2 million Countdown bags in the rivers each year

Yes, that is the frightening statistic from Countdown’s Craig Taylor.

“42,000 plastic bags going into waterways every week” equals 2,184,000 Countdown plastic bags going into waterways every year.  How many have you seen floating by?

The article is not clear whether “all stores” means all 10 in the Bay of Plenty or all Countdown stores in New Zealand so I checked with the Countdown website.  It seems that the 2 million per year is only in the Bay of Plenty.  “Countdown […] will remove around 350 million plastic bags from circulation each year!”

It is, indeed, depressing that people in the beautiful Bay of Plenty take their 42,000, so-called, single-use plastic bags from the Countdown checkout and dispose of them in the nearest creek or river.

But it is so heartwarming to note that Countdown is replacing the, so-called, single-use plastic bags with “eco-bags”.  You see, adding “eco” to anything makes it good, acceptable and environmentally friendly.  Eco-bags cannot migrate to waterways – Eugenie will be so pleased.

Countdown will also be offering “another type of plastic bag that can be used up to 10 times”, the “deca-use” bag.  Over time this will contract to “decause” bags. This is because we support de-cause, or simply decause we have to use them.

The problem, as you are well aware, is that single-use plastic bags can only be used once, taking groceries from the checkout to the pantry.

It is utterly impossible to use them again as kitchen-tidy liners, tog bags, dog pooper-scoopers, dirty shoe holders, dirty clothes containers, convenient carry bags,  tool holders, weed and garden clipping containers, carrying your bottles to the recycling bin, kitty litter disposers, carrying old newspapers to the recycling bin, separating various items in your pack when tramping or any of the myriad uses that one could think of.

In contrast, the new “deca-use” bags can be used ten times.  That is such a relief to know.

But after the tenth use, will they still go into the waterways?  Perhaps this “other type of plastic bag” is a new water-repellent (and turtle repellent) formulation?

After the tenth use are they still made of plastic?


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WH is a pale, stale, male who does not believe all the doom and gloom climate nonsense so enjoys generating CO2 that the plants need to grow by driving his MG.

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