Housekeeping without wasting plastic bags

Australian plastic garbage bag purchases have risen 30% since the official campaign to reduce use of shopping plastic bags.

Plastic bags help to wreck the environment.
They kill animals, dolphins, penguins, seals, fish and birds.

But people say, We need plastic bags to put our rubbish in. See Mistaken reasons for using plastic bags. That is Rubbish!  Do not hang plastic bags on hooks to put all your kitchen rubbish in. Instead:

  • Have a kitchen bin of size and shape for your needs (I like a rectangular one), put an old bit of plastic on the bottom, and just tip in kitchen rubbish without bagging it, except for soggy stuff like bones, which you put into used packaging and perhaps one tatty old plastic bag. That way, your kitchen bin and your trolly-bin both stay clean.
  • Compost what you can for your garden or neighbor's garden. And make a WORM FARM
  • Keep what plastic bags you collect inside a shopping jeep, 'green' canvas shopping bag, or large plastic bag, to re-use when you go shopping. When they get tatty, keep them in a plastic bag on a hook, to finish off as soggy-rubbish containers AFTER they have had a long and useful life.
  • Also useful for shopping are re-usable string bags, baskets, cardboard boxes and shopping jeeps.

Now governments have inquiries to reduce single-use plastic bags, multi-use canvas bags can replace them in shopping, and supermarkets are trying to phase them out - But what is happening?

As fast as plastic bags are reduced for shopping, people in Australia are buying 30% more garbage bags!

Use your nut!

I sent these recommendations in as a submission to the government Plastic Bag Inquiry, as the most useful and practical way to reduce the use of plastic bags. They were ignored in the Report. Why?

Save a fish! Save petrochemicals! Save landfill! Save the future!

Twenty million Australians saving sixty million plastic bags a week!

That's a lot of saving!

1. Baskets, shopping jeeps, dilly bags, string bags, and grocery boxes instead were all used before anyone ever thought of having plastic bags. You can re-use plastic bags up to 12 times or more (see below). As long as you have a docket, you dont need a plastic bag as proof of purchase. One-trip brown-paper bags are not a good idea - they only use more trees.

 2. Re-use plastic bags up to 12 times. Keep clean plastic carry bags to in a shopping basket or jeep, or hang them in another plastic bag from hooks or nails in a cupboard or the kitchen. Don't scrunch them up - that makes them tatty, so you dont need a holder that scrunches them. Shop with a set of your plastic bags inside one plastic bag, (inside a string bag if possible)so you dont need to get more bags.

3. When bags get tatty, put them on a nail in the kitchen and use them to put messy rubbish in.

4. Put food scraps and peels in a kitchen basin or bin with a lid, then put them in rat-proof compost (except for bones). Then you hardly need plastic bags to wrap rubbish..

5. You can re-use bin liners again and again until they need to be thrown out - because no messy rubbish goes in the bins except in the tatty plastic bags.

Re-use plastic bags because plastic bags are a big cost for council rubbish disposal, make unstable land-fill, waste our petrochemical resources and add to foreign debt.

Mistaken reasons for using one-trip plastic bags

People give mistaken reasons for having one-trip plastic bags.

Mistaken reason 1.. To give jobs to plastic-bag-makers.

Answer. Look around and see all the other jobs that need to be done. See the list in this book. The money is better spent on these jobs.

Mistaken reason 2. To wrap rubbish up in to put it in the rubbish bin.

Answer: Use tatty bags for messy rubbish. Council bins dont need lining. Dry rubbish does not need wrapping . Compost should be composted - if you don't have a garden, make compost for a friend.

Mistaken reason 3. . Everyone else always gets new plastic bags for all their shopping. I can't be different.

Answer. Other people use other things too. Some purchases need new plastic bags but not often.

Mistaken reason 4. You get the plastic bags for nothing, and you don't get anything else for nothing.

Answer. You don't get them for nothing. The shops get the costs back in higher prices for goods.

Mistaken reason 5. It's an Australian custom. It prevents shoplifting.

Answer. Baskets and bags can be looked in. TV could promote honesty not thieving.

Mistaken reason 6. I wouldn't know how to house-keep if I didn't keep throwing things out.

Answer. Perhaps you should not buy so much rubbish. In other places and other times people have hardly anything to throw out. Ask your great-grandmother how it was that dustbins were so small.

Mistaken reason 7. The tokens at some supermarkets to help the Children's Hospital when you re-use a plastic bag are just a pretend gimmick.

Answer.. Demand a 2 cent token every time you re-use your own bag and the girls will soon put the tokens handy, not hidden away.

A home-made Worm Farm!

It's cheap and easy to make a Worm Farm so you don't have to put slushy scraps in your rubbish bin. So you don't need plastic liners!

1. Cut some of the bottom off an empty builders' plastic Plaster Can or Paint Can - which othewise is thrown out.

2. Sit it on a plastic garden sieve, on the top of a square of 4-6 bricks, on some earth. The bricks are loose enough so worms can get in and fluid can leak out into the earth, out close enoough so that vermin cannot get in.

3. Top it with another plastic sieve. (with a stone on top if vermin think they can lift the sieve.)

Put a bit of earth and worms in at the bottom, and there you are.
And months later, you can lift it and take out some beaut compost. And see hundreds of worms.
The only food scraps worms do not like are bones, citrus peels and too many tea-leaves.
Children love helping with the Worm Farm.