Rocky supermarkets to phase in big shopping change
IAN Kinsey will be one of the retailers getting a head start on Queensland's plastic bag ban, encouraging customers to look at reusable options before it becomes the only choice.
In July, customers will no longer be able to use lightweight plastic bags to carry home their groceries in a move Ian said he "couldn't support more”.
Although he's based in Blackall, Ian owns the Go Vita and Spar supermarkets on Fitzroy St which will both be impacted by the ban.
"Our clients are obviously interested in reducing their footprint, so we'll be looking at strategies we will look to implement now and encourage people (to change their habits),” he said.
Both supermarkets use plastic bags, but Ian said making a change now and slowly phasing it in would make it easier for customers to get into the habit of bringing their own reusable bags.
He's also keen to look at providing reusable options in-store and is looking into initiatives like the Boomerang Bag, which is a volunteer-led project creating bags from recycled material, and whether these could be produced locally.
"People are going to have to adapt,” Ian said.
Getting consumers in the habit of bringing their own bags is the target of the legislation and the focus of campaigns by the National Retail Association (NRA).
Ebony Johnson gave a presentation to Rockhampton Regional Council's general meeting Tuesday, explaining how the association would work with retailers to make the transition as easy as possible.
It's estimated 900 million plastic bags are used in Queensland and can take up to 1000 years to fully decompose.
Although the majority end up in landfill, about 16 million end up in the environment and clogging waterways.
All retailers in the state will be impacted by the ban, from grocery stores like Ian's to clothing stores and fast food outlets.
Excluded from the ban are "barrier bags” like those used for fruit and vegetables, heavy plastic bags like those supplied in department stores, fabric and canvas bags, paper bags and kitchen or bin bags.
The NRA will work with retailers when it comes to replacing bags, as well as running a large education campaign for customers including free signage and displays for business owners.
QLD BAG BAN
- From July 1, 2018 single-use plastic bags will be banned
- Business owners can check out The QLD Bag Ban website or call 1800 RETAIL for information, training resources and signage
- Biodegradable bags are included in the ban as studies show they don't break down at a faster rate when ingested and can harm animals in the same way as a 'normal' bag
- Retailers found to not compy could face fines of up to $6000