Supermarkets ‘banning plastic bags’ is a weak attempt at environmental change
Australian supermarket chains announced that they were no longer providing customers with plastic bags. Then, they backflipped when consumers lost their shit, because shoppers are accustomed to having bags to carry their groceries immediately available to them.
When they ban single-use plastic bags, companies make it seem as though they care about the environment. That these large supermarket chains are committed to making a difference and cutting down on waste. Absolute bullshit.
By banning single-use plastic bags, these corporations are shifting responsibility to the consumer. You need to cut down on your plastic consumption; stop using plastic bags! Make sure you recycle your soft plastic in the bins we have in our stores. You need to care about the environment!
The root of the problem is not overconsumption – it’s the unavoidable over-availability. If a consumer wants to buy the product inside, they have to accept the plastic coming with it.
When you walk into the produce section, you can still collect your fruit and veg in those thin plastic bags. You can still buy pre-cut vegetables and loose-leaf salad in plastic bags. Zucchinis are wrapped to styrofoam trays, a great big “ORGANIC” label attached to the front. Every loaf of bread, bag of frozen vegetables, packet of cookies or biscuits get wrapped in plastic.
Someone at these companies is trying to be responsible. Someone is implementing policies that are meant to cut down on waste. Coles have said they are implementing a plan to cut down on excessive produce packaging over the next four years. The removal of plastic bags from supermarkets is a step in the right direction, though a small one.
If companies were truly committed to environmental change, they’d be doing a lot more than just removing plastic bags.
The article was originally published on Brag Magazine