Call us: +61 03 8523 8200
The Plastic Bag Bans which have been legislated in South Australia, NT, ACT and Tasmania have been linked to food poisoning related death in a US study which tracked the increased prevalence of death and emergency room visits in Californian cities where Plastic Bag Bans had been introduced. It was found that deaths and ER visits increased by up to 50% in San Francisco after the Plastic Bag Ban was introduced.
The study showed that shoppers typically did not wash reusable grocery bags, and often stored them in car boots, resulting in the growth of bacteria. “If individuals fail to clean their reusable bags, these bacteria may lead to contamination of the food transported in the bags. Such contamination has the potential to lead to health problems and even death,” the paper states.
The research was undertaken by Professor Jonathan Klick and Professor Joshua Wright, and is titled Grocery Bag Bans and Foodborne Illness. The abstract of the research study states:
In SA, ACT, NT and Tasmania, certain types of plastic carry bags have been banned. Not content with this, the ACT Greens party are now calling for a complete plastic bag ban. The reason for this is emergence of substitutes which are still polymer based.
The pros and cons of plastic bag ban legislation are too lengthy to mention. Some of the issues regarding bin liners, degradable and compostable bags, and carry bags alternatives are mentioned in previous posts.
I think that it is important to realise that realise that plastic bags were a environmental step forward from the days of widespread paper bags usage. Paper bags have much more detrimental environmental impact than their plastic equivalents.
In fact, due the low amount of energy required to produce them, some studies in the UK have shown that plastic bags are actually more environmentally friendly than their alternatives. The real problems are the incredibly selfish and thoughtless humans among us that discard these products as litter on our public lands.
Further details regarding the Plastic Bag Ban in Tasmania.
Minor Assessment Statement is available for public comment until 13 February 2013
Free promotion resources available for retailers from April 2013
The proposed legislation is expected to be introduced in April 2013
The proposed ban is expected to come into full effect in late 2013
More details can be found here:
Similar to the law in South Australia, the Northern Territory and the ACT, it appears that the Tasmanian state government will also follow suit in implementing restrictions on certain kinds of plastic bags. The date in which the legislation comes into force is not yet confirmed, but appears to be around late 2013. Despite contradictory evidence as to their effectiveness, plastic bag bans are a popular legislative option for a government to "appear green."
More details can be found here:
In November 2011, the ACT followed the legislative precedent set by the South Australian government in implementing a ban on plastic singlet bags. Providing bags thinner than 35 Microns became illegal. What was the result of this ban? The message from Cole's head of communications, Mr. Jon Church was not a surprise.
''Wherever plastic bag bans have been introduced, we see an increase in sales of bin liners as customers no longer have single-use carrier bags available which many households use for disposing of their waste. It is well reported that following the South Australian ban, sales of bin liners across all retailers doubled,'' Mr Church said. ''Sales of kitchen bin liners in the ACT increased by 29 per cent following the carrier bag ban.''
This mirrors experiences of similar ban throughout the world. Sales of Bin Liners skyrocket! What else is one meant to use as a kitchen garbage bag at home?
Not surprisingly, some policitician can identify the added burden and cost to families.
Liberal MLA Alistair Coe said the figures called the Government's reasons for the ban into question.
''It goes to show that the plastic bag ban is putting an extra cost on the weekly bills of Canberra families, but in addition to that, it shows that the consumption of plastic bags is perhaps remaining steady,'' he said.
I wonder what they would think if they read the UK's 2011 Environment Agency report which concluded that HDPE Singlet bags "had the lowest environmental impacts of the single use options in nine out of ten catagories".
Packaging, Environment and Legislation Observations from Maxpak
Environmental Packaging, Plastic Bags, Paper Bags, Shopping Bags, Cleaning Wipes & Products, Garbage Bags & Liners, Packaging & Cleaning Products