In defence of plastic bags

So Foodstuffs is gonna start charging for plastic bags? Whoop de do. Pak and Save’s been doing it for yonks. And if you can afford to shop at New World, then you really have no cause to complain for paying a few cents per bag.

(Just as an aside, all the rumours of a Pak n Save being built in New Lynn on my old street were wrong, wrong, WRONG. Nope, it’s gonna be a New World. Like we really need one there. It’s not the wealthiest of suburbs, and we already have the overpriced Foodtown to contend with – although it is 24/7, handy for drunken shopping expeditions or early morning emergencies)

But I really do have a problem with people who bemoan the latent evils of plastic bags. Tell me, what do you people use to put your rubbish in? Flatmate’s ex used to encourage us not to put bags in our bins. But of course! We could simply WASH out the bin after each emptying, and continue to throw all manner of chicken bones, gristle and rotten food in there, to mention a few!

Unless you live with clean freaks, there’s no way RINSING a bin in lieu of lining it would ever work. Just. Too. Disgusting. I shudder to imagine what would happen if I tried that.

Bags serve a purpose. They line our bins and give us something to put our rubbish in, and carry it out to the wheelie bin in. I don’t line our bathroom bin, and I try not to line our bedroom bin. But our main bin needs a bag in it. Even then, it still gets filthy and smelly.

We have a nice big stockpile of plastic bags at home, thankfully. Before, we used to run out of bags by the end of the week (when we shopped solely at Pak n Save and would buy as few bags as possible. Now we sometimes go to Countdown, where we get bags for free…I know, I know…but to my credit, I did remember to bring our reusable bags last week. Yay!) Without the trusty humble plastic bag, where would we be? We’d be forced to buy the thick black PROPER bin liners, which are SO much worse for the environment and take forever to break down.

I don’t mind paying for bags. Even if Progressive start charging for bags, I’d still buy enough to hold our rubbish for the week. I just think they are far more useful than the bag-bashers imply. It’s not like they were designed simply to wreak havoc on the environment.

Plastic bags are not all bad. They do have a use.

2 thoughts on “In defence of plastic bags

  • Reply Fabulously Broke April 24, 2009 at 11:51

    I would agree, if they started charging and selling biodegradeable bags so that the stuff can at least get out of its plastic prison and decompose instead of sitting there for decades.

    I totally get that lining bags or picking up dog poop is useful for those bags.. I just wish we could figure out a way to fix that.

    Plastic bags ARE a problem however. I know people who take bags just to hold a little pack of GUM. Seriously?!?

    If people were just more conscientious about taking a plastic bag (either they need it or they don’t), I’d say that plastic bags aren’t all that bad in lower levels of usage. But it’s crazy how wasteful we are with plastic bags, just chucking them. (some do)

    I use a garbage bag liner so little grocery bags wouldn’t work for me anyway, so this doesn’t affect me.

    With that being said, I would also like to figure out a way to reduce the packaging that stuff comes in. Drives me mad to rip apart a whole box just for a handful of stuff. SO wasteful.

  • Reply eemusings April 24, 2009 at 17:14

    I would definitely buy biodegradable bags, as long as they were reasonably priced. Do such things exist yet?

    Agreed, I despise packaging…on food, and on things like ELECTRONICS! There is so much crap packed into computer boxes, camera boxes, etc….it’s disgusting.

    If only we’d never dug ourselves this hole in the first place, eh?

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