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Plastic Bags Ban

Updated on December 3, 2015

Recycle Bins

Recycle Bins
Recycle Bins | Source

Different Types of Plastic Bags Found in Most Households.

Plastic Bags
Plastic Bags | Source

Are Plastic Bags Really Necessary in our Daily Life?

This is pretty much a rant on the frustration of changing peoples minds on the excessive use of plastic bags. By excessive I mean the unnecessary use of plastic bags. We had a family run butchery in Malaysia. After a few years of doing business, the pure wastage that we saw on a daily basis was starting to drive us crazy.

Limited Plastic Bag Policy

We decided to implement a limited plastic bag policy. A task easier said then done in Asia. After a quick check of our books, we calculated that we gave away an average of 30 kg of plastic bags per week, keep in mind ours was a small mom and pop business. I can not imagine the amount of bags given away by the big businesses. So our new company policy was to to minimize the use of bags in our shop. After informing some of our regulars, we found them to be very supportive. Well it seemed that way at first. Here are some of the reactions from our customers.

Change is Difficult for Some.

A lady walks in with her son of about 8 or 9 years old. She buys some sausages, a few canned goods, one litre of milk and a chocolate bar. She wanted one bag for the sausages, another for the canned goods and third for the milk. When I asked her why she wanted so many bags, her reply was she did not want to put the meat and other goods in the same bag, she also wanted to distribute the weight of the goods so it was easier to carry to her car. I emptied a box and gave her that instead and offered to carry the box to her car. That is the end of the story you would think. But no. her son wanted a small plastic bag to carry the chocolate bar. A truly frustrating customer. Children learn from their parents.

Do you feel Cheated if you do not get a Free Bag?

The times that a customer walked in bought one item and wanted a bag are too numerous to count, but this one lady stood at the entrance of our butchery and screamed for 20 minutes that we were trying to cheat her, by not providing a free plastic bag. The funny part of this story is that I had refused to give her a bag for buying a single mars bar. And when she complained, I recommended she go to the shop next door. Her twenty minute tantrum was pointless as she had ultimately not made a purchase.

In Malaysia plastic bags are considered a service and if you do not provide one, customers feel that they have been cheated.

Homemade Paper Bag

Home made paper bag
Home made paper bag | Source

Recycled Bags Made from old Newspaper.

So we decided on making paper bags from old newspapers. It solved our below ten items customer purchases. The newspapers we collected from our family and friends. We had some really nice customers, who became close friends, and when we were really busy they helped us make the paper bags. On any given day you would find us sitting behind the counter with one of our friends having a cup of coffee, hard at work.

Ikea plastic bag holder. Somehow plastic bags accumulate even if you do not want them.

Plastic Bags to be Reused
Plastic Bags to be Reused | Source

State Government Implements tax on Plastic Bags

In the year 2011 Penang state government Implemented a no free plastic bag rule. We were overjoyed. Although I am sad to say actual enforcement of this policy is pretty lax. Only being strictly enforced in the big supermarkets and hypermarkets.

Cut down on the use of plastic bags

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Plastic bags, should we use them at all?

Do we really need Plastic bags?

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© 2013 ketage


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    • ketage profile image

      ketage 5 years ago from Croatia

      Hello Katydidnt, pretty much overused in nearly every country I have ever visited, although in Europe they do seem to be taking environmental issues a lot more seriously then in Asia. I wish we could go back to the good old days of having to bring our own bags when we go shopping.

    • katydidnt profile image

      katydidnt 5 years ago from New Brunswick, Canada

      Plastic bags are still in widespread overuse here in North America as well, though some stores have started charging a few cents per bag, others have encouraged shoppers to bring their own re-usable bags and offer some for sale near check outs, and most recycling depots will take and recycle plastic bags now. I think there are times when a plastic bag is a handy thing, but we certainly don't require them for every single thing.