Most Bunbury shoppers support single-use plastic ban

Kate Fielding and Callum HunterSouth Western Times
Julie Pelusey believes the ban on single use bags is 'certainly a good idea.'
Camera IconJulie Pelusey believes the ban on single use bags is 'certainly a good idea.' Credit: Callum Hunter / South Western Times

Bunbury shoppers have hit checkouts without plastic bags for the first time as one supermarket chain got an early jump on the highly-anticipated ban.

As businesses and the community prepare to weigh in on the war against plastic in just over a week’s time when a Statewide ban is put in place, Woolworths stores started their plastic bag ban yesterday.

Shoppers spoken to by the South Western Times yesterday applauded the ban and while some said they were unprepared for the change, it was a welcome surprise.

The community’s support to go plastic free in the city was reinforced last week when Bunbury City Council was presented with a petition to ban more plastic items.

The petition containing 262 signatures calls for a ban on plastic straws and single-use plastic from all events organised or sponsored by the council.

The council is expected to consider the petition within the month but Mayor Gary Brennan told the Times he expected an increased focus on material that could not be recycled.

Christine Lammie was more than prepared for the change over, always using her own bags.
Camera IconChristine Lammie was more than prepared for the change over, always using her own bags. Credit: Callum Hunter / South Western Times

Woolworths Eaton Fair store manager Daniel McCurry said yesterday was a landmark day for the community.

“From the beginning, we felt strongly that this was the right thing to do and we’re really pleased to see customers are behind the change as well,” Mr McCurry said.

“We are proud to say that from now on, single-use plastic bags are gone from our store for good.

“What we’re trying to do with this change is encourage more customers to bring their own reusable bags when shopping so we can prevent plastic bags from reaching our waterways and reduce the overall production of plastics.”

Julie Pelusey says its a great initiative despite not being prepared.
Camera IconJulie Pelusey says its a great initiative despite not being prepared. Credit: Callum Hunter / South Western Times

Most shoppers approached by the Times yesterday were in support of the ban.

“I knew it was coming up, but it was lovely when we went shopping before (yesterday) they gave us free shopping bags ... it’s certainly a great idea,” shopper Julie Pelusey said.

Mr Brennan said the early ban was welcomed.

“The city has been an advocate for this move and the major shopping centres and others involved in this early introduction is broadly welcomed,” Mr Brennan said.

“I think we’re going to see an increased focus on what can be recycled and what can’t and the conversation is becoming more and more about that we need to be sustainable and that means reducing material that can’t be recycled.”

Christine Lammie hasn’t used single use plastic bags in years.
Camera IconChristine Lammie hasn’t used single use plastic bags in years. Credit: Callum Hunter / South Western Times

Woolworths customers will have access to a range of alternative shopping bag options, including a new 15 cent reusable bag, an emergency foldable bag and the Woolworths ​Bag for Good for 99 cents.

“Our Bag for Good is an unprecedented offering for our customers when it comes to reusable bags ... when it gets damaged, we will replace it for free no matter when they bought it from us,” Mr McCurry said.

The Environmental Protection (Plastic Bags) Regulations 2018 come into effect on July 1 and includes degradable, biodegradable and compostable plastic bags.

The Statewide ban will bring Western Australia into line with South Australia, Tasmania, Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory which already have similar bans in place.

Queensland’s ban also starts on July 1 and Victoria has announced its intention to ban plastic bags.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails