Johan Norberg on plastic bags

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57 Responses to Johan Norberg on plastic bags

  1. This plastic bag bullshit is all about saving a few bucks while at the same time virtue signalling to the inner city latte crowd. If these corporate grubs were fair dinkum they would ban the sale of all the plastic bags they continue to sell and which will be purchased to replace the free bags people used for bin liners etc. double whammy for the sleazy supermarkets – force customers to buy grocery bags and then watch as sales of other plastic bags they stock rise. Filthy, Fu**ing hypocrites.

  2. Pedro the Ignorant

    In the immortal words of the now moribund commenter Arky;

    “This country is turning into a shit stained toilet. . . . . ”

    How did it ever get to the stage that people accept this bullshit and not march on Parliament with pitchforks and flaming torches?

  3. a happy little debunker

    Well I have used my recycle bags at least 327 times and acquired them free with purchases at Anaconda (a while back).

    In addition have been given a horde of thicker style plastic bags from Colesworth staff to prevent ‘leakage’ from select meat purchases.

    And I still get ‘single use’ bags from my local fruit and veg shop.

    It is remarkably easy to do without these at supermarkets.

    My long past Gran only ever used string bags, so it is not that hard.

  4. Texas Jack

    Why stop at plastic bags Johan? Try Prius v Golf, and please give us an analysis of wind farm towers. How much energy do they use up in construction, maintenance, and eventual replacement versus their wind-generated “payoff “?

  5. mh

    Josh Fraudenberg hang your head in shame.

    What is he even doing in the Liberal Party?

  6. Tombell

    Make a concerted effort to shop elsewhere. Remind Coles et. al. that SJWs are not the only ones with power in an open market. And next time the AFL has a diversity day with an invitation to use whatever toilet “seems right to you” boycott that . It’s time for the boring majority who go to work and pay taxes to exercise their clout. Passively waiting for common sense to prevail has passed its used by date .

  7. Art Vandelay

    Speaking of consultants making up dodgy figures to appease their paymasters (as was the case with the ‘economic benefit’ of the ABC discussed earlier), the Environment Department was busted using highly inflated benefits in the cost-benefit analysis to support the banning of plastic bags.

    The Productivity Commission noted:

    Specifically, [the analysis prepared by The Allen Consulting Group] assumed the total environmental benefit from removing a plastic bag from the environment ($1.00 per bag) was fifty times greater than its own calculations indicated was the case ($0.02 per bag). It could be argued those calculations overlooked some benefits, but this is unlikely to justify an upward adjustment of fifty times. Thus, it appears the reported net impacts are overly optimistic, and the net cost of each policy option would actually be many times worse than indicated.

    The key reason why the policy options would not deliver a net benefit is that they are poorly targeted. They would penalise most uses of plastic retail carry bags, whereas the potential environmental benefit only comes from the less than 1 percent of bags that are littered.

    And concludes:

    A cost–benefit study commissioned by the Governments shows that the benefits of a phase out or a per-unit charge would be significantly outweighed by the costs.

  8. Pedro the Ignorant

    What an obedient little prole you are , happy.

    Massa says “no more plastic bags”. “Yassuh, Massa”.

  9. mh

    a happy little debunker, did you even watch the video?

    Way to miss the point. Johan is saying that the type of bags that are being banned are actually fricking great for the environment. And even if they weren’t, you should still be telling the bag nazis to shove it.

  10. DaveR

    What a laugh! The plastics industry spends 50 years making plastic UV and other factor stable – only to find Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth launching their next big campaign against plastic (Global Warming campaign is not working!). Penalise everbody instead of making all disposable plastics unstable – by simply reversing all the technology. No recycling needed!

    And ask Coles and Woolworths why this is necessary, and they say consumers demanded it. Yeah right! Nothing to do with the lobbying of Greenpeace and FOE.

  11. Habib

    Woolworths is now off my list, Coles is a few days. Fuck them and their ugly virtue signalling/profiteering,
    They no longer exist.

