Plastic everywhere

Remember when we used to say “reduce, reuse, recycle”? Somehow, the first two got lost in the shuffle and the third has proved to be a bad joke.

So, how about a tax on plastic? Say, $100,000 per tonne (or is that an excise?)? Totalitarian Capitalists would have apoplexy. Wouldn’t that be fun?


I wonder if any of the participating areas had container deposit schemes?

I don’t see any items subject to the container deposit scheme discarded around Cairns since the scheme was introduced.

Now junk food packaging including plastic lids and straws are an entirely different matter.

I vote for a deposit of between 10 cents and $1 on every junk food packaging item.

I bet that peopele would eat it in store instead, returnd the items for a refund, or give it up as too expensive.

A win, win, win outcome.

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It is not just plastic containers that are being dumped to pollute the enviroment.

Although some could argue that this was polluting the enviroment whilst still in use.


Progress and some interesting insights:

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SA to ban single use plastics whilst a local cafe is already using items made from coffee bean skins.


More on the issues of plastics in the environment and the food chain.

An old article with an interesting observation:


I wonder if the members used coins to pay the registration fee? :wink: indeed the supply chain is tricky at best … good to see they are still going …




Is there any use of plastic for which there is no substitute?


I think this has previously been mentioned elsewhere. It’s about to return.

I presume these promotions work, but are they worth the costs?


An article regarding plastic packaging in the produce industry.

It does not seem to be relevant to FNQ as a few years ago, my wife wanted some polystyrene broccoli boxes to grow plants in but Coles and Woollies had stopped using them and were getting their broccoli in cardboard boxes and plastic crates.The only ones that Woollies still had were small ones for seafood.

Our local Supa IGA were still getting them and had the gall to want to sell them for $3 each but I have not seen any for quite some time.

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A great article on plastics still being used as standard in grocer supply chains.
I used to manage a medium sized organic grocer. The majority of suppliers would ask the polystyrene or waxed boxes be kept aside for pick up in bulk when required. If they didn’t ask, we would just chuck it with the bulk return to other suppliers.
I can imagine a transition from polystyrene to plastic crates would be expensive for smaller farmers and suppliers.


All the collapsible black plastic crates at Coles seem to be the same so perhaps Coles actually supplies the crates to the producers for shipping their produce to Coles.

The cost of packaging, transport to market and agents costs can be greater than the value of the product.

Interesting to note for larger producers (larger farm business/investors) who may be supplying contracts direct to Woolies and Coles etc.

One way to bring costs of handling product down. Not so good for the smaller producers going through the markets and agents who face higher add on costs and are subject to market fluctuations.

On the flip side many of the contracted producers face the problem of wastage of product (potential income loss) that does not conform to their contract specifications.

Thought Bubble:
Perhaps a plastic tax might be the best way to encourage change at all levels. Something to pay for 100% collection and proper management of all plastics in our supply change and homes. For as long as it takes to transition to 100% sustainable solutions and that do not add micro plastics to the environment.


On my last visit to our local Supa IGA, I was disappointed to see a stack of styrofoam broccoli boxes and a few seafood boxes.

I was even more disappointed that they still had the temerity to price them at $3 each.

I previously said to an employee a couple of years ago when they were selling them to convey my message to management that I could not believe that they could be so cheap.

At least Woollies used to place them outside the front of the store for people to simply take without even having to enter the store.


It is likely in the foreseeable that other businesses and producers will shift full away from expanded Styrofoam packaging. This will occur for a number of reasons…

  • cost - Most Styrofoam packaging is single use…there is also the difficulty of returning empty packaging to producers as they take up a lot of volume when empty. There are also a significant number of multi-use alternatives like those used at the Woolworths/Coles. In general packaging, moulded cardboard can replace Styrofoam in most cases.
  • impact on the environment - unfortunately Styrofoam becomes brittle in sunlight and also looses particles when handled. Thse particles when they enter the wider environment can take 100s of years to breakdown and disappear. Concern about fugitive Styrofoam has been the basis of many environmental campaigns persuading businesses to llok for alternatives.

A move back to wood perhaps? Renewable pine used to make boxes like we had many years ago, you still see the odd one eg some citrus boxes. They could insulate by using things like wood foam ( We don’t have to continue treading the same petrochemical trail we seem to be endlessly on.

More from the Fraunhofer centre


I’m sure similar research is being done throughout the world.


There is also thinks like paper, popcorn, cotton wool etc. Just takes some thought and willpower.


According to one of the comments:

Plasticene. I like it!