I was walking to the shops the other day, without a reusable bag in my hand, as I often do and I thought to myself – the Government should really ban plastic bags or at least enforce a law that means we have to pay for them to discourage people from using them.
Like at Ikea.
You should see me at Ikea. I’ve got my arms full of stuff, the pram has a tower of frames on it, my toddler is complaining about the weight on his head, my other kids are still in the Ikea creche, but I need to head down to the car first to get rid of the stuff.
All because I want to avoid paying for that bag.
It’s not that I begrudge the dollar or whatever it is. It’s out of respect for that principle that we shouldn’t be using these bags. I should have brought the Ikea bag I bought the last time I was here. It should linger in my sub-concious that everytime I head to the shops I should be bringing bags I already have.
Did you see what I did here? In the first paragraph, I wanted someone else to solve a problem for me?
I blamed the Government for my lack of concern over the environment and got more plastic bags at the shops whilst I was there, despite my thoughts that we really should ban the use of these plastic bags.
“Australians use around 4 billion plastic bags every year – that’s a whopping 10 million each day. An estimated 50 million of these end up in our waterways and ocean.” Greenpeace.
If that is not a commitment to change my own habits, I don’t know what is.
I have rising concern over the amount of plastics that my food is being packaged in. More and more the fresh fruit aisle is starting to look like the grocery aisle. The apples are packaged in a dozen, and come in little plastic boxes. As do the the stone fruit this season and the avocados. Yes, a lot of them still come loose, but despite my growing concern about this I still reach for the packaged lot as it is more convenient and saves me micro-seconds.
And I’m the person who is concerned and I am still grabbing the packaged stuff.
I feel like I’m looking for a Government ban on this stuff too, so I can be forced to be less lazy.
Does anyone else feel this way?
I have two bins. Fresh food and the plastic/glass recycable stuff. I buy predominantly fresh produce, have an organic box delivered filled with my fruit and veges for the week and I probably go to the shops once a week to top up. Yet that part of the bin for plastic/glass is full, all the time.
Apple packets, blueberry packets, meat plastics, kombucha (single serving) glass bottles, cheese packaging – my bin is full maybe three times a week and it’s not a small bin. This is also a household where we do buy bulk wholefoods and avoid the packaged stuff. This should be a relatively small amount of waste compared to other households who do eat a lot of packaged, single serve things – but it’s not a small amount of waste.
I haven’t even touched on my concern about what the plastic my kids fruit and fresh food comes in is doing to the actual food. Do you think it ever gets hot when they transport the apples? Is the packaging BPA free? Or is that stuff just sinking in on top of the chemicals already sprayed on it to keep it insect free and growing to perfection?
I’m not the only one concerned, my first google search revealed the consumer watchdog, Choice’s findings on the subject. You can read further here but the gist is yes it is a problem
“BPA and some phthalates are endocrine disruptors, meaning they can mimic the body’s natural hormones and thereby cause a raft of health problems. Infants and the very young are most vulnerable to exposure because of their lower body weight and because their growth and development are strongly influenced by hormones; the effects on health can be lifelong. These effects have been seen clearly and consistently in experiments with animals, and when people or wildlife have been accidentally exposed to high levels of endocrine disruptors.
While these compounds are undoubtedly hazardous at high levels of exposure, scientific opinion is divided over the risk from the much lower levels that we’re exposed to every day in our food. There is, however, growing scientific evidence that even at these lower levels of exposure, phthalates and BPA may be causing problems such as infertility, obesity, breast cancer, prostate cancer, heart disease and diabetes.”
So what can we do?
In the end it is not up to government’s to do it. They are a lobbyist for the consensus of what the population thinks. We need to show them that we will make the change by getting better at our commitments to what we think is right.
I am going to commit to bringing my own bags to the shops.
I don’t buy a lot of single served packaged stuff for the kids but I will commit to reducing it to zero.
I will commit to no longer buying the plastic encased fruit and vegetables and just use my own bags to bag them individually.
Vote with your dollar, your actions and ten seconds of your support by signing the petition here.
To take your plastic ban further and to give you some easy tips on reducing plastic in your home you can read this beautiful article written by Sonia at the Natural New Age Mum.