  12. Leo G

    It is remarkably easy to do without these at supermarkets.
    My long past Gran only ever used string bags, so it is not that hard.

    I expect use of those string bags will increase. They are more convenient to store and to carry when empty than other HDPE replacements.
    I’ve already noticed before the announced transition date though, a significant change in my household’s supermarket use- a change in the choice of products and a reduction in the number of items purchased on each supermarket trip.

  13. Egor

    Who gives a rat’s arse.
    It ranks with the incandescent lightbulb national crisis.

  14. a happy little debunker

    Pedro the Ignorant at 10:11 pm

    Living the entrenched & legislated dream in Tassie since 2013.

  15. a happy little debunker

    you should still be telling the bag nazis to shove it.

    Have lived with this regime for nearly as long as the Nazi’s fought ww2 (battle fatigue and PTSD were always likely) , but hey – see how you go?

    If you manage it you are a much better BTL worrier than me.

  16. I was thinking about this earlier. We pretty much only shop at Aldi and have been using the ‘green’ plastic bags for many years. Aldi has the process down pat, where you just load up the conveyer belt and put the scanned items into your trolley (except for numbnuts that shouldn’t be allowed out of their house) and then you pack your shopping into your bags on the packing counter. Some do their packing in the carpark (?). It’s quick and painless.

    Colesworth isn’t geared for this, so I wonder how painful it’s going to be for customers lined up while waiting for others to go through the checkout process, packing things into their bags. The checkout operator may try and do this for them, but the register isn’t really set up for these bags, especially if they are old and well used. Shopping at Colesworth is slow enough at the best of times, with only one staffed checkout open most of the time. The reports on TV only showed the self-checkouts and not the other checkouts, and no one made any mention of this. It may or may not work, time will tell.

    But more Green bullshit in any case.

  17. Biota

    It appears there is another solution. Our local council allows kitchen scraps in the green waste and provides as a startup a container and plastic bag liners. These liners are compostable over three days. At a shop in Crows Nest plastic bags were supplied with the same claim; apparently they are made out of corn. So why can’t Colesworth supply the same bags? Because savings.

  18. Because savings.

    Because profit.

    I’ll bet that food prices do not fall as a result of removing the free plastic bags, which weren’t free as the cost was amortised across all (most) products. Apparently 3.5 billion bags/annum across Colesworth.

  19. Ask your local small retailer about the plastic bag inspectors.

    In the UK they go around in pairs, demanding to see the balance sheet of bag charges in Vs bags out

  20. Dr Faustus

    Virtue signalling.

    My local Coles tells me that I will be able to buy plastic bags at 15c/pop – but it’s OK, because they are going to donate “at least” 10c from the sale of each bag to ‘charity’.

    Alibaba tells me that multiple Chinese suppliers are keen to sell me 3-colour printed LDPE plastic supermarket bags for 1c/unit – less if I buy more than 10,000 – shipping to Australia about 0.01c/unit.

  21. Tel

    Ask your local small retailer about the plastic bag inspectors.

    In the UK they go around in pairs, demanding to see the balance sheet of bag charges in Vs bags out

    The cost of that must be huge, and anyway easy to scam if you wanted to. What a pointless exercise.

  22. Rohan

    Alibaba tells me that multiple Chinese suppliers are keen to sell me 3-colour printed LDPE plastic supermarket bags for 1c/unit – less if I buy more than 10,000 – shipping to Australia about 0.01c/unit.

    I note that the woolies bags are made in China from my shopping trip on Tuesday night. So they’ve dumped the local manufacturers including the ones that made the old LDPE/corn starch hybrid bags that they replaced.

    Given the Chinese influence on all things political or Green in this country, you have to wonder the % of Chinese ownership in Coles and Woolies.

