Should Plastic Shopping Bags Be Banned in Australia?

For as long as we can remember plastic bags have been the go-to item for carrying our shopping home from supermarkets and retail stores. They are a part of every-day life and most of us don’t give them too much thought. However, there is a high price associated with our excessive use of plastic bags in Australia and it affects both our health and the environment around us. Many cities in countries around the world have either banned plastic bags altogether or attached a levy to their use whereby you must pay for each bag you use. Below we have outlined 5 reasons why plastic shopping bags should be put out to pasture here in Australia:

Land and Water Pollution
In Australia we are lucky to live in such a stunning and picturesque country. From our turquoise waters to our stunning sandy beaches and our jaw-dropping mountains and vineyards, we are blessed to call this country home. Plastic bags however are a menace to our heavenly landscape. Given their weight, they can travel far and wide on the wind and end up in places they shouldn’t be, polluting our oceans and waterways and littering our landscape.

They Aren’t Bio-Degradable
The petroleum-based plastic bags which we know so well will never truly degrade. They will break and fragment which makes them even more dangerous as they may be eaten by our wildlife and marine-life who mistake them for food. This can lead to the animals being poisoned or suffocated while many animals also get tangled and trapped in plastics bags. This is one of the biggest reasons to ban plastic shopping bags in Australia.

Hazardous to Human Health
The plastic fragments which are consumed by animals and marine-life can remain in their system and make their way up the food chain into our bodies when we consume them. This can subsequently lead to dietary issues and hormone imbalances in humans.

They Cost Us Indirectly
Plastic bags cost around 5 cents each to produce and the supermarkets and retail outlets which supply them incorporate that cost into the prices of the goods we buy in their store. That’s the cheap part, the real cost is what we pay for them to be cleaned up. Taxpayers money is used to clean up the mess that plastic bags leave and can cost each us around $100 per year. Not so free now, eh?

They Are Difficult to Recycle
Even the plastic bags which are disposed of correctly don’t come with an easy disposal solution. The thin plastic makes them difficult to recycle as they get caught in recycling and re-purposing machinery. In fact, many tips and recycling centres don’t accept them at all meaning less than 5% of them ever get recycled!

Here at The Swag, we are an Australian-owned business and we produce organic, natural, breathable fruit and vegetable storage bags and promote environmentally-friendly packaging solutions. Our ‘Swags’ are an excellent solution for both carrying and storing goods and will keep your fruit and vegetables fresher for longer. They are also a far more cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative to other storage options such as plastic bags. Check out our full range on our Shop page now!