GET READY FOR...
Hints to go plastic bag free.
- Download the Door Hanger to remind yourself to BYO bags when leaving the house
- Refer to the Better Bag Guide which you can download in our resources section, which outlines the best bag alternatives you can use when shopping.
- Ask your local retailers to leave out packaging boxes for customers to utilise.
- If you happen to forget to take your re-usable bags to the shops, use a box if you can, or
buy a re-usable bag, which you be able to use on average another 60 times!
- If you have a collection of plastic shopping bags at home, take them to a plastic recycling bin at Coles supermarkets.
- If you currently use your plastic bags as bin liners, consider another alternative (see Bin Liner Dilemma below)
- Use this Plastic Bag Free NSW website as a resource www.plasticbagfreensw.org.
Encourage your friends and family to check out the site and download resources too!
- Watch Bag It for inspiration!
Your Bin Liner Dilemma
An estimated 60% of households use lightweight shopping bags a second time as bin liners. Approximately 20% of all lightweight plastic shopping bags are reused in this way, another 5% are recycled, but the remaining 75% are sent to landfill. For many households in NSW, a ban on these bags will mean rethinking bin liners and the way households manage their waste. Before deciding which bin liner to switch to, consider that by weight, 85% of an average household’s waste can be put in the kerbside recycling bin or composted.
By recycling better and using backyard compost bins, or kerbside food and green waste collection services (available in some areas), households can quickly reduce the volume of waste and the need for bin liners.
With reduced waste, daily household rubbish can fit nicely in a small, round kitchen bin that uses barrier bags or other bags received as packaging. eg. bread bags. Using small bins and emptying them regularly can help keep kitchen odours at bay. For some households, the solution will be to purchase plastic bin liners. For the vast majority of households, it’s easy to:
- do without a bin liner and empty your rubbish directly into your wheelie bin. Simply rinse your bin out once a week to prevent mould or grime
- line your bin with newspaper and throw this away when bin is full.
Single-use doesn’t make sense
It doesn’t make sense to waste non-renewable resources on bags that are used once or twice then thrown away. Plastic Bag Free NSW is encouraging residents who are not already doing so to join others in going plastic bag-free. If you’re wondering what else you can use to get your shopping home, you’ll find some suggestions in our resources section.
Who has already gone plastic-bag free?
In Australia, there are whole States and Territories – as well as suburbs, towns and cities – that have made the move away from plastic-bags. Single use, non-biodegradable plastic shopping bags are now banned in South Australia, Tasmania, Northern Territory, A.C.T, Fremantle, Huskisson, Kangaroo Valley and numerous other places.
What can I use instead of plastic bags?
There are plenty of options for people wanting an alternative to plastic bags. For your convenience, there you’ll find a list of options in the resources section - Better Bag Guide
Hints for retailers.
- Give customers at least a month’s notice that your store is going plastic bag-free.
- Train your staff to advise customers at the check-out that your retail outlet will soon be plastic bag-free and outline what the options will be. This is a great opportunity to promote the benefits/positives in banning the bag.
- Make sure staff and customers are aware that it’s just the single-use plastic shopping bags that your store is phasing out. ie. not barrier bags (fruit/ vegetable or meat/seafood bags).
- Provide signage advising customers of the upcoming phase-out and why your retail outlet has chosen to go down this path
- Refer to the Better Bag Guide which outlines the preferred hierarchy of bag alternatives.
- Source alternate options that best suit your retail outlet. If you have space, provide packaging boxes for customers to use. This not only a great re-use opportunity, but will also reduce your paper recycling costs.
- Download our free point of sale signs and posters for your store to display, which explain that your store has gone plastic bag-free and why
- Refer customers on to this website for more information on the campaign and resources. www.plasticbagfreensw.org. Encourage staff to check out our site and resources too!
It doesn’t make sense to waste non-renewable resources on bags that are used once or twice then thrown away. Plastic Bag Free NSW is encouraging NSW businesses who have not already done so to join others in phasing out single-use plastic shopping bags. Why not offer your customers a less damaging alternative? There are plenty of other options. You’ll find some suggestions on our resources page.
Plastic Bag Free NSW aims to support NSW businesses to go plastic-bag free, with as little disruption to business operations as possible. There are clear benefits to making the change.
By going plastic-bag free, your business will:
- have the opportunity to make additional revenue through the sale of re-useable bags (with optional branding)
- be perceived by customers as forward-thinking and progressive
- join a local, national and international movement towards a more responsible way of doing business
- help create a healthier and more beautiful local environment for everyone to enjoy.
Who has already gone plastic-bag free?
In Australia, there are whole States and Territories – as well as suburbs, towns and cities – that have made the move away from plastic-bags. Single use, non-biodegradable plastic shopping bags are now banned in South Australia, Tasmania, Northern Territory, ACT, Fremantle, Huskisson, Kangaroo Valley and many other places.
A joint effort
- Plastic Bag Free NSW wants to work with your business to ensure a successful roll-out. This is why we’ve created signage for retailers which explains that your store has gone plastic bag-free and why you’ve made this decision.
- We’d like to see all NSW retailers to go plastic bag-free voluntarily. Many large and small businesses have already gone down this path, including Bunnings, ALDI and Officeworks, as well as countless smaller retail outlets.
- To make this a success, we recognise there needs to be work done in the community and with businesses to build awareness and an understanding of why this change is needed. We’re working with local Chambers of Commerce to help educate both the public and the business community.
- Wherever possible, we will promote those businesses that opt to go plastic bag-free in local media.
- We recognise that this is a change from your usual business practices and that wherever there’s change, there can be challenges, but we will want to work alongside you to make this as easy and pain-free a transition as possible.
- What can I use instead of plastic-bags?
- There are plenty of options for businesses wanting to offer their customers an alternative to plastic bags.
We’re not waving placards here. We want to work with businesses to make this happen. It’s achievable.
And it’s something that will be perceived as positive and progressive by the community and be a win
or the environment.
If we work together, we can all enjoy the benefits that come from having less plastic in our state.
CONTACT Your LOCAL MP.
The time is NOW - if our councils and government hear from enough of us, they will have no choice but to act.