A push by IGA Dorrigo to reduce the number of single-use plastic bags being handed out to customers has proved incredibly successful, with the Plateau community embracing the initiative.
Proprietor Peter Gibson said the supermarket had been using about 2000 plastic bags a week.
“It was ridiculous so at the beginning of July we introduced reusable paper bags, cardboard boxes and hessian bags … we’ve seen the quantity of plastic bags drop to 500 per week,” Peter said.
“The idea was driven by customers who were inviting us to ‘Ban-the-Bag’ but also tourists who would came in and were surprised to see them.
“Single-use plastic bags are banned in the ACT, South Australia, Northern Territory and Tasmania. When people there think groceries, they automatically think recycled bags.”
As well as raising community awareness, Peter and his wife Kerryn, have also set up a recycling depot for soft plastics on-site.
“We started collecting the plastic wrapping we cut off our bulk deliveries and then we put the bale outside for everyone to use,” Peter said.
“Other shops in town are bagging up their plastic and bringing it down.
“I take a load down to Toormina every Friday.”
Peter said Dorrigo farmers were also in on the act, sending their plastic sileage wrappers to China, where they were transformed into pellets and transformed into outdoor furniture and decking (as is the case at the Urunga wetlands).