Waleed: ‘The point is not that’
AS DEBATE continues to rage about Woolworths and Coles' controversial plastic bag ban there's been one fact people have missed about the move, according to The Project's Waleed Aly.
The academic and journalist has argued that introducing the new bags isn't about paying for reusable ones, but forcing customers to stop using plastic altogether to avoid the charge.
Last month both supermarkets made the decision to ban single use plastic bags, replacing them with 15-cent reusable plastic bags.
After airing a segment about the environmental benefits of the plastic bag ban on Friday's episode of The Project, guest panellist Natarsha Belling said the move should include all single use plastic in supermarkets.
"I spoke to my local Woolworths lady about the plastic bag situation, now they've replaced it with the heavy duty plastic bags that next week they are going to charge 15 cents for each customer. Are they biodegradable?" she asked.
"Does it matter?" Aly replied.
"It does matter," Belling countered, "because if we are going to go with no plastic, let's get rid of all the packaging then on all the fruit and vegetables - what do you put your fruit and vegetables in?"
But Aly argued that it was besides the point because there was one crucial fact shoppers were missing about the supermarkets' move.
"Sure if you want to make that argument fine," he said.
"But the bags themselves that they sell - sure I get it would be better if they were selling biodegradable bags - but the point is not that.
"The point is the charge, so that you stop buying them, so it's designed that you stop buying them eventually."
Aly's theory will be put to the test next week, when both Coles and Woolworths stop giving out the reusable bags for free on Monday.
The Project airs on Network 10 Sunday to Friday at 6.30pm.