Thursday, 3 April 2008

Bagging Andrew Bolt

Everyone's favourite misanthrope Andrew Bolt had a little rant yesterday, about Borders bookstores daring to charge 10c for plastic carry bags.

The upshot was that Bolt stormed off in a huff after rudely refusing a bag, choosing to carry his books rather than, as he saw it, donate 10c to some goddamn hippy environmental group.

The delicious irony in this story, for those of us interested in such things, is that Mr Bolt has illustrated perfectly why a plastic bag levy is such a good idea.

It's not about the measly 10c. It's not about whether or not it's donated to an environmental group. It's not even really about the bag itself.

What the levy does, and what Mr Bolt has shown, is that it makes people stop and actually think about what they're doing.

Some will think "well, I'll just pay the 10c". Others will think "I'll pay the 10c but remember to bring my own bag next time".

Still others, like our Mr Bolt, will apparently think "screw you . . . I'll carry my own goddamn books and never shop here again."

All are valid responses. And that's the point: to get a response. To stop everybody blithely taking plastic bags just because they're offered.

The message is that if you don't need one, then don't use one.

Mr Bolt, you have have illustrated the point beautifully. Well done you.


Spoon said...

I reckon all shops should take the example of Aldi and Bunnings.
There is no 10c levy. Just simply no bags.
It takes a couple of trips to remember to byo, and both stores have crates of left over cardboard boxes, but once you're in that frame of mind you don't even blink that they don't put your 3 items in a bag.

Gayle said...

I love it! Nice blog. What one supermarket does here is gives you a 6p discount on your total shop for every plastic bag that you don't use. As a female, carrying a handbag is handy, because you can always keep a spare plastic bag in there... bit for difficult for males though... is it feasible to get rid of all plastic bags?

Matt said...

How do they work out how many bags you're not using?

Spoon said...

Hehe. I just read the article that you linked to (It takes me a while to build up to reading a Bolt article) and aI thought it was ironic that in his last paragraph he says "Enough of this hectoring, moral show-boating".

Sadly I assume he is not referring to his own hectoring and moral show-boating.

Gayle said...

Good question. I think they just ask how many of your own bags you brought... which means you can rort the system pretty easily.