Freo's View

CHARGING FOR PLASTIC BAGS A SUCCESSFUL COMPROMISE

Posted in environment, fremantle, plastic, seafarers, western australia by freoview on July 31, 2016

The Town of East Fremantle is trying to ban the use of plastic shopping bags, what the City of Fremantle unsuccessfully tried twice and was refused to implement by the WA government, so maybe a more achievable compromise would be to demand that retailers charge a fee for plastic bags, as they have done successfully in the United Kingdom according to The Guardian.

I quote a section of The Guardian’s recent article below:

# The number of single-use plastic bags used by shoppers in England has plummeted by more than 85% after the introduction of a 5p charge last October.

# More than 7 billion bags were handed out by seven main supermarkets in the year before the charge, but this figure plummeted to slightly more than 500 million in the first six months after the charge was introduced, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said.

# The data is the government’s first official assessment of the impact of the charge, which was introduced to help reduce litter and protect wildlife.

# The charge has also triggered donations of more than £29m from retailers towards good causes including charities and community groups, according to Defra. England was the last part of the UK to adopt the 5p levy, after successful schemes in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Good to see charging for the plastic bags did not become another profit making exercise but that the money was donated to good causes.

Unlike  retailers such as IGA and Peaches in Fremantle the big supermarkets do not offer cardboard boxes as an alternative to plastic shopping bags, and that also needs to be encouraged as it is a good way to recycle the boxes the goods arrive in at the shops.

Roel Loopers

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FREO’S NO PLASTIC FANTASTIC IN JEOPARDY

I have up till now never heard of Liberal MP Peter Katsambanis, but it appears the faceless man is standing in the way of the City of Fremantle becoming a plastic shopping bag free council.

Katsambanis will lodge a motion of disallowance in state parliament today for later hearing. He argues that a ban like this should be done by state government and not just by a single council, and that a ban on plastic shopping bags in South Australia had increased the sale of bin liners by 85 per cent, making the ban counter-productive and a bigger environmental problem.

WA Government disallowed the previous local law because of the 10 cent levy per bag, but it might do the same with the amended one.

Acting Mayor Josh Wilson told me last night he was very disappointed and said to WA TODAY “We have done everything by the book. We have consulted local businesses and the wider community and we have a broad consensus to the initiative,” He said the city was progressive by philosophy and was keen to provide leadership on what it saw as a social issue an important contributor to reducing plastic waste.

I use my plastic bags as bin liners and to put the rubbish out and they are very handy for that, but the Fremantle BID group has just got the first FREO 6160 calico bags so retailers can order them from BID and sell them to their customers. I will certainly do that, although I always end up with more and more bags at home because I keep forgetting to put them in my car, and when I stop to do my shopping on the way home I have to get new bags. Can we make bags that whistle when we leave home without them? ; > )

Roel Loopers

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