though I'd prefer it get passed here.

TRIFORCE89
November 1st, 2011, 11:54 AM
In Toronto, what we enacted was a stupid law that doesn't ban the plastic bags, but if you want one you have to pay five cents. The government doesn't get those five cents either. We legislated free cash for grocery stores. They get extra cash when offering me nothing extra in return.

If they gave me an alternative, like free paper bags, I'd be fine with ditching plastic (although all the extra bags make for a good lining of trashbins). But the alternative are tote bags. Which I keep forgetting in the trunk of my car, need several of because I don't want to mix meat and produce for example (and if I need several, they're at least a $1 each), and now I have to wash them too.

And it's sprending beyond grocery stores too. It's okay with groceries because if you forget the tote bag you still have a buggy to carry it out with. But at the mall? You're choice is pay for the plastic bag or try to carry out and juggle holding all the clothes and books and games and whatever else you bought.

The Author
November 1st, 2011, 11:58 AM
My grandmother once knitted my aunt a reusable shopping bag out of disposable plastic bags. xD

Jorah
November 1st, 2011, 12:02 PM
There already is this sort of implemented in Toronto. We need to pay for plastic bags. It's strange though because we only need to pay 5 cents. I personally think that's silly. If they wanted to make an active effort to get people to remember to use material/reusable bags.. then they should raise the price to being like $1 or 50 cents. That way it becomes less of a "hassle" of getting bags (lol 5 cents meh) and more of an active eco-decision (better remember to bring my tote!)

That's my opinion.

That's crazy. You can buy much larger and stronger bags for life at supermarkets from 10p.

I am sure the reason that the same stores that give out a message of not using plastic bags that still sell them "cheaply" are for the profit. Selling loads of those for 5p would be a huge profit because one doesn't even cost anywhere near one single penny.

Yoshikkko
November 1st, 2011, 12:12 PM
I've never heard of this before, at least not where I live, but then again maybe I just missed it because I do not watch the news *that* often. It seems like a good idea to me, something they should have maybe come up with earlier, tbh.

FreakyLocz14
November 1st, 2011, 02:08 PM
I can't get past the fundamental liberty issues with a complete ban on plastic bags as a government policy. A small fee? Maybe. Individual stores implementing a ban? That's alright. As you can tell, I'm not keen on anything being banned by the government unless it is directly harmful to humans.

The Wal-Mart here charges a small 15 cent fee to have your groceries bagged in reusable bags, and has done away with plastic bags. I think they even waive the fee if you're paying with food stamps.
http://www.bloggingstocks.com/2010/01/13/wal-mart-begins-charging-for-grocery-bags-in-california/

Kura
November 1st, 2011, 02:13 PM
The government doesn't get those five cents either. We legislated free cash for grocery stores. They get extra cash when offering me nothing extra in return.

Yeah that's my biggest beef. It's not even just grocery stores, too.


>_> And the fact that they started doing it where we live (GTA) instead of where the law was passed (City of Toronto) was like.. "How can you charge me for this, you're just trying to get free money, the law wasn't even passed here."

Not sure if it is or not passed here NOW.. but I didn't think that's right at that time.. they were basically stealing our money by making a false claim >__> And you couldn't refuse. It was weird.

Alley Cat
November 1st, 2011, 06:03 PM
Well technically, the stores were losing money because they do have to pay for the bags and they used to hand them out for free, charging for them is something they could have done from the beginning, juuuuuuuuuuuuuuuust sayin'.

I re-use all my plastic bags. My family has this container that we put them in, and we use them for all sorts of things. Trash-bags, lunch bags, litter-box cleaners, practically everything! The nearest Wal-Mart to me has abolished plastics bags and charges for a reusable bag. Other than that, stores have just given a nudge towards using reusable bags by putting them all over the store(so you always see them and are thinking about them), advertising them at ridiculously low prices, and offering benefits for using bags. At a local business here they had something that was the opposite of charging for bags, if you brought you own, you got a few cents off your purchase! Sure it didn't mean much at the time, but 5cents here and 5cents there, soon you have 5cents everywhere!:DD.

Either way, in general I'd agree with a ban on plastic bags. There are much more efficient and effective methods of transporting groceries that aren't so harmful to the environment. Maybe the government shouldn't be allowed to get involved in this, but someone needs too before we destroy the planet.

Lalapizzame
November 1st, 2011, 09:24 PM
It is shrewd to use people's desires or needs for personal gain if you're a businessman. There will always be a hand lower than the one currently feeding you until one of the hands hits the floor, at which time all hands will hit the floor but some hands will be able to offer more than others. Choose carefully and thoroughly.

As for the actual ban, being in California, legislation along these lines has been in the air for quite some time. I don't mind which bag I use as long as they're in good condition and quantity, good enough to be used more than once and have a high capacity and abundant enough to cover my demands.

I do not agree with the idea of imposing a higher fee on plastic bags. People will adapt when they want to; punishing them for addressing their own demands and digging into empty pockets is distressing. Let people do as they please with as little hindrance as possible in this case while assuring concerned civilians of acknowledgement with the current gesture.