CHOICE membership

Plastic packaging & plastic bags



We’ve done that for bulk honey from local suppliers.

It would also complement any consumer behaviour change that replaces kerbside recycling. A change where consumers return all recycling to a collection point at the retailers. (I’ve parked that idea for now with the honest politician paradigm.)

Re the linked Choice article “Can I bring my own containers …”

A survey conducted by the Department of Environment and Energy found over 3.5 billion tonnes of plastics were consumed in Australia in 2016–17, whereas only 293,900 tonnes were recycled, a rate of just under 12%.

That’s a lot of plastic. More than the combined total of our exports of iron ore and coal!

More likely 3.5 million tonnes of plastic use each year?

Hopefully the Dept of E&E can account for the small discrepancy.


Seeing the mountain of plastic waste from Au which ends up in Malaysia (60 minutes, last Sunday), I promised myself to do more not to add to the problem.
Perforce I take my own (canvas) shopping bags to supermarkets, now will refuse any offers of plastic bags from smaller shops.
Have my own refillable water bottle and don’t have soft drinks.
Will now get long life milk, even if carton is not ideal it’s still preferable to plastic bottle of fresh milk.
But: can’t avoid tinned foods, dairy in soft plastic, bread and biscuits wraps.
Also will have big problem with kitchen and household waste: have communal bins in a block of flats and need to keep disposables neat and hygienic. Will have to buy newspapers again to wrap rubbish in? (Please resist quips :wink:)


Coca Cola Amital to produce 70% of plastic bottles from recycled plastic by the end of this year thus saving 10,000 tonnes of plastic resin annually.

Guinness joins Carlsberg in scrapping plastic ring holders for beer cans.


A bit strange that Guinness states they will start in Ireland and roll it out across the world next year as the six packs of cans I have been buying for the past year are already in cardboard.



Another article regarding the Seabin.



An interesting article regarding one person’s fight against plastic packaging.



Soft plastics - take them to a REDcycle bin (most Coles supermarkets have a REDcycle bin, you can find them at Woolies too).
The plastics are made into all sorts of things - garden & outdoor furniture, “wood” for decks, etc.
Replas uses the plastic from REDcycle and makes lots of products

The 10 most common form of soft plastics that can be recycled are:

  1. bread bags
  2. cereal box liners
  3. plastic bags
  4. pasta packets
  5. rice packets
  6. paper goods packaging
  7. old green bags
  8. confectionary bags and lolly wrappers
  9. biscuit wrapping
  10. paper goods packaging such as toilet paper packaging


empty bread bags/packaging lends itself to being reused as bin liner for these shapes of bin


We put one of them in water in the sun, and after over 4 weeks there was zero degradation, maybe corn starch bags, like plastic, also last forever!


Yes. I will continue to use my cotton bags until they wear out.


Looks like a lot of Macca’s customers have a different rationale to responsible consumers.

Perhaps a 10 cent deposit on Macca’s straws and every other piece of packaging would help address the problem.



A better solution would be BYO straw. If one is not happy with what is offered, then one has the choice to not use them.

A metal straw is small and would fit into the average handbag or pocket…and very cheap.


A couple of articles regarding a research breakthrough into a new type of plastic that can be deconstructed and reconstructed numerous times.


At last it appears most countries are starting to get serious regarding plastic waste.



That would be difficult to clean properly. Maybe they could have a little pull-through attached.


The one from Kmart (in the link) has a pipe/straw cleaner which would easily be stored in the straw and removed when used. It is then used to clean the straw after use.

Also, if one rinses the straw with clean water after use, most of the drink within the straw will be removed.

In laboratories, they rinse things three times with usually deionised water to remove any residues which may affect the results. The same process could be used for the straw immediately after use to ensure that it was clean and ready for its next use. (Note: drinks contain fats such as milk drinks would leave fat residues within the straw as the fats will not dissolve in water. In such case, some detergent may be needed to dislodge and remove any such fat residues. Likewsie sharing a the same straw with others may result in pathogens being left on the straw after rinsing. Hot water and detergent may be needed in such cases to fully clean the straw).


I gave up on plastic bags years ago when I bought a set of EcoSilk bags, which are still as good as new.


I use a set of small mesh drawstring bags for loose fruit and veg and my 10 (?) year old set of EcoSilk bags to pack the weekly shopping into. Fruit and veg scraps (other than anything suitable for feeding our resident possums) go into the garden and we wrap non-compostable food scraps in newspaper and freeze until bin day. Meat from the supermarket still comes packed in plastic, but I don’t know what the solution is for this. I’ve been using small plastic bags for the clay-based cat litter but will now switch to brown paper bags which probably also have environmental drawbacks - ie where is the timber sourced, pine plantations or old growth forests? At least they will disintegrate in landfill.


At last. An eco-friendly foam which outperforms styrofoam.



I recall in the late 1980 and early 1990s receiving research equipment from the US and it was insulated/protected during transit by either loose popcorn or a compressed popcorn which was moulded to the product shape like styrofoam. There were also some reports about its future a few years after…but haven’t seen any since the earlier days.

While the popcorn is not good if exposed to wet environments/water, it made a great light insulating material. The other advantage is it could be fed to animals (e.g. chickens) or composted after use.


You are quick to give unconditional praise. Until a price under mass production can be determined it might be better to say it looks promising.