Your say: plastic ban a mixed bag

TIME TO PACK UP: The Queensland Government wants to phase out plastic shopping bags over the next two years, something that has received a mixed response from Gympie residents.
TIME TO PACK UP: The Queensland Government wants to phase out plastic shopping bags over the next two years, something that has received a mixed response from Gympie residents. Brett Wortman

BANNING plastic bags has evoked a mixed-bag response from Gympie residents.

While many readers voiced their support for the environmental benefit of banning single-use plastic bags - with legislation to be introduced by the State Government next year - many are questioning if it will have any major positive impact or simply lead to more inconvenience.

One of the most common concerns was what the ban would mean for people who used plastic bags for rubbish and bin liners and whether any of the replacement options were of appropriate quality.

"I think in principle it's a good idea but then I will need to buy garbage bags and try and find a replacement that is not made from plastic," Andrea Pel said.

"Green bags are not so green and they don't last."

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Sally Seabrook echoed this concern but supported the idea and said it would be great if stores adopted a recycling bin for plastic bags, similar to the ones used by Woolworths.

"I think every shop should have them," she said.

"I use green bags for when I shop at Aldi but when I shop at Woolies or IGA I get the plastic bags so I can use them for garbage bags.

"I also use the bags for other reasons.

"I know I can use biodegradable garbage bags but they are usually too large, I live alone."

Practicality was another issue raised, with many saying it would add another layer of preparation to shopping trips or lead to people paying more for alternatives on spontaneous shopping sprees.

"I use and reuse plastic bags several times over ... so recycling of sorts," Jan Watt said.

"Who carries a supply of bags around with them for heaven's sake."


Plastic bags have a significant impact on marine life.
Plastic bags have a significant impact on marine life. MikaelEriksson

As a former Queenslander living in Canberra, Troy Reeves said this was a plan that was already in place in the Australian capital - one that was leading to some frustration.

"I hate it," Mr Reeves said.

"You just end up with a heap of those tougher plastic bags that cost 15 cents each, which split after a few months and end up in the bin anyway.

"If you buy something when you weren't planning to, you end up buying another bag to add to the pile.

"And instead of using Coles/Woolies bags for bin liners, I now have to buy them, so I doubt it decreases landfill at all."

Despite these concerns, one message was consistent from the majority of readers - a better solution was needed and it's time for the bags to go.

"Ban 'em," Troy Musgrave said.

"I'm a gardener and the amount of plastic bags I'm having to put in the bin ... plus our beautiful native wildlife can be harmed or killed by plastic bags."

Sharon Parkyn agreed: "The environment is more important than convenience."

More comments

Holly Symons: Yup, lived in Canberra for a time also, there is no plastic bag ban; it's you're not allowed to have complimentary biodegradable bags but instead offered to buy the 15 cent non-biodegradable heavy duty plastic bags! The only deal I see here is making life more costly for consumers, and in the end the govt. will be able to identify which shops have the most bags and in landfill and fine them for not being green I guess!

Brian D Branch: Given that so many of us reuse these bags for rubbish, we'll need to purchase garbage bags in its place, which use more resources than shopping bags. And think about it. How much of anything are we saving? Given total resource use & waste, these bags are 0.000001% of the problem. Nothing but a stupid gimmick to pretend they're doing something.

Petra Halden: Yes for sure... too bad if it's too hard... brown paper bags and boxes... just like we used before the plastic bags.

Suzanne 'Fordham' McCowen: We keep cloth bags in the car - it is habit now to take them into the shops.

Lynette Norris: We haven't had plastic bags for years in SA. Hate it when I go over the border and people want to give you bags. So unnecessary.

Sharon Wilox: Dunno why they don't bring paper bags back. Plastic is no stronger; at least paper breaks down.

Russell Tibby: YEP - GET RID OF THEM.

Chris Golley: Fantastic idea. Bring it on.

Sharlene Makin: Had this in SA for quite some time. It's all fine.

Ray Smith: Brown paper bags with string handles.

Topics:  360 degree story debate plastic bag ban

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