CHOICE membership

Plastic packaging & plastic bags



Just note paper drink cups are like paper coffee cups, plastic or wax coated to prevent the paper going all mushy and leaking all over the user.

Not all can be recycled and still need to go to landfill.

Change takes time? Good change takes a good deal of time?
Given some of us happily pay more for a bottle of bore water than a can of Coke the elimination of plastic and paper water cups may take a little longer! :face_with_monocle:


Unfortunately, disposable paper products are not much better than disposable plastic products. Their environmental impact is quite significant. This has been addressed further up in the thread and in other areas of this forum. As @phb suggests, bringing a bottle would be the environmentally-friendly option. Or start with small steps of not grabbing a new cup every time. Use the same cup :slight_smile:

Fortunately, the recent ‘bag ban’ has had a significant change in consumer behaviour, while other states and countries have shown behaviour improvement and plastic waste reduction also. Many customers are opting to carry their few items, investing in reusable bags, or simply putting everything back in the trolley to unload into laundry basket in the boot of their car. While the legislation was weak and had some problems, it has had a positive effect.

I do, like you it seems, support stronger regulation such as not being allowed to give away the replacement bags for free.


If the paper is waterproofed with plastic, it isn’t better. Otherwise, it depends on what you mean by “much”.

The obvious problem is that plastic is far too cheap. The obvious solution is to ensure that all of the costs are reflected in the price. That would involve taxing plastics to fund collection/recycling/remediation of environmental harms. Once the price reflects the costs, usage should moderate.


A similar tax should be applied to disposable paper products. I still expect disposable paper and plastics to be quite similar, in contrast to reusables.


I disagree. Plastics are an order of magnitude greater problem. Treating them a similar is perverse. Reusables might be preferable, but that doesn’t make plastics the same as paper.


Can you please explain and substantiate why you believe disposable paper is not in a similar magnitude as plastic? Are you aware of the massive environmental issues that paper creates?


Paper degrades. Plastic, depending on which source we accept, will remain in the environment for somewhere between several centuries and forever. Bear in mind that the subject of this topic is plastics.

Clearly, this is an emotional issue for you, so I’ll leave it there.


Yes, my level and evidence-based responses have been very emotional so far :joy:


Which might impress, if your source actually supported your belief.

Reusables are preferable, but totalitarianism isn’t likely to work. We’ll always have some litter. Better that it be degradable.


Perhaps the answer lies in using biological materials that naturally degrade?

Despite all the problems we create the human form at end of useful life is highly bio-friendly. Gold fillings and titanium hip replacements excepted!



Decomposition is only one metric to measure the impacts of plastic verses paper bags. There are dozens of other metrics which could also be used and could be either to favour either plastic or paper bags.

Care should be taken to only use one metric to make decisions on, as there may be other metrics which are equally inportant.

For example, if the whole world changed from plastic to paper bags, would this result in devastation of tropical and subtropical forests, in addition to tree farming/plantation forestry, to satisify the demand for paper products?

I am also sure that someone drinking dioxin contaminated water from a paper mill producing would think that plastic has a potentially lower impact. Likewise someone living and breathing air from a plastics plant.

This is why considering all metrics is important. One of the failures of government is policy decisions are often based on one metric (one interest viewpoint), without looking at the big picture or consequences of implementing the change.


In principle, all things are potentially so. In practice, not all things are so. Nobody has come up with credible evidence to support your implication.

Nothing is perfect. Your argument relies on the nirvana fallacy.


Hi Kayelle
Love to know where I can purchase corn starch bags in Melbourne or on the internet.


google ‘corn starch bags melbourne’ and you will get myriad hits from internet merchants and at least one grocery, with different types of corn starch bags for different uses, from doggie doo to rubbish to general purpose.

While from 2015 Choice provided some guidance on what to look for in the labelling and how some companies’ products are degradable but not biodegradable.


Our local Fruit and Veg store only provides brown paper bags, compost friendly corn starch bags and the occasional cardboard carton to shoppers.

Most produce does not need a bag and is packed directly into our own reusable shopping bags. The bags the mushrooms and beans etc are packed in are great for taking out the compost and get left in the pile.


I’ve been exclusively using EcoSilk bags for years now. I have a pouch of 7 ecosilk bags in my shoulder bag at all times. I’d love to buy some new colours, but the old ones just won’t wear out. And no, I have no affiliation with EcoSilk whatsoever.


I found the corn starch bags expensive. I will now provide my own brown paper bags for all vegetables and fruit.



The video from that article is worth watching:


So has our local F&V. Neil had brown paper bags where he previously had the compost friendly plastic bags when I dropped in Sunday. Need to ask if this is more permanent. Just like in the 50’s & 60’s.

If only we could have the petrol prices from the 60’s too? :surfing_woman:t2:

Still there remain customers who seem to have aversions to cabbages touching the bananas and pineapples in the carry bag or carton.