A Roleystone group beat the State Government to its anti-plastic bag policy when it launched its own reusable bag program days before Premier Mark McGowan announced there would be a statewide ban on plastic bags.
From July 1, 2018, lightweight, single-use plastic shopping bags will be banned in WA in an attempt to reduce plastic pollution.
Four days before the announcement, a group of Roleystone community members marched 170 metres from the Roleystone Neighbourhood Family Centre to the Roleystone Supa IGA carrying more than 800 reusable, recycled fabric shopping bags.
Known as “Boomerang Bags”, they will be available for free use and the group only asked residents to return the bags once they had served their purpose.
The bags were made over five months from fabrics donated to the group that were cut, stitched and branded by volunteers before being made available to the public.
Every bag is unique and can be purchased for $5 if users become extra fond of theirs.
Ahead of supermarket giants Woolworths and Coles, who said they would stop offering free single-use plastic bags by 2018, the bags will be available out the front of Roleystone Supa IGA during open hours.
Roleystone Family Centre chairperson Pat Hart said the group had worked hard to get the bags ready for public use.
“There’s so much excitement about what we’re doing, reducing plastic bags and building the community capacity and caring network in Roleystone,” she said.
“It’s been the most amazing community project.”
More than 50 volunteers were involved in the project, which took about five months from start to finish.
Some estimates say plastic bags can take up to 1000 years to degrade and Roleystone Supa IGA manager Joe Anile said his business recognised the importance of cutting plastic waste.
“We’re looking forward to less consumption of plastic bags,” he said.
“Our commitment is to wheel it in every night and look after it.
Speaking about the announcement of the state-wide plastic bag ban, Premier Mark McGowan said it was time for the states to take control of their plastic waste.
“The number of plastic bags used every year continues to grow and therefore it’s time for the State Government to act,” he said.
“There are alternatives to single-use plastics and we need to move beyond single-use items and promote sustainable futures for our children.”