Today’s blog post is brought to you with the risk of legal action from Tim Newman as he has made his corner of the internet the go to location to laugh at plastic bag bans. I saw this one first, Tim, ok?
In Australia, most states/territories, with the exception of New South Wales, have banned supermarkets from giving away single use plastic bags with shopping.
In response to this, the duopoly of Coles and Woolworths have removed said bags from New South Wales’ stores too. I’m sure this decision was reached for purely environmentally-righteous reasons and not simply because running two different processes and sourcing operations is inefficient.
At roughly the same time as the implementation of this voluntary ban, Coles have introduced a promotion aimed at families where small models of well-known branded goods are given away to kids so they can play “shops” at home.
Apparently, this is a terrible thing. Why? The toys are plastic, of course.
People are understandably outraged that a company such as Coles could be so unthinking as to offer free plastic toys to its customers.
How on earth can this outrageous situation be mitigated? It’s hard to think of a single action any of us could take to solve the problem of unwanted plastic washing up on the pristine Australian beaches.
Well, perhaps we might think of one or two things people could do if this plastic giveaway upsets them so much;
- Say, “no thanks” when offered the toys at the checkout.
- If (1) is too difficult, say “thank you” but then throw them away in the appropriate recycling bin when your children grow bored.
- Don’t give your children any other plastic toys, not just supermarket giveaways. Obviously, this means they will only ever play with expensive hand-made wooden toys and will be ridiculed at school for not having the latest fidget-spinner or whatever the latest fad is but that’s the price they have to pay for saving the oceans.
90% of all plastic in the world’s oceans come from just 10 rivers, none of which are in Australia. If people were truly concerned with cleaning the oceans they would direct their online ire at the governments, corporations and consumers in the African and Asian countries those rivers pass through.
That they don’t but berate an Australian supermarket for offering (i.e. consumers have a choice to decline) some kids toys says more about the perma-offended and their inability to use basic Pareto methods to work out how their efforts are best expended.
Lastly, it’s the weekend and if we are going to be talking about plastic, here’s my favourite type of plastic.