In Summary
  • The ban is against the use of plastic bags without handles but which may or may not have gussets.
  • The ban doesn’t affect flat plastic bags used in industrial packaging.
  • A 2010 study published in the journal Science showed that every year, about eight million metric tonnes of plastic trash ends up in the ocean.
  • For alternatives, the experts I’ve spoken to told me that the only viable ones for wrapping meat include bags made from manila, canvas, jute and biodegradable plastics.

“Hold on,” I said, obviously exasperated at the attendant at the milk machine at the supermarket in Westlands. “I need to see the manager,” I added.

It was after much insistence that I was ushered into an open plan office past the cashiers’ desk.

The manager wearing an orange t-shirt with the company’s logo then asked me how he can help.

“I need my plastic bag back,” I told him.

“Okay, but you can have a new one for free,” he said politely.

Of course I wasn’t going to exchange my recycled bag with a new one, but as you would guess, the company’s policy was against recycling, worse if the bag bore the logo of a competitor. In short, I got back my precious plastic bag.

That was over a year ago. The other day I went back to the same supermarket in my Westlands neighbourhood and guess what, they were in panic to get rid of their nasty plastic bags as the ban beckoned

In case you are wondering where I am heading to, let me spell it out. I am not shedding a tear for plastic bags after the ban came into force this week.

Before I get into how this ban might affect my poultry venture, here’s some background. For as long as I can remember, my wife and I had a policy of recycling our plastic bags long before the good Environment ministry decided to effect the ban.

The ban is against the use of plastic bags without handles but which may or may not have gussets.

Plastic carrier bags with or without gussets also remain banned. The ban doesn’t affect flat plastic bags used in industrial packaging.

Apart from the obvious eyesore, one thing I couldn’t understand was how anyone could walk into a supermarket every week and walk out with dozens of plastic bags which would be rendered useless within 10 minutes.

A 2010 study published in the journal Science showed that every year, about eight million metric tonnes of plastic trash ends up in the ocean.

Page 1 of 2