The Running Commentary


Remember your Pick ‘n Pay Green Bag???

question mark

Do you remember the R5,00 you paid for you green Pick ‘n Pay green bag, then you got the matching cooler bag!. You may have even bought 5 or 6 Green bags because you do bulk shopping.  Do you remember the guilt that you experienced the first time you forgot to take the bags with you went shopping? You were alking into the store thinking should I buy plastic bags? because if I keep buying the green bags it’s going to cost me a fortune will anyone notice?

You looked at the plastic bags that you bought for R0.29 each and you wondered how many people were looking at you!  You could feel the eye’s of the “responsible one’s” looking at you, the knives hitting your back. They thinking “how pathetic – he does not care about the environment!” “look at him buying plastic bags – at least I care about the environment see I have my green bags” or at least that what you are thinking.  You want to turn to everyone in the queue and say that you had just forgotten, just this once.  “The dog was barking, I had to pick up the kids, I forgot the list, the car wouldn’t start and I locked my keys in the house – I have had a terrible day please stop persecuting me”

I think you know where I going here, but let’s go…..

Standing in the queues now, you can count the “green people” on one hand, the cost of the bag is simply part of the shopping now. The question “do you want bags” – the response “yes please”

Now my question why has the focus shifted? Simply put the government and retailers are not focusing on the issue any more. Where are the in store posters reminding you to take your environmentally friendly shopping bags with you. Where is the clever marketing like “If you buy five or six shopping bags you have paid for half a litre of petrol, this is the same amount you use to go from your home to the shops and back twice!”

What is happening to the levy that we are paying surely this should be channelled into education and on-going awareness campaigns?

So let’s see the focus return to the green bags and the drive to get rid of the “plastic jungle”

environmentgovernment levyGreenPlastic BagsRetailers

Mike • January 20, 2009

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  1. Robert January 20, 2009 - 12:51 pm

    With the insane prices of food and drink the 29 cents that we pay for a bag is negligible. There should be incentive to be more “green” – although I despise that term. I feel not the impact on environment from the production that’s the biggest problem, but the litter afterwards.

  2. Mike January 20, 2009 - 1:15 pm

    I share your view on the costs of the bags, i.e. that they are of no consequence. I guess what I was trying to say is that I felt that there has been very little effort since the initial big bang to drive plastic bags out of the equation.

    PS Nice blog

  3. The Devil January 20, 2009 - 3:18 pm

    Interesting post Mike, You’re right, the hooplah about the plastic v reusable bags has gone away and as you say the large majority of people simply fork out a few cents for the plastic. I have canvass bags in my car, but more often than not forget to take them with me and it’s a HUGE pain in the backside (If this was my blog I’ll use the first word that sprung to mind!) to walk back and get them. It think the issue here is that plastic bags is simply too cheap – I recently read somewhere (I think Southern Australia) they’ve banned plastic bags altogether going back to plain common brown paper which I think is the way to go.

    An observation. Couple of years ago, when Zimbabwe was still a travel destination, I went Tiger fishing on the Kariba with my brother. At that stage plastic packaging and tinned soft drinks/beer not available was in the land of Mad Bob. It was amazing to see the difference on the different sides of the Beit Bridge Border. Plastic and tins everywhere on the SA side and nada on the Zim side!

    There is some advantages to a collapsing economy (oh dear)

  4. Mike January 20, 2009 - 5:15 pm

    Thanks for the commentary.

    I like the brown paper bag suggestion – although I think that these shoud also still carry a fee. I think that having a fee ensures that people start to focus their efforts on getting rid of the junk.

    As for the collapsing economy – don’t get me started. Really interesting to see that it has fallen of the airwaves except for a few news reports.

  5. Collinc pt September 17, 2010 - 4:29 pm

    Very informative!!
    In recent times, the world is becoming cognizant about the hazardous effects of plastic bags on the environment.
    Also PLA has been used to line the inside of Paper Cups in place of the oil based lining more commonly used, create Green plastics Cups, Cutlery, Carrier Bags, Food Packaging and even Nappies.

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