Ministry of plastic bags?

So now that we are going to have a total ban on plastic bags, how is it going to be managed? It may seem like a silly question, but really, it is not. Not at all.

Kenya’s Daily Nation reports (in August 2017) quote:

The National Environment Management Authority (Nema) has defended itself against claims doing rounds on social media that it has started carrying out swoops in cars on order to confiscate polythene bags.

On Monday, the first day that the ban on plastic carrier bags came into effect, there were online messages claiming that police was stopping and inspecting cars for the now outlawed packaging material.

It is also claimed that the same officers are arresting members of the public found with the banned bags and soliciting bribes in order to set them free. end quote.
Swoops on cars? Don’t tell me that now we will have police chases for people hoarding plastic bags? It has already happened with avocados. Oh, and drugs.

It is a different story in Australia, however, where shop workers are threatened by angry customers. Metro UK reports: quote:

Shoppers down under are apparently fighting with supermarket staff because they’re unhappy at having to pay 15 cent (8p) for the bags. Things have got so bad one customer allegedly tried to throttle a female shop worker at Woolworths, in the west coast city of Mandurah, on June 22.

Supermarket staff have also had to deal with customers forcing them to overload plastic bags and to handle unhygienic bags that previously contained vomit or dirty diapers. The SDA union has now launched a public information campaign to discourage customers from taking their frustrations out on staff. end quote.

Using a plastic bag to pick up dog poo.

Oh God. I never thought of that. Reusable bags can be reused… and it may not be very nice, or very hygienic. There might have been a lump of dog droppings in there previously…Yuk! I’m so glad I don’t operate a supermarket checkout. From now on, they probably won’t smell good.

But seriously…are the police really going to deal with this?

Don’t they have enough to do? It is so bad that they struggle to follow up on burglaries at the moment. Are we really expecting them to deal with this?

Let’s assume that there will be a system of fines for breaching the law. So, for supplying or distributing plastic bags, there might be a fine of say $5,000. But are we really going to expect the police to go around supermarkets, dairies and 4 Square stores and check that they are not breaking the law and supplying plastic bags?

Do we need a Ministry of plastic bags?

Well, of course we will. We will need civil servants to make sure that no plastic bags are imported into the country. We will need them to ensure that no plastic bags are made locally. We will need them to tour the shops and supermarkets to ensure that they are not supplying plastic bags illegally. And we will need them to knock on people’s doors at dawn to make sure they are not hoarding them, or worse, stashing them to supply illegally to the local users.

There will have to be an additional question on the arrivals form – do you have more than $10,000 in currency? Do you have any plastic bags?

There will be special amnesty bins in the arrivals halls, asking travellers to deposit food, fruit, drugs and plastic bags and no questions will be asked. (But, there are cameras…)

Customs officers will pass scanners over travellers bodies to check for plastic bags.

Luggage will be scanned for drugs, metal objects and plastic bags. Don’t stash a plastic bag in your hand luggage. If they are in your checked luggage, you might get away with it, so long as they are hidden behind syringes, currency and gold coins.

Once through customs, dealers will give a special nod to taxi drivers to tell them they have a stash in their luggage.

Can you imagine the tied shoes tossed over the telephone lines with a plastic bag strung into them?

I always feel sorry for the users. The people who need to collect dog droppings. The parents who have no idea of how to dispose of dirty nappies. The people who need them for their wet togs.  The people who use them for their dirty shoes. For some of them, there will be no cure. They will need a supply of plastic bags forever. What are they going to do?

You may think I am joking but we are going to need more bureaucrats to make this new law effective.

The Ministry of plastic bags is not as ridiculous as you may think and that will not be the end of it.

First, they came for our plastic bags…

Then they came for our straws, cotton buds and drink stirrers…


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Accountant. Boring. Loves tax. Needs to get out more. Loves the environment, but hates the Greens. Has been called a dinosaur. Wears it with pride.

To read my previous articles click on my name in blue.

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