  23. Dr Fred Lenin

    Hitler and Stalin would be proud of the new age communist Nazi fascists ,they are doing without much bloodshed what the dictators failed to do with very much bloodshed . Repression of the fascists is alive and well and living in the West. They almost conquered the USA untill Trump defeated their phony criminal candidate ,he has them worried their plan is unravelling ,the people are winning ,modern day Goebells are trying to polish the turd ,but people know now ,a shiny turd is still a turd . They call themselves “progressives “ they are really “regressives and repressives”
    I see the US is getting out of the communist u.n, s shoomin rites bullshit are you listening turncoat? Probably not ,leftoids never listen the just talk .

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  25. They almost conquered the USA

    They haven’t stopped trying, not by a long shot. With Trump signing a new executive order to keep children with parents (or those who claim to be parents) in jail, the Left is now complaining that kids should not be put in jail. One fake campaign ends and another begins (the Stormy and Hogg sagas are over).

  26. dopey

    If you kept your old LP records you can use those those plastic record covers next time you go shopping.

  27. candy

    , so I wonder how painful it’s going to be for customers lined up while waiting for others to go through the checkout process, packing things into their bags. The checkout operator may try and do this for them, but the register isn’t really set up for these bags, especially if they are old and well used.

    I think that’s a good point by bemused. I don’t see that checkout operators will find it convenient to fill used bags as they are not set up on the roundabout thing, as well they probably don’t want to touch used bags (and who can blame them) and perhaps there are health and safety issues with that.

  28. Unlike Coles and Woolworths, Aldi actually states that the reason they don’t have single use bags is to reduce cost. Straight up front. No bullshit! Aldi will be seeing more of me in the future!

  29. areff

    Were those of our sensible persuasion imbued with the in-your-face activism of the Left, we’d be filling our trolleys, having the goods checked out and then, when informed bags are no longer available, leaving everything on the counter to be re-stocked at considerable expense, inconvenience and bother to the supermarkets.

    Alas, we’re too busy being productive, so the Left wins again while grumble, complain, see the absurdity and yet submit.

    Incidentally, Quadrant will shortly have posted an interesting factoid about Woolies’ CEO, who is grengreengreen and wants everyone to know it.

    Funny thing, that: as he is somewhat more circumspect about jetting to and fro across the Tasman to his boutique winery in Otago. The carbon menace only applies to other people, don’t you know!

  30. Unlike Coles and Woolworths, Aldi actually states that the reason they don’t have single use bags is to reduce cost. Straight up front. No bullshit! Aldi will be seeing more of me in the future!

    It’s quite a difference, isn’t it? I must remember to always have an Aldi bag with me whenever I do go into a Colesworth to buy the few items that Aldi doesn’t sell and must make certain that the bag is new and the Aldi logo prominent.

  31. Kneel

    “Aldi will be seeing more of me in the future!”

    Then you will be pleasantly surprised at the quality of the fresh produce – so much better than Colesworths!
    EG, 500g mushrooms in a container will keep in the fridge for a week at least.

  32. Gerard

    The Allen Consulting Group study referred to in the Productivity Commission report was written by an ex Greenpeace activist who made two significant errors. Firstly he ‘estimated’ without any backing data, that 50 million plastic bags were littered each year and secondly he misquoted a Canadian study on the entrapment of sea birds on fishing lines as showing that 100,000 marine mammals were killed by plastic bags each year. The latter matter now has a correction in the front of the official report, but the absence of data supporting the litter ‘estimate’ has not been highlighted. Both matters were an attempts to justify action against plastic bags.

    A recent study has found that 90% of ocean plastic pollution comes from ten rivers in Asia and Africa and that Western countries contribute 2%. This has not stopped the UN from again targeting Western economies to propose a ban on single use plastics.

  33. Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    Stop complaining and start cleaning up! As in, catering to the public’s love of plastic bags! I intend to become rich by selling plastic bags to people in Cole’s car park! This war on Plastic will be great for us enterpreneurs. And I keep straws in my socks, since they are next on the list! See you in the car park! from Bagger Gray!

