I sat in my bedroom, looked at the stack of plastic bags, and felt embarrassed. This was a year ago. I had been living in the Netherlands for a few months and hadn’t yet grown accustomed to the Dutch habit of bringing my own bag to the supermarket.
Until that moment in my room in Wageningen I had never thought about the impact of purchasing a new plastic bag every time I did groceries. But seeing how Dutch people made a point of reducing the use of plastic bags made me change my behaviour, almost without noticing it. Nowadays I always keep a foldable shopping bag in my school backpack, in case I feel a sudden whim to go grocery shopping. This is a habit I want to preserve once I go back to my country, because I believe the old saying: ‘the small acts that help to save nature will change the future’.
The good news is that Indonesia has also changed while I have been in the Netherlands. A few months after the rule was implemented throughout Europe that shops were no longer allowed to hand out free plastic bags, Indonesia also introduced legislation to reduce the use of disposable carry bags. I wasn’t surprised about this at all and I am very pleased with this development.
I hope all the internationals in Wageningen will adapt to this good habit of our Dutch friends and stick to it when they go back home. Let’s all bring our own eco-friendly shopping bag to the supermarket and eliminate the unnecessary use of plastic bags.
Ika Nurzijah, MSc student of Plant Biotechnology, Indonesia
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Ze zat in haar kamer, keek naar de stapel plastic tassen en schaamde zich. Ika Nurzijah was een paar maanden in Nederland toen ze besloot een voorbeeld aan de Nederlanders te nemen en voortaan gewapend met boodschappentas naar de supermarkt te gaan. Als ze straks terug is in Indonesië, wil ze die goede gewoonte vasthouden. Ze hoopt dat meer internationale studenten dat doen: Hollandse milieuvriendelijkheid (en zuinigheid...) als exportproduct.