CHOICE membership

Join the conversation

Ask a question. Share tips. Help others.

Make yourself heard

Join our forum and be part of Australia’s biggest consumer movement.

  • Post your questions and tips
  • Share your advice and help others
  • Drive positive change on key issues

Plastic packaging & plastic bags

On yesterday’s episode of Adrian Richardson’s show “Secret Meat Business” on SBS Food, he unwrapped the sirloin steak he had bought from a butcher, and it was wrapped in smooth white butchers’ paper inside another piece of paper, just like in the old days.

1 Like

I am sure I am not the only one who absolutely despises the heat sealed hard plastic packaging used by so many suppliers these days!

I have cut myself regularly while trying to open these Godforsaken abominations and tonight, my partner did it to herself!

Not only are they frustrating and dangerous - they often need to be destroyed to open and therefore cannot be returned if unsatisfactory - and they are mostly not recyclable.

They should be banned!


Yes they would have to be the worst of the plastic packages for humans. The bag though is mistaken by turtles for jellyfish and blocks their intestines and then they can’t dive.
So there is loads of plastic packaging that needs to be replaced with renewable, organic packaging.


Indeed, the blister pack is an abomination that should be banned. Sometimes there’s a real risk of damaging the item inside when attempting to extract it!

  1. Absolutely! What is wrong with paper & cardboard?

  2. It is a recyclable substance which biodegrades.

  3. It comes from a renewable resource.

  4. The renewable resource (trees) sequester greenhouse gas (CO2).


Hi, I have been watching the new program War On Waste, very sad for the animals and our environment. Before plastic bags there were paper bags NOT always reliable, they would rip and you would be running all over the place trying to catch your spuds and veg, always funny if it was some one else you were watching. But different shops would sell good strong bags that would last and were a good size to use on a regular basis. Showing my age, I am talking the 60’s 70’s, my mum always had her bags she would take shopping I never saw her buy any other bags when I was growing up. Some ways of doing things are worth reviving. Regards Carrol.

PS one of the oldies.


I remember my Mum using string bags for the heavy things and the light stuff went into the supermarket brown paper bag


Yes. I’ll always remember the huge paper bags used in US supermarkets. I don’t think we had them here.

1 Like

“Showing my age, I am talking the 60’s 70’s” Exactly! I am thinking 50’s :grin:

1 Like

Oh we definitely had them here, I’m in my 50’s and clearly remember using them in regional NSW when I was younger


Yes we had big brown bags in the 60s


Yes, my daughter had the same problem. In trying to wrestle with the package she accidentally cut through the wires (it was a speaker extension cable) - umpteen dollars down the drain!
The other problem is that you can’t find out much about the product while it is in this “bullet-proof” plastic bubble.
A cardboard card with the product attached by twist-tie is much more satisfactory on all fronts.
Perhaps we should all demand the stores to remove the product from the packaging at the checkout, thus giving them the problem of accidentally damaging the product and also disposing of the waste!


I hate all the plastic packaging too. Having osteoarthritis in my hands I am not so nimble these days which makes it even more difficult to open those stupid sealed plastic packages. I don’t understand why cardboard packaging is not used more often now that we realise the damage that plastic is doing to the environment. Only plastic that is totally recyclable should be produced as I doubt we will ever cut it out completely (think motor vehicle trim, buckets, kids’ toys, food storage, etc).


A few years ago I bought a $10 device from Bunnings designed to open blister packs. Works great, not cuts to fingers etc. Not sure if they still sell them.


I like the idea of Bamboo paper and ‘disposables’
I email supermarkets and tell them I do not purchase anything they sell if it’s packaged in hard plastic e.g. some fresh fruit or cakes.
I am tempted to return the packaging of any hardware item to the store so it can be an inconvenience for the store to dispose of to give them a rethink. Surely if security / theft is the reason there are other solutions - tie the sample for inspection up like a phone and prepay for the item?
Can we give stores options and then petition for change please?


I think the reason for the clear plastic food coverings is because more often than not we want/insist on seeing what the product looks like. If buying a cake for instance we all look at them before we buy. In a large supermarket they do not package up the product when you buy it as they do not have the staff to do this (except deli or some bakery areas), however many of the little shops eg Bakeries display the product and are able to place it in cardboard or paper packaging when you are served.

Perhaps providing [quote=“larkrise48, post:12, topic:14132”]
Only plastic that is totally recyclable

or providing return bays for all clean plastic and recyclable waste at each store would go some way to halting the waste that is sent to tips and placed in the ground/oceans.

1 Like

Once when I bought something in this type of packaging I wanted to use it straight away and asked the salesperson to open it for me
Helpful salesperson went to desk to get implement to help open it, and in the process of opening the package cut themselves.


I brought a 3-pack of scissors in this packaging, a real cart before the horse problem…I agree, these are awful.


Excellent idea!

Hey ACA - please take it up!

1 Like

Yes - but I wonder if this is more driven by the Perceptionof young marketers.

It appears to me that we more mature consumers want to see change - AND SOON!

1 Like