  34. mareeS

    Our local IGA and the greengrocer next door are sticking with plastic carry bags, which, btw, are white and stronger than the grey supermarket bags being banned by Woolies/Coles. No holes in the bottom, either, which makes them great for kitty poo, kitchen scraps, bathroom bin liners, clothing storage, lots of other domestic stuff.

    I have a few Aldi bags in the car boot, which I will take great pleasure in using on the occasions I need to shop at the local Coles/Woolies.

  35. Infidel Tiger 2.0 (Premium Content Subscribers Only)

    A gentle reminder that anyone who shops at Colesworth is an awful person.

  36. Delta A

    The checkout operator may try and do this for them, but the register isn’t really set up for these bags

    In SA, the checkout operator can refuse to handle bags that are deemed ‘dirty’. Plenty of scope there for a rort.

  37. MikeS

    So the crappy Cook et al study which says 97% of card carrying climate scientists believe in AGW gets reported universally as holy scripture yet the Productivity Commission’s report which says plastic bag bans are bullshit gets ignored. Lucky the science is malleable where faith is concerned.

    The wife reports that delays at checkouts are already significant and a bit of a pain. This will bite them in the arse when it impacts sales and increases checkout labour. I already buy fewer items than I can comfortably carry at bag free Bunnings. It has definitely cost them sales to me.

  38. Up The Workers!

    The cynical money-gouging carpet-baggers and fraudsters running Colesworths, gillard that they are “saving the planet” by scamming you whilst they are actually making an extra $60 million dollars per annum in new non-biodegradable shopping-bag sales.

    Don’t buy the shysters’ new environmentally unfriendly bags.

    Tell them that you are going to put all the groceries straight back into their shopping trolley and wheel the thing home to your place and unload it there.

    Once the local money-gouging Councils start ‘pinging’ Colesworths $100.00 for every single shopping trolley they impound from the streets, parks, nature strips, up trees and in rivers (just like the “O-Bikes”), I bet the slimy con-artists promoting this latest Green religious scam, will revert to their traditional atheism.

    Mercenary Councils need to be aware that Colesworths will now have an extra $60 Million in cold, hard, cash available to pay extra municipal fines, municipal fees, municipal imposts, municipal charges, municipal penalties and municipal levies – plenty to pay for vastly increased Councillor Allowances, Mayoral junkets and first-class Jumbo jet airfares to every single International eco-gobfest in the Bahamas or on the Costa del Crime.

    Who says the Green religion halts the money-go-round?

  39. Up The Workers!

    Only day two, but already the protests have started.

    A woman in front of me this morning at the supermarket as I was buying my newspaper, unloaded all her groceries on the counter and when told she’d have to buy bags to put them in, she just walked straight out (after a few well-chosen words), leaving the checkout attendant to call the Manager from out the back, to come out and return all the goods to the shelves.

    If enough customers do it, the money-gouging bludgers and penny-pinching thieves running Colesworths may eventually regret their cheapskate decision to abandon any pretence of “customer service”, and go back to the days of actually serving their paying customers, rather than serving themselves and the dingbat religious cranks of the Brown Movement.

  40. Art Vandelay

    Gerard
    #2743257, posted on June 21, 2018 at 11:13 am

    The Allen Consulting Group study referred to in the Productivity Commission report was written by an ex Greenpeace activist who made two significant errors. Firstly he ‘estimated’ without any backing data, that 50 million plastic bags were littered each year and secondly he misquoted a Canadian study on the entrapment of sea birds on fishing lines as showing that 100,000 marine mammals were killed by plastic bags each year. The latter matter now has a correction in the front of the official report, but the absence of data supporting the litter ‘estimate’ has not been highlighted. Both matters were an attempts to justify action against plastic bags.

    Spot on. I think I recall Allens and all the Greenie groups were using the figure that plastic bags were killing 100,000 marine animals per year in Australia (and it was repeated ad nauseam on the ABC). When it came to light that the figure was actually from a Canadian study on the impact of stray fishing gear in Canada (ie, nothing to do with plastic bags or Australia), the Green groups just quietly deleted the claim from their websites. No apology was given.

