The Meeting Place

Banning plastic bags "the tip of the iceberg"


Major supermarkets are banning plastic bags, but are being slammed for over-packaging food in disposable trays and plastic.

Items such as single sweet potatoes and bananas and apples in plastic covers litter the shelves and produce bins of Woolworth's supermarkets, angering hundreds of thousands of Aussies fighting a war against plastic.

Around 400,000 people have signed a petition against unnecessary plastic, with hundreds posting photos on social media using the hashtag #ridiculouspackaging, to show the ridiculous amount of packaing on what is supposed to be fresh food.

“Every time you’re out shopping for your weekly vegies, the problem hits you in the face,” a Greenpeace spokesman said.

“Rows upon rows of glistening plastic packaging, smothering things like bananas, corn and oranges … as if they didn’t have their own fully biodegradable wrappings.

“As Aussies, we love our beaches, our Reef and all the creatures that live in it. We know the dependence on plastic has to end.

“It’s time that supermarkets and producers put an end to smothering their fruit and vegies — and our oceans — in plastic.”

“Supermarkets are in a unique position where they can be leaders in reducing plastic waste, by stopping single-use plastic and wrapping up small items of fruit and vegies individually.

“Sadly it appears that this is getting more frequent when it should be reducing.

“Banning plastic bags is only the tip of the iceberg," said one angry shopper.

“It’s got to stop — we need to come together as a community to make sure of that.”

A Woolworths spokesman told that phasing out plastic bags is a “big step forward”, but there is still more work to be done.

“In recent months we have permanently removed plastic wrapping from produce lines such as avocado, organic spring onions, celery, kale and English spinach,” he said.

“These moves will help save more than 37 tonnes of plastic packaging on a yearly basis and we have plans to do even more throughout 2018.

“We’re also working to roll out convenient plastic recycling options for our customers in all supermarkets across the country by June 30 in partnership with the REDcycle program — a closed loop recycling solution where customers can return soft plastics used to package produce and groceries.”

A Coles spokesman said: “We are also actively working with our suppliers on more sustainable and recyclable forms of packaging across all products."

And Aldi? 

“We are currently working with industry to trial packaging made from other materials in a hope to find a viable and sustainable alternative to single-use plastics,” said an Aldi spokeperson.

“As part of these alternatives we also consider the suitability of the packaging from our customer’s perspective.

“Some of our fresh fruit and vegetables are packaged in order to reduce bruising and protect the items from customer handling.

“This also helps reduce food waste and spoilage.

“Our commitment to reduce plastic waste is why all our stores have been completely free of single-use plastic bags since we opened in 2001.

“We also recycle 96 per cent of the plastic waste generated in our stores.”

Do you think there's too much plastic packaging around our food?

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Regarding the unnecessary packaging, already mentioned here,  which also extends to non-food items, such as magazines,  and even hardware items, apart from being environmentally detrimental, it adds to the cost of  the item.  Packaging does not come free.

I agree. Also we get magazines posted to us and they never get read because we are not interested.

RSL . RACV. Spotlight. to name a few.

They go straight into the bin.

Why not just cancel the subscriptions Tom ???

I was gong to ask the same Suze

As a member of the RSL and the RACV the books come automaticly as do AAMI and others. I need the insurance and vist RSLs local and when touring.

Coles and Woolies have seen to it that our wonderful Greengrocers and all the bakeries have now left the area -- I guess we can also blame the lazy customers as well that the big 3 now have complete control

PlanB - You're right there. I don't like their breads. We used to have a lovely Vietnamese breadshop when it suddenly closed down, I asked the owner why and he said the rent was too high, but I must admit within 2 months an ALDI store opened next door to him. 

The plastic bag ban hasn't been a major problem for me, but it has widened my area of experience. :)

I never used the self-serve checkouts for a couple of reasons.  One, I thought they were doing check out operators out of a job, and two, I didn't feel confident about getting it right.  I made a few mistakes when they first came out and ended up overcharging myself at least once.

So ... I've had the green bags for a long time but rarely used them because in the past checkout operators overfilled them making them a bit heavy for me to lift. No matter how many bags I supplied it made no difference, they would just fill half and leave the other half empty. I got tired of having to either repack them or ask yet another new checkout operator not to overfill them, so just stopped using them, chucked them in a cupboard, and more or less forgot about them.

Now, of course, I have a use for them but I keep reading facebook posts about checkout operators not being happy about handling our grubby green bags which made me a little bit self-conscious about my rather old green bags. 

So now I use the self-checkout and pack them myself - problem solved.

I don't know if I'm imagining it or not, but the self-serve checkouts seem to be a bit busier than I remember too, so maybe they won't have to worry about our grubby green bags for long, they probably won't have a job and Woolworths and Coles will make even more money.

Japanese self checkouts are good


Reagan put these bags in one of the other topics ...they sure look good.

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These seem like good bags to put your shopping in ...

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This video probably explains the Panasonic checkout better

Wonder if we will ever see technology like that.

