Tuesday, January 20

i love unit pricing (and food miles and plastic free checkouts)

Unit pricing and checkouts without plastic bags. What a way to start the year. It started with the certified organic cheese from my big name supie. I launched into doing the math conversion per 100g compared to the regular tasty sitting next to it on the shelf and realised the per unit price was already staring me in the face. The 0.48c difference already on display made me very happy. At that price difference, to those without a committment to organic purchasing and who wouldnt think to check the difference, organic doesnt look prohibitive. From a human health point of view, if there's one area of food stuff that i think you should convert to organic, its dairy. Chemical residues are fat soluble and tend to concentrate in animal fats. Yum, that cheese and cream is a chemical cocktail.

After selecting my organic cheese,bio-dynamic milk, phosphate free detergent in a recycled cardboard box and some lightbulbs, all labelled with per unit price, i stood in line at the checkout and watched a cashier hunt down some plastic bags for someone who hadn't brought their own. I realised that there were no piles of plastic bags waiting at the checkouts ready to be swiped, one after the other, by checkout staff and looking around the supermarket, every person i saw had a bundle of reusable cloth shopping bags ready for the trip home. Even before the statewide ban is fully introduced in April, the supie has begun phasing out single use plastic bags with handles; still there if you need them, but small, inconvienient ones, ones designed to make you think next time you head off to the shop. Thats the power of a blanket ban. It really forces the individual to plan ahead. And by the look of it, people were doing just fine.

Additionally, unlike other places in the world where plastic bags are banned, by not offerring an alternative, the supermarkets make consumers responsible. In those places in the world where the plastic has merely been replaced with another disposable product, namely paper bags (switching one addiction for another) you reduce the amount of plastic in landfill but you still create waste, use unecessary resources and maintain and normalise the disposable paradigm. So, Hoorah! for our state government.

Now all they need to do is work out how they can sell the organics with out entombing them in that thick plastic wrap and replacing the thin fruit and veggie plastic bags they provide with cloth alternatives and we might be gettin' somewhere, well, that and labelling the food miles.


kale for sale said...

Congrats on the state government banning of plastic bags. That's awesome.

Julie said...

Hooray indeed! I wish they'd hurry up and the do the same up here! very frustrating, although not nearly as frustrating as the extra packaging on all the organic fresh produce at my local stupormarket. Hello? Why can I buy five types of commercial apples loose but the organic ones are bagged and wrapped in small lots (so I'd need two of them)?

Gavin said...

yes, Hooray for the SA Govt. They really are leaders in waste management, and I applaud them for going it alone when all the other states wimped out big time. Same on the rest!

Kel said...

kale- yup, great isnt it, just have to work on the smaller plastic bags now.

Julie - have to wait for national govt??? or is NSW making a move on the issue? that plastic wrap its a pain, but how to differentiate between an expensive organic and a cheaper non organic piece?

Gav- glad your tooth problem has been resolved and Yup, high five Hoorah! for the Rann Govt.

Sarah said...

Hey Kel,

Would you have some links for me that I can show hubby re chemicals being fat soluable. I have been working on moving our diary organic (done all other) but he thinks it is to pricy (rolling eyes). This might just convince him I am not as loopy as he thinks?

Thank you in advanced