    Similarly, the then Environment Minister, Peter Garrett, went on the ABC and claimed that a study showed Australian plastic bags were polluting an albatross hatching ground on a remote Pacific Island. It turned out that the ‘study’ was a 5-6 page report (mainly photos) produced by a uni student studying something wishy washy like Environment Science. All the of the litter on the island was fishing gear from other nearby Pacific Islands. There wasn’t a plastic bag in sight.

    A recent study has found that 90% of ocean plastic pollution comes from ten rivers in Asia and Africa and that Western countries contribute 2%. This has not stopped the UN from again targeting Western economies to propose a ban on single use plastics.

    Yep. Again, most of the plastic pollution is fishing gear from Asian countries and rubbish from the tsunami in Japan:

    It was the peer-reviewed journal Scientific Reports that revealed the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” in the words of National Geographic, is “mostly abandoned fishing gear” and debris from the tsunami that hit Japan in 2011.

    Plastic-loving David Mastio isn’t the guy who says Asian countries are destroying the world’s oceans. The environmental activists at Ocean Crusaders point the finger at China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Sri Lanka as the countries that dump the vast majority of plastic showing up in our oceans.

    Yet the West is being made to pay.

    You can safely assume that an environmentalist (and that includes almost all bureaucrats in Canberra) is lying whenever they open their mouth.

  41. Tel

    You can safely assume that an environmentalist (and that includes almost all bureaucrats in Canberra) is lying whenever they open their mouth.

    The first lie is that they were ever environmentalists. Like feminism it’s a movement that got hijacked and turned to a purpose of controlling people.

    Read Ed Krug’s book, “Environment Betrayed”. There goes a true environmentalist. If anyone knows how to get in touch with him then I’d be interested.

  42. Up The Workers!

    Art Vandelay at 2.27pm refers to former A.L.P. Environment Minister, Peter Garrett.

    Talk about a litterbug.

    Wasn’t he the bloke who was famous at one stage for littering the country with the cadavers of deceased silver-batt installers?

    As a deeply conscientious Labor(sic) Federal Minister, he must have been pulling his hair out, burning the midnight oil wondering how could he sleep while his batt-installers were burning?

  43. Dr Fred Lenin

    The Dr Fred Institute has done extensive research on the plastic bag syndrome . There is no concrete
    evidence a problem exists except for a lot of gangrene hysterical teenage type lies ,like all left propaganda . We have compiled a get out of jail excuse for colesworths to save face on this subject and get the customers they lost back .we suggest a massive media campaign featuring people pretending to be scientists , like the climate changers do ,you could use the same ones ,anything for a dollar these “scientists” , they will announce that in Gaia’s name new bags will be given free to all buyers, these bags will be called “ state of the art biodegradable planet saving bags and be endorsed approved by the pretend scientists . Management will save face and like all SJWs look like they are actually doing something about gerbil worming ,while they are only fixing a problem of their own making .our usual exorbitant consulting fee will apply here, good innit?

  44. JohnJJJ

    All is emotion these days.
    My neighbour, with two cars, endless OS flights, aircon and all the rest of upper innercity living berated me for lugging home my shopping in a plastic bag.

  45. mareeS

    Up The Workers, at our local Coles, people are already moving items out of the meat and dairy sections and leaving them around other unrefrigerated shelves as a silent protest.

    I only shop at Colesworth for a few basic items that I can’t get at IGA, and I would never do that to them, as they are owner operators.

  46. Buccaneer

    I’m sorry, Aldi are c*#@s who will never get my money. They are almost as big a scourge as Amazon in that they feed local suppliers bs about incremental business over and above the business they do with the other retailers, screw down the prices to below cost when fixed costs are added. When the local suppliers wise up they have an os supplier all lined up to take their place. The aldi family can’t even stand each other so they split the company in half.

