CHOICE membership

Plastic packaging & plastic bags



Hi Mark
Yes and pollution levels in those days, even though too high, would be welcome. Our fire season is now the norm. I notice Spring is shorter (:


Whilst at the Sweet & Flour bakery in Mapleton once again yesterday to buy more of their delicious pies for lunch, I noticed a sign on the counter about Bio Cups from Bio Pak which outlined the benefits of their products.

I just checked out their website and I was impressed with their offerings, especially their composting service. They are actually doing what I was referring to in my previous post on 27.10.2018.



Whilst doing the Xmas food shopping at Coles in Nambour today, I noticed the pricing of the capsicums.

Red ones were $8.90 kg, green ones were $6.90 kg, and yellow ones were $7.50 kg, so an average price of $7.77 kg.

The 500 gm prepacks with one of each colour were priced at $7.90 each so $15.80 kg. or around double the price.

Talk about value adding by merely using a thin plastic tray and some cellophane.


Try the cat litter made out of lucerne pellets, when you empty the tray you put the waste in your garden or compost bin (but not in your worm farm if you administer worm preventative medicicine to your cats).

Lucerne pellet cat litter, eg Natty Cat litter, is a renewable product (unliike mined clay products) and the chlorophyll in it is a natural deodouriser.


When I had a tall narrow kitchen bin it’s dimensions meant that empty bread bags fitted it to work as liners.


Yes we wash or rinse the kitchen bench top bin each time we empty it (by taking its contents out to our worm farms).
No big impost at all.
Our worms don’t eat plastic; and they don’t like scraps from citrus or onion famliies of plants.


I always take a big cold bag into the store with me. Put it in the trolley and as I select refrigerated and frozen items I put them straight into the cooler bag in the trolley (I live in a relatively hot place, that is getting hotter year by year).
When I get to the checkout there is a choice - at a “friendly” store I put the bag ‘as is’ on the conveyor belt and the check out person efficiently removes items to process them and then puts them back into bag for me;
=> at other stores I may have a second (empty) cooler bag and put this on the conveyor belt ahead of the items (just like I would put a calico or similar bag ahead of room temperature items on the conveyor belt).
No complaints from staff or stores. My cold goods have minimal exposure to room temperature; my insulated cooler bags are used all the time and live in the boot of the car along with the rest of the reusable shopping bags.


Two such bags in my reusable bag ‘arsenal’ were my grandmother’s string bags. She died in 1979 so these bags are definitely ‘keepers’.



would be fantastic. No, the optimist in me says “Will be fantastic”

  • Are there any manufacturers of plastic bags in Australia? (can they make something else instead?)
  • What’s needed to stop the importation of plastic bags?


Coca Cola Amatil is swapping plastic straws for biodegradable paper straws.


Old is new again?

Straws were a wax coated paper when school milk came in reusable glass bottles with gold tops!

The tops were reused to make strings of Xmas decorations.

If only there was still change out of 6pd when you purchased a cold bottle of Coke at the corner store? And they gave you a refund on the empty, and the Coca Cola man collected the empties and took them back.

Retail responsibility, now it’s all left for us to do and councils to grumble about the cost of waste recovery services?


we are doing a complete back flip. Years ago, we used brown paper bags for our groceries, our straws were paper, but they stopped all that, why? and had to start using plastic for everything. I recycle all of my plastic shopping bags, very rarely buy bin liners. what about the plastic bottles the soft drinks come in, plastic containers food products come in. Are these being targeted also, or is it just plastic bags?


Last year I read an article regarding Germany making a breakthrough in relation to packaging waste problems.

They had discovered that glass bottles could be used for milk and other drinks and refilled 50 or more times.

Who would have though?



That spotlights a significant part of our problem. Reusing containers cost the business. They discovered that, if they didn’t reuse containers, their profits rose. Why did that happen? Not reusing containers externalised a cost. That externalisation manifested as an accumulation of discarded containers in our environment. The cost is now borne by the community, in attempts to collect and recycle the trash. Part of the solution might lie in imposing those costs back on the creators of the problem.

If we can make not reusing containers the more costly option, then perhaps the problem will be mitigated. Of course, denying business that opportunity to externalise costs might lead to increases in the price of the product and/or decreases in business profits.


Common ground, common sense, which ever way you look at it.


Noticed these in Wollowrths today:

There’s undoubtedly a “*conditions apply” to that promise of unending replacements.


Can’t find any conditions. The website states…

Introducing the Bag for good™.
We’ve launched a new reusable bag in our stores called the Bag for good™. It’s yours to use again and again, and if it ever gets damaged, we’ll replace it for free no matter when you bought it from us. Simply bring your damaged bag to the Customer Service desk in any of our stores and we’ll swap it for a new one. We’ll even recycle your old one so it can keep doing good.

And the good this bag can do doesn’t stop there. Any money we make from the sale of the Bag for good™ in the next 12 months, will fund the Woolworths Junior Landcare Grants Program, encouraging young Australians to play an active role in ensuring the sustainable future of their environment.

So it really is a bag for good, and for good. Get yours in store today.

I suspect if the bag was obviously abused (e.g. soaked in sump oil or had been burnt in part somehow, say with a cigarette), they might not be so obliging. Maybe that is fair enough.


This is also possibly a step in the right direction to alleviate some of the social media campaigns against the major supermarkets (esp. Woolworths in this case) for their adoption of their no-single use plastic bag policy (wither mandated by the state government or a company policy preempting state government policy).

These reusable bags, while not a perfect solution, are a lot better than the extra thick couple of use plastic bags being offered for a cents. At least these will have a longer life and can also be recycled in the RedCycle Bins at the major supermarkets. We have a few of these bags which we have accumulated over time, but we prefer to use calico bags. Our calico bags currently are about 12 years old and are still going strong (with a little maintenance/repair and washing over their life). The bags we have have possible saved about 3500 single use plastic supermarket shopping bags which would have otherwise gone to landfill (say 6 per week over 12 years).

As a family, we have adopted the approach that we are responsible for the waste we generate and take steps to minimise our waste. Unfortunately we are few in the wider community doing such, but numbers are increasing.


It will be interesting to see how long it says that. And, of course, how they interpret “damaged”, among other things.

But yes, on appearances, a good initiative.