Plastics-free 2010? No laughing matter, says comedian Tim Minchin

For the first time this Season, I didn’t receive a single paper-based greetings card at home – a sign of our increasingly digital times.

Among the many e-cards and email-based greetings I received was an environmentally conscious friend who sent me the link to an upbeat, meaningful song by Tim Minchin, the British-born Australian comedian, actor and musician. This is a simple song about an everyday matter that has far-reaching implications: how to reduce plastics dumped in our environment.

In this case, simply by carrying a cloth/canvas bag to the supermarket, we can cut down on the needless use of plastic shopping bags.

Last FM wrote about Canvas Bags: “An ‘emotional’ tune that has fun lyrics. Tim Minchin is Australian, but you can’t really tell. Trying to show that he can send out a serious message, Minchin explains how plastic is the bane of the universe and that we can only save our planet by eliminating it and “taking our canvas bags to the supermarket”. Of course, this message is punctuated by the usual splashes of humour that Minchin has made his trademark.”

Canvas Bags by Tim Minchin

Directed by Stephen Leslie, this is the unedited version of Tim Minchin’s Environmental Anthem film clip recorded for BBC3’s Comedy Shuffle.

Here are the first few lines:

Take your canvas bags
When you go
To the supermarket
Why use plastic bags when you know
You know the world can’t take it

Take your canvas bags
When you go
To the supermarket market market
Don’t you use those plastic ones
No, no, no
Don’t you know that you’ll feel better for it…

Read the full lyrics

Author: Nalaka Gunawardene

A science writer by training, I've worked as a journalist and communication specialist across Asia for 30+ years. During this time, I have variously been a news reporter, feature writer, radio presenter, TV quizmaster, documentary film producer, foreign correspondent and journalist trainer. I continue to juggle some of these roles, while also blogging and tweeting and column writing.

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