Recent research by Countdown suggests more than 80 percent of its customers support phasing out single-use plastic bags at checkout. There’s been broad support across many other retail categories for a move away from plastic bags, too, with New World and Mitre 10 joining the fray and The Warehouse introducing compostable bags. But we’ve noticed a certain amount of griping from the other 20 percent of shoppers.
Here are some common themes we’ve perceived among the complaints.
- It’s so hard to remember to bring them. I’m already in the habit of dressing myself in the morning and showing up to work on time – my ability to be proactive is at capacity.
- We all look like babushkas when we tote our reusable bags around. Only peasants carry extra items in public.
- Speaking of peasants, I can’t afford to pay per bag either. That extra 15 cents could buy me one and a half lollies at the dairy, or one third of a carrot.
- It’s absolutely criminal that retailers get to charge extra for plastic bags. I bet they’re not really giving the money to charity, it’s just lining their shareholders’ pockets.
- This is hypocrisy, it’s just a way for retailers to swindle us consumers out of another essential service. I raised this point often and loudly when self-service checkouts first came in and you better believe I’m saddling up that pony for another ride today.
- I approve of removing plastic bags, but I’m not going to lift a finger to adopt any alternative or pay for it. If retailers want to change customer behaviour then they should hold our hands every step of the way.
- I’m holding out until retailers go back to paper bags, like they used to offer when I was a child. Everything was better then.
- Plastic bags are so convenient and versatile, I use them for everything. Look out for me walking down the street with my wallet, phone and keys in one.
- Plastic bags aren’t necessarily single-use, you know. I’ve been washing mine and hanging them out on the line to reuse them for over 20 years now. Some have names.
- What about council rubbish bags/product packaging/single-use menstrual products/plastic drink bottles/meat trays/ad infinitum? I’m determined to keep using plastic bags until this other problem that I think is more important is addressed.
- What will I put my rubbish in if I can’t get supermarket plastic bags for free anymore? Bins need to be kept clean, you know.
- Plastic bags keep rubbish together in the bin. What will happen when the wind tips rubbish bins over and all the bits of rubbish blow freely out onto the street to wash into the drains and get eaten by whales?
- There’s nothing wrong with plastic bags when they’re disposed of properly. There’s even recycling now. Just because a few people are littering doesn’t mean I should have to make a minor change to my behaviour.
- I don’t really understand how those whales get hold of plastic bags in the first place. All my plastic bags go in the bin, which is nowhere near the sea. Until somebody explains how plastic bags reach the sea to me in a way I understand, at a time I’m ready to listen, I’m going to assume it’s all lies made up by people who don’t want me to have the convenience of a plastic bag.
- Even if I can’t use plastic bags, I’m still going to drive to the supermarket in my 4WD and buy lots of disposable imported products. Stick that in your sustainable pipe and smoke it.