Great idea Reagan, considering you never do any shopping, haha

SUZE,   i bought some of these bags some time ago,   got them over the net,   $8 each,  


Are they any good ???

do they make your shopping easier ?? or harder as Leonie suggests ?

SUZE,   i like them,   esp at AUDI,  where your goods are shovelled at you,      you can pack them as you wish,     i line them up in my trolly as shown in that pic,    then as i empty one bag,  i put the same things back,   that way i can distribute the weight evenly,    as others have said,    some of the check out girls overload a bag,   and it can get really hard to carry them,       as for the girls handling dirty bags,    i would never take a dirty bag out with me,     the canvas bags just need throwing in the wash,  easy enough to do,   

Suze, I have a friend who bought some of those.  She packed them in the store without thinking about the weight.  When she got to the car and couldn't lift them out of the trolley she had to unpack them again to put the groceries in the boot, and then fold up the bags. 

She reckons it's quicker to just chuck the groceries straight into the trolley and she's never used them since.

Jumping Jehosaphat, we're still on about plastic bags. OK, now here's my spill on things.

Scientifically speaking, have you any idea how dirty those trolleys are? Pure vermin lives and breathes in them, throw your sliced bread in them and you end up with a petri dish.

Best to buy some large heavy duty plastic bags, spread in trolley, throw groceries in, go to car empty into bags in boot.

I usually charge for such info, but on this occasion give ruffela a kick up his bum and that will be payment enough.

Trying out a new red tonight, will let you know if recommended. See ya!!!!!

Oh, nearly forgot, order online.

Micha - You have a good idea there. Better still, I take some boxes to put in the trolley, fill them up with groceries and then load them into the boot. Keep boxes for next visit. 

The Reject shop sells these 42l flexi tubs for $5 each

You can carry the flexi tub easily  thanks to its lightweight design and the convenient handles on the sides of the tub.

Put 3 of them in the shopping trolley and keep a couple of empties in car so you can part unload your groceries from tubs in your grocery cart and make them lighter to lift.

  If by any chance you do not like the system ...there is million and one uses around the home for flexi Tubs.


They would be quite heavy when full though

That is why I suggested leaving a couple of empties in the car , so you can lighten the load before lifting them.

I use a couple of them in my garden and they are very light even when full of weeds.

We may have to reorganize our shopping habits and go twice a week instead of once a  week ? .... but then that wastes time, petrol and money.

I could have lifted them with NO trouble a few years ago -- not anymore though

If only people did the right thing with the other plastic bags

...we would not have to go through this.

Yes Suze,  I always save any other soft plastic and take it to the Stores for them to make seats from it too as well as all the other recycling I do.

But it does concern me with ALL the plastic -- shampoo bottles everything is made of it from sauce bottles -- everything you can see is darn plastic and some of it has tiny tops that would be deadly for critters -- when you look around so much plastic -- plus look how much is used in the medical field -- every minute syringes gloves/ etc once they used glass syringes and had to sterilise them -- quite frankly I can not see a way out of this mess we are in with plastics

There is no way out with the evergrowing population .... humans will thrash, plunder and destroy the world.


.... they already have Suze!!!!  Who would ever have thought so many of the wild animals we "loved" as kids  -  would be on the verge of distinction??  

true foxy,    did you see todays paper the quolls are back where they havent been seen for years,    thanks to the breeding programs,   very good news,  

I saw on TV last night a couple that had 16 kids!  What is wrong with these nut cases!

And now sadly the Mother had cancer.

At least she will stop breeding

PlanB - I saw that article about the couple with 16 children. I know they said a couple of them are married, but a woman was not meant to breed so many children, it has taken a toll on her health. When the commentator said they had some news, I thought they were going to say she is pregnant again.  We all love children but it doesn't mean we have to keep breeding.  

They were possibly devoted Catholics breeding well for the pope

Most likely Tom must say they looked quite normal not like deadbeats --

I don't know how much welfare they would get with 16 kids but it would be quite lot.

I guess they would there were a few that were 20 + but there were quite a few that were very young too

Re Australian mum with 16 children, from what I’ve read, she is the mum of Australia’s biggest family. Source.

Poor woman, feel sorry for her as I would anyone with a cancer diagnosis.

Australia’s fertility rate has been below replacement level since the 1970s. Women are having fewer than two babies over their life course. Sub-replacement fertility is important for governments. Entitlements are skewed to the old and young, which requires a robust middle-aged workforce to support these dependent populations. Source.

The alternative solution to Australia’s below par population replacement rate is more immigration from overseas which some people here seem to object to as well.

IMO, I don’t give a hoot if the couple have a big family. Good on them … seems like they are all doing OK except for mum, poor lady.

Shoppers at Woolworths and Coles will get bonus points for remembering to bring their own reusable bags, the supermarket giants have announced.

Coles announced that, from Friday until Tuesday, customers who bring their reusable bags will be rewarded with 30 Flybuys points.

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