“The Need to Go Beyond #banthebag” — an analysis essay

In recent years, the issue sparking controversy between consumers and supermarket manufacturers — typically their excessive plastic production — circles Australia’s need to be environmentally sustainable. ABC News writer; Nicola Heath, highlights the call of shoppers who “don’t need their bananas wrapped in clingfilm” through her opinion piece ‘The Need to Go Beyond #banthebag’ published on Sunday 6th of May 2018. In an accusatory tone, Heath condemns big brands like Woolworths’ and Coles’ unnecessary use of plastic on naturally packaged products and lists a few alternative solutions aimed at producers and shoppers.

From the onset, Heath lampoons supermarket producers about the irony of banning single-use bags and then staging a new range of “pre-cut and packed in plastic” fruits and veg for “kids’ lunchboxes.” The author begins with an anecdote from the week before when she received the marketing email; before dropping the generalization — “since when has chopping an apple become so inconvenient that it needs to be done for us?” Directing the audience’s idea of the stock line from expedient and child-friendly to useless and eco-unfriendly, hence, invoking customers to feel tricked and guilty.

Moreover, Heath portrays manufacturers and retailers as childish and unwilling to take responsibility or “stewardship” for “the lifestyle of their packaging.” Firstly, the columnist pinpoints the liability of the “waste crisis” through their use of exclusive language. As a underpin to the connotation ‘graces’ in “it [producers’ deposition] isn’t being demonstrated to the average shopper that graces their aisles.” The undertone suggests the shopper is an oblivious victim. Thus, regarding both consumers and producers at fault.

Furthermore, in the following paragraph — this technique is reinforced. In a candid tone, Heath segregates “supermarkets [that] regularly defend their wanton use of plastic” and “the average shopper” by incorporating repetitive inclusive/exclusive language. Before delineating marketers as figurative students who still need a reference from their teachers/”environmental leaders of their field in Europe.” Nicola Heath then invites readers to share her perspective — that ridding plastic from our shops is possible — as she praises the Netherland supermarket’s “plastic-free aisle.”

In a consoling tone, Heath wraps up the piece succinctly by reminding the audience the solution is “definitely not pre-packaged carrot sticks.” After elucidating the options manufacturers could weigh, and the steps we as consumers can take, the final paragraph starts with a blunt call to action — “we must stop throwing out so much plastic.” This infers a straightforward resolution, similarly, with the idiom used after — “we can draw a line in the sand.” However, the phrase also devises a sense of urgency in readers, as it suggests the need (and not leisure) for everyone to be sustainable now.

The opinion piece rebukes big brands — typically Woollies and Coles — lack of action to the ever-growing plastic epidemic. Heath attempts to sway the audience into sharing her argument on the issue by using an array of evidence, statistics, rhetorical questions, and appeals laced through ridiculing attacks. Ultimately, contributing as a wake-up call to consumers like her. And the demand to achieve sustainability by ensuring good practices and wasting less plastic.

This was written almost a year ago now and I haven't edited it since- don’t @ me if there are mistakes.



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