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Thursday, 19 October 2017

Supermarkets Here Are Up to Something

As you know, my eco-warrior friends and I have been campaigning outside our local Countdown supermarket each weekend for a couple of hours with our reusable bags, trying to get people to buy bags from us, prompting them to bring their own and generally just being a reminder about plastic bags not being good. 

Japanese exchange student Kotori helped us with our bag campaign

Well a few weeks ago we were excited to hear on the news that Countdowns nationwide will be quitting plastic bags, as from 2018! Not only was that great, but only a week after that New World supermarkets announced that they too will quit plastic bags from 2018. That is pretty much all of our supermarkets, as the one other chain already charges people for plastic bags.
The supermarkets have plans for providing reusable bags - New World plans to give away thousands of free bags over the summer, and Countdown has dropped the price of theirs to $1.

We have been so excited by this because our government was pathetic, they wouldn't issue a nation-wide ban. Good news there too - we've just had a change of government to a more eco-minded one, so we are waiting to see some positive changes for our environment.

The announcement has brought about a change of attitude to what we are doing too. The girls report that instead of our bags selling slowly - they are now flying out - they've been selling 3-4 times as many.

We've had some media promotion for our Boomerang Bag making recently (got our picture in the local paper), and one spin-off was that yesterday I got to talk to a group of Girl's Brigaders, who are embarking on making produce bags for their families.

Mighty oaks from little acorns grow 

Another positive from New World supermarkets has been their Little Garden giveaways. This is the second year that they have given away these cute little pots of lots of different types of seeds.

The only non-biodegradable part is the wee name card - provided you didn't buy their stupid plastic watering system. They make a nice change from the usual plastic ticky tacky toys they give out as promotions.
People have been loving them, and now that the promotion has finished, they have donated boxes of leftover seed pots to schools and kindergartens.

This is the celery patch that is growing from last year's starters. It's the best celery I've ever grown - with very little input from me.

Well that's all for this week, a bit of happy news, eh. It's Labour weekend here, when everyone traditionally swarms the garden centres and starts planting. Not us though - we've grown all of ours from seed (except the basil which didn't come up).  


  1. It's great to see change, albeit slow...Our supermarkets are going "plastic bag free" which is a bit of a stretch of the truth, as they are going to use a heavy duty plastic bags that are the end of the day they are still plastic, we've got to keep the pressure on, over packaging in plastic is in my sights!

    1. Yes, I was glad to see that ours weren't going to follow yours with those heavier plastic bags. Ours will still have some plastic content, but they are hessian with a lining and the polyprop bags. Yes I agree about the plastic packaging, but there are new ecopackaging inventions happening - it will be a while before they become more mainstream though I'm afraid.

  2. 'Wonderful news about the grocery stores themselves getting rid of plastic bags! I bet you are sewing away at top speed to keep up with the upcoming demand. Good luck on your garden this year.

    1. Yes Cynthia, we can't sew fast enough, but fortunately are getting a few more helpers.

  3. It was a nice idea. Even in our colony they have told us to collect and keep all the plastic bag and they will come and collect monthly once. It is a good idea to get rid of plastics...

    1. I couldn't tell where you are from, but that's good that your area is doing soft plastic recycling. I think all around the world people are waking up to how big the plastic problem is.

  4. Great that there's some good news on the plastic front:) It's so important that we reduce drastically the amount of it we use and that ends up polluting our environment. Love the idea of your boomerang bags! Meg:)

  5. Thanks Meg. It feels good to be doing something, even if it does seem like a drop in the ocean.


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