Daryl Ilbury

Posts Tagged ‘reusing’

Plastic bags – my, how things have gone wrong

In Eish!, Politics, Science, Scoundrels on August 3, 2012 at 8:43 am

Carrybagus plasticus – the South African national flower. Image: Abrie Fourie

A wry smile etched itself all over my face when I read an article in Wednesday’s Guardian about about the call in the UK for a levy on single-use plastic bags – the cheap and nasty bags designed to carry little more than a box of cigarettes and a Mars bar before breaking.

I smiled because in South Africa we’ve been down this road, and what was promised at the end of it was certainly now what we found.

In 2002, regulations under section 24 (d) of the Environmental Conservation Act 73 of 1989 banned the manufacture, trade and commercial distribution of plastic bags with a wall thickness of less than 80 micrometres. What followed was a series of regulations that ensured that a major cost would be drawn from the purse of the consumer. There were to be no more free plastic bags at the till. Instead, people would have to pay for thicker bags.

The reason behind it was supposed to be two-fold: Read the rest of this entry »