Shoppers bag bag charge in lower NI

Lower North Island  supermarket shoppers must be a bolshie lot.

A backlash from them has forced New World and Four Square supermarkets to back away from the compulsory 5 cents charge for plastic bags. It’s now voluntary.

I have several reusable bags which I use most of the time (translation: when I remember) and I’ve been doing that for a couple of years.

I don’t object to a user-pays approach to plastic bags. But I hate the way they try to justify it with greenwash.

“Would you like to pay 5 cents for a plastic bag so we can pretend to be doing something for the environment even though we’re still putting fruit and vegetables on foam trays and wrapping them in plastic wrap?”


5 Responses to Shoppers bag bag charge in lower NI

  1. murrayg1 says:

    Twenty years ago it would have been legitimate to use something like a bag-charge or a bottle-deposit, to educate folk to change.
    We are too late for that approach now. The planet has three times too many people on it, and we are approaching the end of the brief (200 year) blip of fossil-fuelled activity.
    Selfishness, and sheer numbers, say we have resource wars within a decade, and that we won’t be driving private cars for fun within the same decade.
    In light of that, shopping bags, recycling and an ETS are all too little, too late.
    I suggest they are all a feel-good conscience-salve, to justify our continued unsustainable but oh-so-comfortable lifestyle. Somewhat along the lines of: I’ll pay five cents for a bag, but I’ll drive my SUV to the supermarket?
    It’s going to be a rude shock.


  2. pmofnz says:

    Link whoring: HP, I have blogged the same topic earlier today, but not this story.

    Waitakere City Council in JafaLand is stiffing their ratepayers over plastic bags by giving away ‘free’ bags with a new website full of unsubstantiated greenwash purveyed as fact.


  3. Charmaine says:

    I have been pointing out to our local New World that it is a bit rich to expect me to pay for plastic bags when some of my meat comes in a vacuum pack, on a styrofoam tray, wrapped in glad wrap. I am pleased this is not voluntary as I was about to start embarassing my family by unpacking the meat and leaving the tray behind for them to get rid of.

    As an aside the patronising signs about giving the funds to keep NZ beautiful made my blood boil. We live in a beach community and they did not help us at all with our clean up. It was a local initiative, using local voulinteers and the council came to the party by not charging for the rubbish pick up. What do these guys do anyway??


  4. gravedodger says:

    When I ask what the charity is that will receive the dollar something that we need when we shop(70 Km and not very often so for mr & mrs GD sometimes $300 plus with no wine or ciggys) and the recybags are in the other vehicle I am informed smugly “keep NZ Beautiful” All attempts to find info on this charity come to zilch,na, nothing.
    My service club has had to jump through hoops to be able to continue our charity efforts as in forming an arms length trust to rubberstamp the board spending decisions, meaning another meeting, and register it with the charities commission along with the audited accounts etc. I wonder if foodstuffs will publish the accounts for KNZB.
    Of course it is a sop to the religion of greenwash (great term) and as you say when the carry bags are placed alongside the commodity packing shows the complete bollocks it all is.
    Mrs GD has suggested that a group of us shop at the same time after and after purchase remove our groceries 2 items at a time out to our car with one of us guarding the rest and block the checkouts. No we are not anarchists but stupid decisions such as this make one fantasize.
    BTW aren’t the plastic bags carbon based and burying them an act of sequestration


  5. Medusa says:

    It’s quite simple really, don’t shop at New World (which is what I suspect was happening thus causing this backpedalling) Countdown seem to have been doing roaring trade lately, all in free plastic bags.


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