Beecroft retailers are getting behind a new campaign to ditch the harmful plastic bag in a bid to reduce waste and celebrate local businesses embracing environmental issues.
And just a week into the Bag-free Beecroft campaign,45 retailers have got on board by giving customers paper bags after nearly 500 were donated to a local grocer.
Others are signposting their support for the campaign and urging visitors to shops and business to opt for reusable materials like canvas or hessian.
More than half of the retailers in Beecroft have joined the campaign and pledged to become or remain plastic free including iconic Beecroft businesses The Children’s Bookshop, Sparks Shoes, La Vie En Rose florist, Denny Pharmacy and gift shop Beautiful Things By.
The Bag-free Beecroft campaign was started by Cheltenham resident Emma Heyde and Beecroft local Diane More in response to increasing plastic waste in local waterways, on beaches, and in the food stream.
“The campaign aims to encourage Beecroft shoppers to bring their own bags, and to celebrate retailers who’ve committed to going plastic bag free, or who’ve already phased out the use of plastic bags,” said Emma.
“We also have a group of sewers making bags out of used fabrics donated by people dropping old clothes and soft furnishings into a basket outside Belle Property in Hannah Street.
“The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive that retailers are doing the right thing by the local community and the environment to reduce their waste.
“Shoppers are also very excited that they can play their part – when they see images of whales with tummies of plastic it helps people feel they’re playing their part. Collectively it amounts to a huge effect if we all stop using these bags.”
Want to ditch your plastic bags hanging around at home? Take them to the red bins outside Woolworths and Coles stores. For fabric bags you no longer need, head to the Century fruit shop in Beecroft which has a drop-off bay for recyclable or canvas bags.
Woolworths is due to open a Beecroft store later this month. “Our next step is to target Woolies to see if they will follow suite.” However when questioned a Woolworths spokesperson said it would still be using plastic bags, in addition to the usual red bins where customers can deposit used bags.
PLASTIC BAG BANS
*Coles Bay in Tasmania was the first community to ban plastic bags in Australia in 2003. During the first 12 months Coles Bay prevented the use of 350,000 plastic bags.
*Disposable single-use plastic bags are already banned in the ACT, while SA was the first state to do so in 2009. Tas and NT followed, and Qld is to ban them from July 2018.
*Bans are common world-wide including in China, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, France and The Netherlands.
*Harris Farm Market is donating 5c to the Clean Up Australia campaign for every person who doesn’t want a plastic bag, until the end of this month. With this campaign they r.
*Many large retailers no longer provide or give away plastic checkout bags. Bunnings, Target, IKEA, Nando’s and McDonald’s are all plastic bag free at the checkout.
*To start a campaign in your area, contact Emma Heyde: firstname.lastname@example.org