  47. Art Vandelay

    Up The Workers!
    #2743501, posted on June 21, 2018 at 4:21 pm

    Art Vandelay at 2.27pm refers to former A.L.P. Environment Minister, Peter Garrett.

    Talk about a litterbug.

    Wasn’t he the bloke who was famous at one stage for littering the country with the cadavers of deceased silver-batt installers?

    In my view, the Liberal Ministers (Frydenberg, Hunt and Turnbull) are equally as bad as Garrett given their support for the Renewable Energy Target. Many people will die this winter (and future ones) because they can’t afford to heat their homes. They all have blood on their hands.

  48. mh

    bemused
    #2743564, posted on June 21, 2018 at 5:31 pm

    I wonder how many agree with this from Johan:

    I don’t. It seems young Johan is a stopped clock.

  49. mizaris

    Got caught out at Riverton Woolies this arvo. So I went to their F&V and tore off 4 bags. Took them with me to the 8 items checkout. Where I put one inside the other to make 2 serviceable bags for my 7 items. And because the checkout attendant couldn’t/wouldn’t pack them for me I held up their express line for as long as it took. Fvckem a thousand times. And whilst I was packing I was chatting LOUDLY to the attendant and all and sundry, making them aware that this was not a good green exercise as the bags they were now selling would take much longer to break down. And that it was a hypocritical money grab. And that Woolies CEO was a hypocrite of the highest order with his frequent traveller flights to and from his NZ vineyard. And that his carbon footprint was probably nearing that of a large African country. And that I wouldn’t be subscribing to purchasing their bags but would, in future, be arriving at the checkout with as many of their free F&V bags as it would take to package my shopping. Fvckem again and again.

  50. mizaris

    PS not that I usually shop at woolies, and won’t in the future.

  51. Delta A

    Mizaris, you are a champion!

    Kudos.

  52. Megan

    Thanks mizaris, i shall do precisely the same on the hopefully minute occasions I am forced into Colesworths. Even though I have willingly used my own bags in the past…and was doing it long before the environ-mentals got into the act I absolutely despise being forced to do stuff I think is rubbish. And this move ranks up there with the Great Stupid Lighbulb Ban in the Green Rubbish Stakes.

  53. MsDolittle

    A patient from Shep gave me a case of beautiful fresh apples yesterday. Left them in my office overnight (eh it’s colder down there) and today the perfume in my office was beautiful – fresh Pink Ladies. I gave all my co-workers a bag and they were thrilled. You’re welcome. The neurosurgeon looked quizzically at me when I said I needed the bag back as things could get tight.

  54. Ve2

    Dr Faustus

    #2743075, posted on June 21, 2018 at 7:29 am

    Virtue signalling.

    My local Coles tells me that I will be able to buy plastic bags at 15c/pop – but it’s OK, because they are going to donate “at least” 10c from the sale of each bag to ‘charity’.

    After extorting the 10c from the customer and “donating” it to charity how much do the supermarket chains claim back from the government as a tax deduction.

  55. Peter Campion

    My regional daily newspaper printed this letter from me on Saturday, 16/6 – h/t to those Cats responsible for the inspiration.

    The Editor

    On the plastic bag ban (CP, 14/6), remember your last trip to the supermarket?

    Most of your dry goods, your biscuits, rice, pasta, cereals, dried fruit, bread, etc all came in plastic packaging.

    Same with your fruit, vegies, yoghurt, milk, cheese, meat and fish – all packaged in plastic before you got to the check-out.

    Ditto, most cleaning products and specialty goods.

    At the checkout some handy plastic carry-bags were added to the mix. Later you used them as garbage bags that carried much of the other plastic to landfill.

    But greenies have convinced LNP and Labor MPs that these carry-bags are a problem worth banning.

    It’s likely that the law of unintended consequences will see more free-roaming plastics, not less.

    In a totalitarian state, everything that isn’t compulsory is prohibited. Are we there yet, comrades?

    (135 words)
    Peter Campion

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