By Jarryd Barca
Local IGA stores will officially be scrapping single use plastic bags, instead opting to go with the more sustainable reusable bag alternative.
The news of ditching single-use plastics in grocery stores has already made waves nationwide, with Woolworths the first of the grocery store chains jumping on board, but now both Corowa Supa IGA and Rutherglen IGA stores will be a part of the environmentally friendly policy.
Corowa Supa IGA Store Owner, Craig Waldron, confirmed to The Free Press that his store will be completely banning single-use plastic bags.
“We’re now encouraging the use of and will be completely going with the reusable bags and cardboard boxes, which are handy for heavier items and more so fruit and veggies,” he said.
“It’s important to join the bandwagon because plastic creates tons and tons of waste that we just don’t need in our landfill, it’s not good for the environment so we’ve got to seek a better alternative. “We’re definitely proud to be joining the initiative.”
Rutherglen IGA store owner, Michael Dare, agrees that supporting the local community to be plastic and waste wise is a positive initiative.
“I think it’s unfortunate the federal government didn’t take a stance on it years ago but it’s actually good to see it be pushed through from a consumer perspective,” he told The Free Press.
“Basically by the end of this month we’ll be plastic bag free at the check outs, that’s our aim.
Mr Dare doesn’t believe customers will be against the modification, ensuring that they be made aware of the situation in the months preceding the change.
“We’ve been advising our customers over the period of probably the last two months and we’ve had signage throughout the store,” he said.
“The check-out staff have also constantly been advising people about it when they come through, and it’s been pretty well publicised that everyone is going plastic bag free by the end of this month.”
Customers are encouraged to bring their own bags or purchase the store’s reusable ones. They will vary in price; 15 cents for a heavy duty plastic bag through to some more expensive varieties. The price is in the customers’ hands.
Indigo Shire Council developed the Plasticwise Policy as a key strategic action of its council plan.
The Mayor, Cr Jenny OÇonnor, is proud of the leadership shown by the council on the issue of single-use plastics, maintaining that it’s a policy worth pursuing.
“Council is committed to eradicate throw-away plastic products wherever we can and help clean up the environment,” Cr O’Connor said.
“We aim to eventually eliminate all single use plastics from our day-to-day operations and council events.
“This policy will apply to all council staff, operations and council-managed events. From the feedback I have received so far I feel confident it will receive complete support and cooperation from management and staff.”
Cr OÇonnor believes that by adopting the Plasticwise Policy and working collaboratively with businesses, harmful waste and plastic pollution will be gratefully reduced.
“This policy will make a real change in the way we care for our environment,” she said.
“Plastics don’t disappear, they break up into smaller and smaller pieces which contaminate waterways and are ingested by animals.
“Single use plastics contribute to climate change by using energy to manufacture and transport them, and generate harmful gases in landfill.”