[chinese blood, irish heart] - DEFUNCT: Plastic nightmare

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Plastic nightmare

Before I go to work, I always stop by Taste to pick up an apple or whatever. Up to now, still, I've been using the same plastic bag (the ones you use for fruits and veg) to store the apple, so it won't get dirty as I carry it back to work. Yet, I doubt many people would have the same consideration for re-using plastic bags, if not bringing their own 'BYOB' bags.
Everyday I see a bunch of nitwits clamouring for plastic bags in the 10 items or less counters. Today, I saw some woman carrying a large Marks & Spencer Bag while buying only a few items. She could've easily slotted them into the M&S bag instead of taking a plastic one.
I mean, how hard is it to bring your own bag?? Or just using the one you already have?
This 'BYOB' on the first Tuesday of every month is absolutely weak. It got some press coverage in the beginning but now everybody forgets.
The Environmental Protection Department says that 33 million plastic bags are circulated every day... on average that's about 5 bags per person.
The thing I always say about Hong Kong's government or environment related commercials are all so terrible... they're often gimmicky ("Plastic is not Fantastic"), unprovocative, polite and compromising. People need to be shocked and awed in order to get your message across.
Here's a few 'direct' suggestions that should tackle the plastic bag issue:
1. Tax, levy, whatever, on plastic bags... not when, but now. I don't give a flying fuck if it's inconvenient for shoppers, get used to it! I reckon at least 50 cents. In Ireland, the equivalent is about $2.50.
2. If the major retailers are serious about the issue, they should have days whereby no plastic bags are given out. No, not days where you 'encourage' people not to use them, ban them completely, then it'll make shoppers feel guilt.