Should Bendigo ban the bag?

Terrie Steve, with her sons Hunter and Chase, after leaving Coles Bendigo with a trolley full of plastic bags. Picture: DARREN HOWE

Terrie Steve, with her sons Hunter and Chase, after leaving Coles Bendigo with a trolley full of plastic bags. Picture: DARREN HOWE

RelatedChange is in the bag for Queensland but Victoria lags behind

Are the days of the ubiquitous plastic bag numbered? 

The Bendigo Sustainability Group president is among those calling on governments to join Queensland which last week said it would ban single-use plastic shopping bags from 2018.

“We love the idea,” Chris Weir said. 

“We need to encourage people to use their own bags, hessian bags, reusable cotton bags – we just can’t afford more plastic bags going into landfill and ending up in in waterways.” 

City of Greater Bendigo sustainable environment manager Robyn Major said the city would support a state-wide ban on plastic bags. 

Ms Major said the reduction of single-use bags was already an action of the city’s Waste and Resource Management Strategy.

On Friday, the Queensland state government said it would no longer wait for Victoria and New South Wales to act and announced a ban on single-use plastic bags from 2018.

The Palaszczuk Labor government had been pushing for an east-coast ban, co-ordinated between the three states, but decided to go it alone and time the change to coincide with a new container deposit scheme.

Victoria is now one of the last states yet to enact laws to limit the spread of supermarket plastic bags. South Australia, Tasmania, Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory already have bans in place.

Mr Weir said council and the community could take the initiative in saying no to single-use plastic bags even if the state failed to do so. 

“I was recently in a shopping centre in Western Australia which had a container full of hessian bags and cotton bags out the front, so people could grab one as they entered and bring them back next time,” the BSG president said. 

“It’s a wonderful way of recycling and good badging – I don’t see why we couldn't encourage local supermarkets to do a similar thing.” 

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