Plastic bag ban is a bit more virtue-signalling

posted in: Life and things | 4
fruit on trays covered in plastic

We have entered the Woolworths brand new world of no more single-use plastic bags. Bring your own (they have to be clean) or buy one of their sturdy plastic bags, or their tougher bags. Yay! Hurrah! /sarcasm

As it happens, the grey shopping bags are not the big problem. Many, many people reuse them as bin liners. I certainly do. Having said that, it seems most people are in favour of the change. It was tried for a while in the Target supermarket, but the plastic bags came back. Maybe people have finally been embarrassed into seeing what effects plastic has on the environment. It’s a good step.


This is virtue signalling, the change you make when you want to look like you’ve made a change. Pardon my cynicism, but I always look at what’s in it for them (the retailers). Coles and Woolies will sell you reusable shopping bags – that’s always a plus. And they don’t have to buy those shopping bags and put them out for people. Another plus. After all, Aldi has been doing the same thing for years.

The fact is plastic take-home bags are just the tip of the iceberg. Single use plastic abounds in packaging. Biscuits often come in a plastic tray in a plastic bag. Meat comes on a styrofoam tray with a soaker pad to soak up the blood, then all wrapped in plastic. I could go on but you get the idea. I talked about this before, in a post called, on supermarkets and packaging. Anything packed in trays or bags is a labour saving device. The product comes with a barcode, making it easier to process at the checkout. No weighing and measuring, it’s all done before being placed on the shelves. Oh, and the product lasts longer on the shelves, another plus for the retailer.

What about plastic bottles replacing glass in most liquids, liquid soap (in a plastic bottle) instead of bar soap, bottles of water (!), throw-away plastic cups, plates, cutlery, drinking straws, sandwich bags etc etc etc. This is where we really need to make changes before we end up living in a world that is one big waste dump. In Asian countries it’s easy to believe we already are, but we in the West collect and bury our waste – except for clever countries like Norway, who use their waste in furnaces to create power.

There’s a looooong way to go before the world is a plastic-free place.

Give me a sec to dismount from my hobby horse.

That’s better. Now then, on to another teensy rant. Fashion in the twenty-teens.

I hates it, I does.

I mean, really? Pre-ripped jeans? They cost more than the standard denims (if you can find them) and they’re skin tight. Real stove pipes. They HAVE to be torn at the knee so the wearer can bend his/her knee. And if you want a pair of standard, comfy, denim, boot leg jeans without rips? Well, you might get a pair of levis for a hundred bucks or more. Me, I’m after comfort – cheap comfort. I’m past style. I’ve even let the holes in my ears heal over.

Edited to add: I’ve had jeans with holes and things – but they were EARNED through toil, and I was reluctant to throw them away because of the fabulous fit. This rant is NOT about those – it’s the shortcut that bugs me. And the laziness.

They pay MONEY for these???

Then there’s guys with unshaven faces. Apparently there’s a special razor to get ‘the look’. You end up with a two-day growth which I expect is supposed to make the wearer look ‘masculine’. No, sorry, yuck. It’s stubble. Have you ever tried kissing a guy with stubble? Might as well rub your mouth with sandpaper.


[Sigh] Ah, the joys of being a miserable grumpy old fart. Better get off the hobby horse again.

4 Responses

  1. Marj McRae

    “Virtue signalling, the change you make when you want to look like you’ve made a change.” Dead right.
    I am actually in the process of making a blog all about it myself (in my usual unhurried (lazy) way) It applies to several different ‘environmental’ issues, not just re plastic bags. Propaganda seems to be more desired than anything that might have an actual effect on reducing waste and ’emissions’ and all that.

    • Greta

      Yes, not just plastic bags. I shall look forward to your thoughts, always well-considered.

  2. Mona Karel

    HEY I have jeans like that. Took a while to get them that way! Shirts to match!!
    I agree so much of this ‘no plastic’ movement is just ‘feel good’ Oh look, we don’t buy plastic bags. So? You have multiple layers of non recyclable around all your food. Sigh

    • Greta

      If your jeans got that way from good honest toil, that’s just fine. Today’s kids are doin’ it for show. The tears aren’t earned.

      And I bet your jeans aren’t stove pipes. 😉

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