CHOICE membership

Plastic packaging & plastic bags



Plastic packaging and plastic bags should not be allowed at all, despite the fact that
it is a chemical material, its contact with food contaminates the food and its hard to dispose of.
The most damage is done when the fruit/vegies travel in the trucks (as with drinks) the SUN
penetrates the chemicals from the plastic wrap into the food.
Buy at a Fruit shop, or Farm Gate, DONT buy anything wrapped in plastic.
the open weave red netting packaging is best.

Food Labels at the shops
Plastic Bag Wagon

The red netting is also plastic and I strongly doubt there is any contamination.


I’m not fussed about plastic bags and think everyone has become too obsessive with them. They all get re-deployed as cheap bin liners at our place - none are discarded empty!


I also reuse all my plastic shopping bags as bin liners but how much better would it be if they were biodegradable. It’s not rocket science… The technology is all there, it just costs a tiny bit more to produce. It only takes a brave politician with the help of community support to legislate that all shopping plastic bags must be biodegradable. It’s a no-brainer.


It’s not actually as much of a no-brainer as you’d think. The degradable bags at the supermarkets are almost always still made with petrochemicals, ie oil, they just have an additive that makes them break down after a while. If you care about reducing the world’s dependence on oil, you will avoid these also. Their advantage is in reducing the volume of plastic in landfill, but that is only part of the problem.

It’s great if you are reusing plastic bags as this is giving them two uses rather than one, but it is always going to be better for the environment to avoid using them altogether. Your bin doesn’t have to be lined with plastic. You can use newspaper or not line the bin at all, or you can find a compostable plastic (eg, made of cornstarch) if the thought of no bin liner is abhorrent.

I can provide more detailed info about the environmental issues with plastic bags if anyone is interested.


there are now eco packaging which is an oil based product but are biodegradable, or packaging made from bamboo


+pargy, you should conduct your own research on the effect of plastic bags at the end of their useful life.


I take my own cloth bags to the supermarket and never purchase products wrapped in plastic. I believe plastic contains carcinogens and always heat products in crockery in the microwave.


Really and where do you get newspapers , they are a dying industry. We have this nonsense bag ban in the NT, you know the tropics, use papers and the stink is unbearable after a couple of hours and of course the supermarkets are allowed to sell you plastic bin liner bags and reusable plastic bags that don’t break down in the dump. The other problem with these reusable bags is that they contravene every health protocol in the country, you don’t reuse food packaging and salmonella is likely if you have used the bags for chicken products or free range eggs,


I agree that it sounds like hypocrisy to ban plastic shopping bags and allow sale of bin liners and other plastic bags, but the people trying to solve an environmental problem have to start somewhere. What they have done does reduce the overall number of single use plastic bags in the world, as not all plastic bags are used a second time as bin liners.

I get my newspapers at news agencies or the supermarket. I don’t think they’ll die out for a while yet.

Not quite sure what you mean about the health issue. What’s the problem with free range eggs? How does carrying chicken in a bag pose a health problem? Sorry, really lost on that one.


I would LOVE to stop using plastic bags, as I understand how detrimental they are to the environment, and it does concern me. I refuse the Myer-type plastic bags as I cannot re-use them, and I try to avoid over-packaged foods where possible.

However, there are two areas where I simply cannot find a viable alternative to plastic bags:

  1. To put used cat litter in. I have two indoor cats and I need to scoop the litter trays at least twice a day. I use recycled paper pelleted litter, and relatively clean litter can go in the compost, but it is not hygienic to put cat urine and faeces in compost that is used on vegie gardens. You simply cannot dump it loose into the garbage bin. I re-use plastic supermarket bags for this, but I would be willing to pay for biodegradable bags if it really helped.

  2. As bin liners for indoor bins. We don’t buy any newspapers, as we read the papers online. In any case, paper is not very effective for oily or wet food scraps. Besides, we have a very tall, narrow kitchen bin, and paper would not stay on the sides, so you could only put paper on the bottom anyway. Bins would get smelly very quickly and would attract ants and other bugs. Also, you can’t just put lots of loose bits and pieces in your wheelie bin, I have tried it! When the truck collects the garbage, heaps of little bits from your bin fly everywhere and don’t end up in the truck, it ends up all over the road and nature strip!

If anyone can come up with a genuinely viable alternative, I will be all for it, but so far, the above issues remain.


I return all our plastic bags to Coles who have a recycling bin particularly for them. We use reusable shopping bags whenever possible but I like the idea of paper wherever possible (I am aware of the pollution paper industries produce but it is better than the micro plastic pollution). I was pleasantly surprised at Officeworks the other day when for a 5c piece I got a sturdy paper bag to hold my purchases in. The bag uses 50% recycled and 50% from sustainable forestry. Good on them and more should follow suit.

(added note) The paper bag from Officeworks is reusable at their store and this obviously adds a better outcome than single use plastic.


This is good news to hear about more sensible options for single-use items, but we cannot let that dilute our efforts of minimising our usage of single-use products all together


Could this be the solution to the plastic bag issue?


Yes it seems a very good product. You just wouldn’t want to trust it with moist objects as it softens iin water. But a lot better than petrochemical plastics.


Do you have any citations re that?


Months later, Qld is stepping up.


Unfortunately it appears that Queensland is following that implemented in some southern states where light plastic bags will be replaced at the checkout with thicker plastic bags which have more plastic on them, takes them longer to break down and have short use lives…and charge the customer a nominal fee for their use.

If the Queensland government was serious, they would banned all plastic carry bags at the point of sale.


Doh, my bad for not catching what ‘single use’ means. It appears to include a ban on biodegradable bags as part of the law, and that defies logic. But what ‘great’ political spin :open_mouth: :rage:

OTOH the cans and bottles deposit looks right unless I missed something else.


Possibly not. Most diodegradable plastic bags are plastic bags that are manufactured such that they break down in smaller fractions quicker under ideal conditions (which don’t often occur under normal conditions)…still resulting in very small plastic pieces staying in the environment for many years. They have similar impacts to the traditional plastic bags, with exception possibly of visual amenity impacts as they will become smaller quicker, ‘disappearing from view’.