On 1 July 2018, WA, NSW, QLD and VIC were dragged with much fanfare and fuss into the modern age of BYO Bags (or pay up!) to the supermarket.
Yes, it’s a new world for many as a ban on light-weight, single use plastic bags came into effect into the remaining states on 1 July 2018.
These states were welcomed with open arms by South Australia – who led the charge in 2009, the ACT and Tasmania (arrived in 2011) and Tasmania in 2013.
Well, open arms along with a few scoffs and a great big, “What took you so long?”
The ban isn’t that new
I, for one, welcome our new regime. Actually, it’s not new to me. I lived through the Inaugural Bag Ban of South Australia way back when.
I now live in NSW, which, with the introduction of the container deposit scheme and the plastic bag ban, has me wondering if I haven’t unknowingly gone through a time travel portal of some sort. Since when is NSW behind on SA in any area? (I can say that because I’ve lived in SA.)
I may have even smuggled the odd stash of grocery bags across the SA border so my mum could use them as bin liners.
Objections to banning the bags aren’t insurmountable
Which, of course, brings up the objections I’ve been hearing about the ban.
“Hypocrites!” cry the people! “Now we have to BUY bags to line our bins instead of re-using the grocery bags!”
Well, no, you don’t. Maybe research some other ways of lining your bin? Or reducing your home waste so less bags are needed for your rubbish?
“Well, if we’re going to ban these bags, how come they can still have the plastic bags for fruit and veg? And what about all the plastic used to wrap our food and other grocery products?”
Look, no one is saying that banning one type of bag is going to solve all the plastic problems.
It’s just that these grocery bags make up a disproportionate amount of plastic waste
found in the environment. So, it’s a good start to weed them out, right?
As for your fruit and veg, you can buy reusable bags for that purpose, and refuse to use the ones provided.
As for the rest of the plastic issue – well, that’s a whole other article.
Christians – bring on the ban!
And here’s the Christian slant – let’s openly applaud and champion these moves to protect and steward the world God has created and given to us to look after.
In fact, we should be leading the way in this, and other ways to live mindfully regarding the things we consume and throw away, and the impact we have on the world in which we live.
It might take a little more effort (like remembering to put those reusable bags back in the car!), but it’s worth it.
And if the ban is a prompt to get people thinking about other small ways they can adjust their behaviour and consumption in a way that loves the environment, then perhaps the ban will have a bigger impact than we all think.
Sarah Urmston is a follower of Jesus whose current season of life sees her fully occupied by raising two gorgeous young children with her husband Stephen. In moments when time allows for pursuits of the heart, Sarah loves to keep in touch with friends (especially thanks to Facebook), sing and play piano, and enjoy a good cup of tea.
Sarah Urmston previous articles may be viewedhttp://www.pressserviceinternational.org/sarah-urmston.html